Holding On

What are we holding onto, and why? We’re holding onto a job, a home, any kind of spot we’re comfortable in and think meets our needs… well, we do have a few complaints. Of course, we’re holding on because people don’t like change. But as the saying goes, change is a constant. We can hold on all we like, yet change will raise its inevitable head. We can fight it, but let’s just don’t fight it too hard. We’re really only fighting ourselves.

I’m not talking about persistence or remaining constant to a pursuit. Staying true to an ambition or a possibility…if only…may be a good thing—sometimes. I mean holding on after the fat lady has already sung. Let’s listen to the music, guys. The ref has thrown us out of the game.

 I knew of a spiritual teacher—E. J. Gold—who took his students to Las Vegas to gamble, simply to see how long they could stay in a game and when the table would kick them out. I like to think of many situations in that way, that something overseeing who stays and who goes decides. Now maybe we can do x, y, or z to not get spurned—and those were the keys that E. J.’s students were trying to find.

 They weren’t holding on—they were trying to find a point of reciprocal maintenance, what they might do to feed the mechanism of the game, the spirit of the game, the entity governing the game, to let them stay. But once the game took their winnings, and they were out, they were out. The game was over.

 Maybe being spit out by a gambling game isn’t so serious that we need to hang on with desperation, and maybe we think losing a job, or a husband divorcing us, is something we can’t face—but when the game is over, generally speaking, time marches on, and we must, too.

 If we don’t go with the flow, no matter how terrible events may seem, we mess ourselves up emotionally—maybe we bring an assault rifle to the job and start shooting folks we’re angry at. How well does that end? Or maybe we simply hold a grudge for the next 30 or 40 years. How well does that serve us?

 At the very least we’re missing out on what could come next that might be wonderful. Don’t let’s  turn away from the opening door.

 But why do we take on this way? A lack of trust in both ourselves and the universe. We think the universe isn’t going to be there for us, and that we can’t make our way any further without THIS SPECIFIC thing.

 Look at it this way for a minute. The thing or the person or people who are banishing us from some game we’ve enjoyed briefly (or for years) aren’t what sustain us.

 That which sustains us is what we should look to, the source of our lives.

 Much of the troubles in our personal worlds come from looking to hold on to the wrong thing, looking to hold on to a thing. And humans aren’t meant to hold on to anything because we’re in the midst of life and life flows on.

 Let’s flow on, guys. It might not be easy. Goodness knows getting older, past our prime isn’t easy at all, and yet, people do get older sometimes. Change is always in the air. We can’t hold on because it’s impossible. To try to hold on is a futile bid and waste of energy.

 Let’s look ahead. Let’s experience the now, try to come to terms with whatever has been lost. Let’s not hang on to what no longer is ours. A particular game has come to a finish. Let’s try the other table over there.

 Still peddling my books though. A Murder in Harlem—a collection of my Miriam from Ghana short stories. Five of these were published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.


3 thoughts on “Holding On

  1. Miki,
    This post really hit home with me because it’s the underlying theme in my practice. I understand intellectually that things are fluid and impermanent. But I don’t live my life that way. I hang on to things like you say, which of course hurts. Oh well, one day I’ll get it. I hope!

  2. Well, there’s holding on, and there’s holding on for dear life. Holding on to anything isn’t ideal, but insisting that nothing change is severely crippling. I was thinking of someone who went out on a limb to hold on and who mounted an aggressive holding-on campaign that completely rebounded on him, burying him under the reverberations of his efforts.

    You need to know what you’re letting go for. I had an intense experience in the middle of the night in which I had to let go, and all was resolved. Nothing on this earth, in this dimension, is really worth holding onto. And everything we’re holding onto is in this dimension, which is only a transit point for us.

  3. Pingback: Holding On | Joy V. Smith

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