Sunday, March 16, 2008

Letting Go

He looked at the road ahead, negotiating the potholes while avoiding oncoming traffic at the same time. Our conversation drifted to the topic of trees.

He asked me, "Do you know why I love trees?" I said that I didn't. He said, "I was driving down the highway more than a year ago when my eyes were clouded with tears and I stopped on the side. Those were the days when I was really giving up on life. Nothing seemed to be really worth it. What I had lost seemed to be unbearable and unfair."

I had come to know he had lost a loved one. I knew what he was talking about. He continued, "Up ahead on the roadside, something caught my eye. It was a tree. A very huge one. Probably a couple of hundred years old. What I noticed was that one branch which was leaning dangerously onto the traffic was damaged. Now and then tall vehicles would brush against it and finally the branch had no life left in it. It was barren. But did the tree stop growing? Did it give up? No. Another large branch continued growing in another direction. It was green and it was blooming flowers. Birds sat on it and built nests. That day I realised I need to be like that tree. Willing to let go and to not stop growing. I am grateful to that tree for having taught me how to live..."

As he said this tears welled up in his eyes. His voice chocked. For a second he leaned closer to the steering as if to rest his head on it. Then he regained composure, held his head high, and drove on...

Some related quotes that I found here:

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.
-- Havelock Ellis

As I started to picture the trees in the storm, the answer began to dawn on me. The trees in the storm don't try to stand up straight and tall and erect. They allow themselves to bend and be blown with the wind. They understand the power of letting go. Those trees and those branches that try too hard to stand up strong and straight are the ones that break. Now is not the time for you to be strong, Julia, or you, too, will break.
-- Julia Butterfly Hill

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.
-- Oprah Winfrey

By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning.
-- Lao Tzu

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.
-- Raymond Lindquist

Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties,
-- Gail Sheehy

Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.
-- Author Unknown

Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past, and is therefore the means for correcting our misperceptions.
-- Gerald Jampolsky

Let go. Why do you cling to pain? There is nothing you can do about the wrongs of yesterday. It is not yours to judge. Why hold on to the very thing which keeps you from hope and love?
-- Leo Buscaglia

Letting go doesn’t mean giving up, but rather accepting that there are things that cannot be.
-- Anon

Loving someone is setting them free, letting them go.
-- Kate Winslet

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.
-- Thich Nhat Hanh

Some think it's holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it's letting go.
-- Sylvia Robinson

Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it's all over.
-- Gloria Naylor

Think about any attachments that are depleting your emotional reserves. Consider letting them go.
-- Oprah Winfrey

True love doesn't have a happy ending, because true love never ends. Letting go is one way of saying I love you.
-- Author Unknown

There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.
-- Author Unknown

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.
-- Joseph Campbell

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
-- Lao Tzu

You have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by. Yes, but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by.
-- James Matthew Barrie

You never leave someone behind, you take a part of them with you and leave a part of yourself behind.
-- Author Unknown