Holding On

25 01 2011

‘Someone gave me this glass, and I really like this glass. It holds my water admirably and it glistens in the sunlight. I touch it and it rings. One day the wind may blow it off my shelf, or my elbow may knock it from the table. I know this glass is already broken, so I enjoy it incredibly’ – Achaan Chah Subato – Thai monk.

These profound and freeing words made me realise just how much of my life I had wasted by desperately trying to ‘hold on’…

…I wanted to hold onto people who needed to move on because I couldn’t imagine my life without them being part of it.

…I wanted to hold onto possessions because I believed they gave me some sort of security or identity.

…I wanted to hold onto life…my own…and those I love…because I didn’t want to accept that one day we would have to say ‘goodbye’ to each other…at least in this lifetime.

This sometimes irrational fear of loss has led to some interesting ‘push/pull’ situations in my life as part of me has always been an adventurer who wanted to travel the world…and the other part of me believed that everything ‘out there’ was dangerous and that it was much safer to stay at home!

When I finally plucked up the courage to go back packing around Asia a few years ago; it was no suprise to find that my paranoia had come along for the ride!

I was so terrified of poisonous snakes and spiders that I used to carry a roll of sticky tape around with me to seal up the windows and doors of my beach hut, in case some threatening creature was lurking in the shadows waiting to attack me!

My fellow travellers thought it was hilarious and affectionately (I think!) named me ‘the Sellotape Girl’!


In this small way, I believed that I could control the situation and protect myself from danger. And yet we only have to look around us to realise that we have very little control over what happens to us.

 We have floods and natural disasters, violence and disease and there is only a certain amount we can do to protect ourselves against such  tragedies.

Of course we can take sensible precautions to keep ourselves safe, although at some point, we have to accept that nowhere is totally safe and that it is almost impossible to live without a clear and present danger of some sort.

Once we accept the impermanence of everything and that in time, the world as we know it will definitely be changed or gone; we will also know that there is nothing to hold onto.

 Our ‘glass’ is already broken…and the time to enjoy it is now!

Day 25 – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I celebrate knowing that my glass is already broken freeing me to enjoy the pleasure of the moment. 

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10 responses

25 01 2011

Very profound words.. you’re right, I too often find I hold onto things with an irrational fear. Even the simplest of things, as you mentioned. Clothes that I think “one day” I might want to wear it, and yet I haven’t touched it in ages. Yet I can’t let it go.
Inspiring ideas that I just might have to try working into my thought process more and more 🙂

26 01 2011
1961 Girl

Letting go is one of our greatest challenges, particularly as we often are unaware of just how hard we are holding onto something that we should have let go of a long time ago. We need to let go in order to create the space for the new to enter. I look forward to hearing how you get on. Julie

27 01 2011
1961 Girl

And “one day” never comes…

Letting go is a tough one. I always think it is best to start with the little things – before working up to letting go of the bigger things. Good luck with finding the courage and determination to ‘go for it’.

25 01 2011

Lovely image too… Now if only one would remember that and then the real freedom of the image will grow… What a wonderful thought. 🙂

26 01 2011
1961 Girl

Thanks Eliz. I’m pleased that you liked the post and the image. I do try to link these with the post as I think visuals help to illustrate the story.

ps. how do you get those smiley faces that you put on the end of your messages?

25 01 2011

Don’t look now…it’s behind you!! 😉

27 01 2011
1961 Girl

It took me a while to work that one out…but now I get it. Thanks for that Bro!!!

26 01 2011

I really enjoy this post because it’s really a reflection of who we are in a certain stage in life. I think we are taught as babies to hold on to our mothers, fathers, and all things familiar. Then as we go into adulthood, we are afraid to let go and sad when people we hold dear starts their next stage. It’s nice to be reminded that seasons change…

27 01 2011
1961 Girl

Learning to let go is one of our toughest lessons. Even now I find it quite a challenge to let go as it often means stepping into the unknown. This can be an exciting…or scary…prospect at the time. It is only as we look back that we recognise how our lives have been enriched by the new that came in…when we said goodbye to the old.

28 01 2011

a wonderful hammock place 🙂
thanks for stopping by my riverside-house!

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