In Stephen Mitchell’s translation of the Tao te Ching, one passage reads “The Master leads by emptying people’s minds and filling their cores, by weakening their ambition and toughening their resolve. He helps people lose everything they know, everything they desire, and creates confusion in those who think that they know”.
Last night I watched an episode called “Hoarders” where there are people who cannot let go of their things to a point where they basically pack themselves like sardines in piles of (mostly) trash that they desperately do not want to let go of. I have to say that watching this show inspired me to organize my closets, get rid of everything broken, or not quite right. At any rate, during this show, many of the people cling desperately to things that have very little to no value, things that are hurting them and those they love.
I think most people have some things they hold onto, things that do not serve them anymore, but because of guilt, obligation, fear or ambivalence, have not made the decision to let those things go. And so, closets begin to fill and spill over, piles begin to grow, and the cobwebs begin to form. It begins to take a lot longer to straighten up all those things, to find things, to have the space to really appreciate what you have.
Just like we sometimes tend to cling to things we no longer need, we also tend to hold onto beliefs that do not serve us anymore. Maybe we had an unfortunate love affair and decided that we will never love again. Maybe we were treated unkindly and came to believe we must be no good. Maybe we think we need to make millions of dollars and have unsurpassed power in order to feel competent or valuable. Take a look around you, everyone you see has those kinds of beliefs, like stuff in storage we’ve been paying for for years but don’t bring us any value, mostly just pain.
This is what brought me to really appreciate hypnotherapy. It’s about letting go of the baggage, taking a good look at those beliefs we carry that are doing little but dragging us down. It’s about clearing out the clutter and making room for what you want.
If you want the new, you must be willing to let go of the old. This can apply to many aspects of life, from things, to relationships, to the beliefs that you carry.
Let go, and you make room for bigger and better.
And I think in a way, this is what Lao Tzu was saying, that the master knows that it is more important to teach others to let go rather than collect. How can one grow after all, if one does not give oneself the space to?