What the heck is ‘letting go’ ?
Does that mean that I don’t feel ?
that I don’t want,
that I don’t love ?
Is it numbness ?
When we define letting go as these things, letting go becomes an impossible task.
It’s almost like we are asked to stop being human, that we will become vegetables.
But letting go allows you to be more human. A peaceful, reassured, productive human being.
*Letting go is true tawakkul.*
As we are told, we have three basic desires:
-the desire for control,
-the desire for security and
-the desire for approval.
-the desire for control,
These desires then generate our emotions- we may feel apprehensive, afraid, nervous, enraged (and countless others).
And those emotions produce our millions of thoughts- ‘what if..’… ‘this situation is sooo bad…’
And those thoughts and emotions imprison us.
We act or don’t act…
not based on what is best, but because our desires dominate the conversation in our head.
So letting go is the act of freeing yourself of these desires by entrusting your affairs to the One who ultimately has control control over your affairs. Too theoretical?
What are the practical effects of letting go i.e. tawakkul?
We sometimes think tawakkul means not doing anything.
We think that letting go means letting go of something physically but still being attached to it in our hearts.
And that’s where the emotional roller-coaster starts.
But it’s actually the opposite.
If you let go, your thoughts and emotions are not constrained by your desires- more specifically, your lacks (because you desire only that which you don’t have).
So your actions are not dictated by your out-of-control emotions or you being overly
cautious because you are scared, or a ridiculous sense of pride or stubbornness.
But rather, because you are free, you can actually make decisions you are comfortable with.
You let go because at the end of the day, you know that you have to do the best you can with your limited resources, and with Allah is the decision.
And not just any decision, but the BEST decision.
If you can honestly feel that in your heart, then you know you have let go.
You feel utter and absolute peace. Who else would you rather have control over all of your affairs ?!
You might feel scared to begin with. It may even cause tears. Because letting go is easy but
the nafs makes it seem like a mountain.
We are not used to feeling freedom. And the nafs wants us to hold on to what we do know,
even though what we know is causing us unnecessary drama
And once you let go, actually doing things becomes much easier. and so does not doing things, for that matter.
Because your nafs is at peace – an-nafs al-mutma’ina- and therefore you know what the
Sometimes it requires persistence.
Sometimes it requires for you to wait.
Sometimes it requires you leaving it completely and doing something else.
And it could also require you to go back to that which you left.