Sometimes I think we love to hold on to our pain. Perhaps, it’s something that makes us comfortable. Or maybe it’s something that gets us attention. Or the pain is such a part of us, that we can’t imagine life without it. Holding on to it, while we should let go of heartache.
And when I speak of heartache, I don’t mean something caused by loss of romantic love. Many relationships cause us heartache.
Let Go of Heartache
I’ve done this. Allowing pain to stop me from being happy. Allowing it to hold me back from following my dreams. Wanting so badly to make the pain go away, and yet not really taking that one step of letting. Of cutting off from the person who causes us pain.
We want to make him love us. We run after her and it only increases the pain. We tie ourselves to these people or attempt to tie them to us. Desperate. Hopeless. A wife holds on to her abusive husband. A man holds on to a girlfriend who tells him she doesn’t love him. A daughter holds on to her mother who disrespects her, hoping someday to win her approval….. We’re not ready to move from the loss of a loved on. Not ready to dare to look for love again….
Just the other day, Carol Cassara shared a quote on Instagram that spoke to me very deeply.
“You’ve got to learn to leave the table
When love’s no longer being served”.”
― Nina Simone
Strong words. And true. But so difficult to follow. Our mind plays all sorts of tricks on us. We feed it with all sorts of stuff about loyalty and how noble we are to hold on. Perhaps, it’s not loyalty but comfort. It’s not love, but need.
Difficult questions. But the kind we need to ask ourselves from time to time.
Here’s one of Osho’s stories which talks about how our mind can sometimes hold us captive.
Junaid was going through the market-place of the town with his disciples. And it was his way to take any situation and use it. A man was dragging his cow by a rope, and Junaid said ’Wait’ to the man, and told his disciples ’Surround this man and the cow. I am going to teach you something.’
The man stopped – Junaid was a famous mystic – and he was also interested in what he was going to teach these disciples and how he was going to use him and the cow. And Junaid asked his disciples ’I ask you one thing: who is bound to whom? Is the cow bound to this man or is this man bound to this cow?’ Of course, the disciples said ’The cow is bound to the man. The man is the master, he is holding the rope, the cow has to follow him wherever he goes. He is the master and the cow is the slave.’
And Junaid said ’Now, see.’ He took out his scissors and cut the rope – and the cow escaped.
The man ran after the cow, and Junaid said ’Now look what is happening! Now you see who is the master; the cow is not interested at all in this man – in fact, she is escaping.’ And the man was very angry, he said ’What kind of experiment is this?’ But Junaid said to his disciples ’And this is the case with your mind.
All the nonsense that you are carrying inside is not interested in you. You are interested in it, you are keeping it together somehow – you are becoming mad in keeping it together somehow. But you are interested in it. The moment you lose interest, the moment you understand the futility of it, it will start disappearing; like the cow it will escape.’ – The Sun Rises in the Evening, by Osho
Let go of heartache. You can do it. I know, I did.
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Wow! What a powerful story to drive home the point that we ourselves are responsible for our pain and misery. It is said that the problem with gazing too frequently into the past pains, hurts and heartaches is that we may turn around to find the future has run out on us. Thanks for an inspiring read, Corinne.
You know,Corinne, I have this bad habit of holding on to heartaches. There have been times when people have misunderstood me, passed judgement and probably moved on but I kept questioning myself, felt the hurt when I probably shouldn’t have. But I have learnt and try not to be affected so much anymore. It’s still not easy because in some ways I’m a little sensitive but then I have learnt to deal it. Well, sort of. I guess it’s better to spend time holding on to people who know me and that’s what’s important. Chase happiness is what I try to do.
All the nonsense that you are carrying inside is not interested in you – So very true! letting go is something important to move on with our life. After all we have one life and holding on to earlier hurts and pains are not useful to anyone!
I love this story! So often we are so invested in the stories we tell ourselves that we don’t even realize just how much baggage we are carrying around. It’s a winding road to break free from our stories, but break free we must!
It is such a relief to let things go, isn’t it!? It is liberating in so many ways! Great post!
Wise words for a Monday afternoon. Sometimes easier said than done, but still important to attempt.
Love that quote and completely agree to your thoughts. I read a similar story in Elif Shafak’s Forty Rules of Love. We hold on to things we think are of importance. Actually the things aren’t at all.
A thought provoking post, Corinne!
I am proud to say that I let go off the heartache. I have known how holding onto the pain and hurt can become comforting in a sense that I began to feel the pain is me, myself. I and the pain are the same being. But it was not. To be freed of the heartache is liberating. It makes me more accepting and open-hearted. I liked the story by Osho. Many years ago I had learnt the same thing that the moment we cease to give importance to our mind’s incessant chatter, it will start to slow down sighting its futility. However, it took me years to practice the same.
the story did ring a bell.. most of our baggage is not ours to carry.. we just cling to it…
Osho’s example is very apt and holds true for most of us. We choose to keep the pain. We choose to hold the rope. Letting go doesn’t come easy for most of us.
Darla M Sands
Wise words. I know the residue of heartache is a great source of artistic inspiration but I don’t let it tie me down. It’s a sweet balance.
Tell me about it! This story was exactly right for me. There is a kind of compulsion in examining your hurts (even those that happened years ago) and feeling sorry for yourself. That’s what happens somedays when I’m down and it only makes me feel worse. The thing is HOW do we cut that rope? It needs a huge amount of willpower and mind control.
“”Or the pain is such a part of us, that we can’t imagine life without it.” How true, Corinne! I am guilty of holding on to heartaches and I wasn’t even aware of it until recently. There are times when I make peace with them all and think that I had let them go, but then something happens and triggers the left over feelings bringing me right back at the starting point. It’s awful. The story made sense to me. I sure hope that one of these days I would be able to let that cow escape for good. Powerful post, Corinne.
It’s a superb analogy. The human nature of holding on to things detrimental to us and about time to release the negative and pent up energy. A very empowering post. I shall link up my latest post.
I love Osho. I’ve read many of his books. What an interesting metaphor with the cow. I also loved the Nina Simone quote. Many of stay much longer at the table than we should, many times only getting crumbs.
Great story that you sharing Corinne. I never read any of the Osho’s works. It’s difficult to leave the table when love is not there, but once done, we will realize the happiness of being free. I have seen some women continuing their life with abusive husbands resisting the change and also some women who are feeling very happy and free after leaving the abusive relationship.
Great story and the quote is so telling. I know a few seemingly very successful men and women who are still the small child when it comes to their parent, or parents in trying to win their love. I have witnessed with a friend how her Mother criticizes everything she does or how she looks and yet my friend tries again and again!
Deeply meaningful read Corinne- loved the story and the quote – my mind just started to tick instantly after this to dump out stuff not required.
amazing post, that quote speaks volumes! #mg
Needed to see this today. Thank you.
Soulful read. I’m glad I stopped by Corinne. 🙂 Linking up for the first time with #MondayMusings. Excited as hell!