Post number 13 of 33 in The Ganymede Progression.

I used to be someone who had a lot of problems letting things go. I held on to things which damaged me, in the end, and I now wear scars from those experiences. But I also know how to let go.

We let go of things, because we recognise that underneath there is no sense in holding onto that which do not, or cannot, serve us. I wouldn’t let go of my child, but I did let go of the marriage which made me miserable. In fact, there is very little I can imagine “clinging” to, these days. My home, my job, even the relationship I love; if it turned bad, I’d move along. To let go is healthy, infinitely healthier than clinging on, anyway. To cling is to be in the thrall of something other than yourself; as there is no true self, to cling is to suffer the consequences of a delusion.

When should we let go? Well, a good example of this would be my own relationship with my ex wife. We were in love for over a decade and lived happily together. When things went bad, we didn’t give up immediately; we attended marriage counselling and worked at it. However when our relationship descended into physical violence, mental abuse and constant arguments, some in front of our children, we both knew it was time to let go. We let go, and we’re both much happier.

And when should we hold on? I mentioned my kids as being something I would absolutely cling to, and for some that would be classified as an unhealthy attachment. Personally I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with a father feeling responsible for his two children, both under 5. I hold their hands when we cross the road, I let them know when their behaviour is unacceptable, and I emphasise my pride when they do well. Yes, if I maintained that level of control and protection over them all their lives, that would be stifling; balance is the key. But one of my goals, one of the ways I hope to have a good life, is through a strong, loving relationship with my kids.

The trick comes when they do something I can’t agree with, or when they leave home, or – and this would be the worst thing that could happen to me – they get really sick, or die. being able to cope with those things, those changes, are amongst the biggest challenges of ever holding on; and yet, I’d face them a million times over. It may make me less of a Jedi (I don’t believe it does), but some attachments are healthy. If my children had an absent father, for instance, two lives could be damaged. But if I have to face becoming a stranger to my kids one day, so they can have the best start in life, as a Jedi, as a father, that’s a sacrifice I’m prepared to make. All day long.

Letting go once struck me as a terrible pain, being parted from things I once held dear meaning I never held them dear in the first place. If I truly loved a… watch, say, and then one day I just gave it away, could I honestly maintain that I really loved the watch? But the truth isn’t like that. The Force acts on all things, the human mind included. Perhaps the fact letting go of the watch even entered my head suggests a misconception about the love a person can have for a watch. And, in time, the chances are the absence of the watch would matter less. Eventually, it wouldn’t matter at all.

People let go of all sorts of things they fear to lose: loved ones, their own self-image, even parts of their own body. And you know what? They cope. They realise that, actually, however nice it would have been if they still had the thing in question in their lives, they can survive quite well without it. Chances are, they gave it up for a reason; perhaps the loved one died or stopped loving, perhaps their self-image was delusional and causing them harm, perhaps their body part was cancerous or not right in some other way. Would they be happier clinging to that, to the dead person, the delusion, the sickness?

To live is to be forced to let go. Those who manage that, thrive. They learn to be self-sufficient and to appreciate things as they come, rather than as they go. To stand still is to stagnate. Let go of that which you have outgrown; the world will open up before you.

The only constant is change.