I’ve just finished David R Hawkins life changing book ‘Letting Go’. About 9 months ago I started a spiritual journey through literature. I began by reading ‘The Secret’ closely followed by Gabrielle Bernstien’s ‘The Universe Has Your Back’ and then meandering through a number of other self-help and spiritual texts before my sobriety upped the pace. With my brain functioning on full power, I’ve been reading about 3 books a week. A lot of the books that I have read in this genre champion the (previously alien to me) idea of ‘feeling your feelings’. I’ve been pretty emotionally repressed for most of my adult life so this concept was not an easy one to wrap my head (or maybe heart?) around. I’d been so disconnected from my emotions for so long and the concept of actually feeling was terrifying. In addition, some of the messages in ‘The Secret’ made me fearful of negative emotions just in case I attracted negative consequences. I have learned that I am not alone in this.
Though I was originally resistant, clearly something started to seep to my consciousness by osmosis and I started to relax into it; spending more time allowing myself to examine whatever emotions were arising while meditating, walking, working and so on. This level of engagement has been further facilitated by my sobriety - I’m so much more in touch with how I really feel now that I am neither emotionally numbed nor besieged by alcohol induced anxiety.
Reading ‘Letting Go’ has crystallised for me the freedom that allowing myself to fully feel my emotions grants me. I now have the ability to pause to name my emotions, connect with them and then I choose how I respond to or express them. When you see your response as a choice, you can choose love over fear. This new way of living/loving is captured within this paragraph;
“We could take the same protective actions out of love rather than out of fear. Can we not care for our bodies because we appreciate and value them, rather than out of fear of disease and dying? Can we not be of service to others in our life out of love, rather than out of fear of losing them? Can we not be polite and courteous to strangers because we care for our fellow human beings, rather than because we fear losing their good opinion of us? Can we not do a good job because we care about the quality of our performance and we care about our fellow workers? Can we not perform our job well because we care about the recipients of our services, rather than just the fear of losing our jobs or pursuing our own ambition? Can we not accomplish more by cooperation, rather than by fearful competition? Can we not drive carefully because we have a high regard for ourselves and care for our welfare and those who love us, rather than because we fear an accident? On a spiritual level, isn’t it more effective if, out of compassion and identification with our fellow human beings, we care for them, rather than trying to love them out of fear of God’s punishment if we don’t?”
― David R. Hawkins, Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender
How good does that sound? And how empowering is it to realise that how we react to circumstances is our choice? We can choose to see the good or bad in any situation. We can choose whether to approach life’s challenges from a fearful or loving perspective. We can spend our whole lives searching for happiness but what ‘Letting Go’ shows us is that what we seek is already within us. By moving away from fear we can live a bigger life and that is what I intend to do.