There is nothing wrong with being a successful human being. In fact, the purpose of your life is to win. But what if, in your quest for this victory, you were accidentally drawn into a compelling game in which, unknown to you, it was impossible to win no matter how well you performed or religiously followed the rules?
Where, instead of finding the freedom to run as you wish, you found yourself moving more and more mechanically through your days? And, to make matters worse, each passing day leaves you feeling more frustrated than fulfilled because of an ever-increasing pressure to win!
Plus, whenever you looked around to see how the other players were doing, it was obvious they were just as disappointed with the game as you. No one was really winning anything!
Then one day, to your great shock and amazement, you discover that along with everyone else out there on the playing field, you had been tricked into taking part in a crazy game in which the rules you were taught to play by allowed you to score, but never to stop running! You could compete, but never achieve any meaningful or lasting victory.
This metaphor provides us with an uncompromising glimpse into our own present life-position. And precisely because it is an uncompromising view, it not only tells us why our days can feel so futile, but it also hints at a previously unthinkable solution to our sad situation. Maybe there is a way to win, after all!
For the first time we begin to understand why, in spite of our best efforts to come out on top, we are so often thrown for a loss in our relationships and everyday affairs. When these defeats pile up, life seems more of a punishment than a pleasure. We want to give up and walk away. But we can’t. The rules we’ve been taught and that we play by don’t cover or even acknowledge the possibility of life off of the field. We feel stuck.
And so, little by little, just like the slow but steady drop in temperature that chills you without your knowing it, giving up just happens. We stop caring about the lasting things that make life good and noble, and start hoping for those little moments that make life on the field seem tolerable.
Listen. Don’t give up. You don’t have to. You can win in a brand new way. How? Just let go!
Let go of all the familiar but useless rules of rigor that tell you life would be meaningless without running around in some kind of conflict. Stop referring to your own well worn but useless wish that your life will get better the longer you play. It won’t unless we believe that feeling exhausted is the same as being exalted. This is why we must start seeing the facts.
Yes, let go. Walk away. Nothing can stop you. Believe me, this is your first in a long series of real winning actions. Never mind what direction to take. It doesn’t matter, not in the slightest. Why? Because walking away from what is false is the same as heading towards what is true. It may not seem so at the outset, but for the first time in your life the rules of life will be working for you.
Here is how it works: Letting go of what holds you down is how you cooperate with going up. You see, your True Nature is high. And this is your new destination. But you don’t choose it. No. You allow yourself to rise. This may feel awkward, even frightening at first, but in time you will recognize it as your natural need.
Learn to cooperate with the real rules of life, with truthful principles, and let them lift you. That is their job. Once we stop choosing to lose, winning in life takes place effortlessly. It is that simple.
Choose In Favor of Your True Self
“But you can’t be saying I should walk away from everything I have worked for all my life?”
“No, I’m not. What I am saying is that we need to take a much closer look at what we have been calling our life.”
“To what purpose?”
“To see if it is really ours. Once we know what is authentically our own, then we also know what to keep and protect and what to let go.”
“I can understand this idea, but how does it apply to my life?”
“Let’s look briefly at a true story from mother nature for some added insight. The cuckoo bird is best known for laying its eggs in the nests of other birds and leaving them there to hatch. She hides and waits until the nesting bird flies away, leaving its eggs unguarded. The cuckoo then swoops down and quickly lays one of her own so that when the unsuspecting parent returns to the nest it dutifully nestles down on what it believes to be its own clutch of eggs. Generally what happens next is the cuckoo chick hatches first and pushes the later, weaker hatchlings out of the nest. In this way, the parent birds, not realizing the switch has occurred, spend their energies nurturing and being responsible for something that doesn’t belong to them.”
“I like the story, but I’m not sure what you are trying to tell me.”
“We too have been tricked into caring for a life that isn’t really ours by unconsciously adopting a kind of substitute self. Always hungry for sensations and indiscriminate as to what kind, this self cares nothing for us outside of what we can bring to it. This shadowy inner-self has convinced us that what it wants is what we need. Over the years it has displaced, one by one, our natural inclinations to seek self-wholeness with its own unnatural drives for self-stimulation and self-preservation.”
“So that’s why you say I should go ahead and walk away from my lifeit may not even be mine! To tell you the truth, there have been more than a few times when I can remember feeling as though my life didn’t belong to me. Does that make sense?
“Yes, we have all had that kind of unexplainable feelings at one moment or another. But as there was no way at the time to understand the importance of their brief appearance, we learned to just ignore them until they faded. Well, the purpose of truthful principles, as with the ones revealed here, is to reawaken these all-but-forgotten moments of higher intuition that doubt what we have taken to be our present self. Welcome their faint stirring even if it means having to bear a temporary disturbance within you. These intuitive feelings are coming to you from a part of your True Nature that wants you to stop working against yourself and start learning in favor of who you really are.”
Let the three following Higher Hints help you to choose in favor of your True Self.
Revealing yourself to yourself is choosing in favor of your True Self.
Learn to listen to any feelings that cast doubt on your need to suffer.
Asking to see more about a painful situation is the same as asking how you can let it go.
(Excerpted from The Secret of Letting Go, Rev. Edition, Llewellyn, 2007)
Guy Finley is the best-selling author of The Secret of Letting Go and 40 other works on self-transformation and higher success. He is the founder and director of the non-profit Life of Learning Foundation center for self-study. For more information please visit www.guyfinley.org