Sometimes I think we love to hold on to our pain. Perhaps, it’s something that makes us comfortable. Or maybe it’s something that gets us attention. Or the pain is such a part of us, that we can’t imagine life without it. Holding on to it, while we should let go of heartache.

And when I speak of heartache, I don’t mean something caused by loss of romantic love. Many relationships cause us heartache.

Let Go of Heartache

I’ve done this.  Allowing pain to stop me from being happy. Allowing it to hold me back from following my dreams. Wanting so badly to make the pain go away, and yet not really taking that one step of letting. Of cutting off from the person who causes us pain.

We want to make him love us. We run after her and it only increases the pain. We tie ourselves to these people or attempt to tie them to us. Desperate. Hopeless. A wife holds on to her abusive husband. A man holds on to a girlfriend who tells him she doesn’t love him. A daughter holds on to her mother who disrespects her, hoping someday to win her approval….. We’re not ready to move from the loss of a loved on. Not ready to dare to look for love again….

Just the other day, Carol Cassara shared a quote on Instagram that spoke to me very deeply.

“You’ve got to learn to leave the table
When love’s no longer being served”.”
― Nina Simone

Strong words. And true. But so difficult to follow. Our mind plays all sorts of tricks on us. We feed it with all sorts of stuff about loyalty and how noble we are to hold on. Perhaps, it’s not loyalty but comfort. It’s not love, but need.

Difficult questions. But the kind we need to ask ourselves from time to time.

Here’s one of Osho’s stories which talks about how our mind can sometimes hold us captive.

Junaid was going through the market-place of the town with his disciples. And it was his way to take any situation and use it. A man was dragging his cow by a rope, and Junaid said ’Wait’ to the man, and told his disciples ’Surround this man and the cow. I am going to teach you something.’

The man stopped – Junaid was a famous mystic – and he was also interested in what he was going to teach these disciples and how he was going to use him and the cow. And Junaid asked his disciples ’I ask you one thing: who is bound to whom? Is the cow bound to this man or is this man bound to this cow?’ Of course, the disciples said ’The cow is bound to the man. The man is the master, he is holding the rope, the cow has to follow him wherever he goes. He is the master and the cow is the slave.’

And Junaid said ’Now, see.’ He took out his scissors and cut the rope – and the cow escaped.

The man ran after the cow, and Junaid said ’Now look what is happening! Now you see who is the master; the cow is not interested at all in this man – in fact, she is escaping.’ And the man was very angry, he said ’What kind of experiment is this?’ But Junaid said to his disciples ’And this is the case with your mind.

All the nonsense that you are carrying inside is not interested in you. You are interested in it, you are keeping it together somehow – you are becoming mad in keeping it together somehow. But you are interested in it. The moment you lose interest, the moment you understand the futility of it, it will start disappearing; like the cow it will escape.’ – The Sun Rises in the Evening, by Osho

Let go of heartache. You can do it. I know, I did.

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