We often talk about the idea and need of “letting go” in our weekly #SpiritChat conversations. One of my favorite analogies in this context is given by Osho:
To light a fire, we need a spark. A matchstick struck on the side of a matchbox can provide that spark. And yet, once the fire is lit, we don’t keep the used matchstick around. Its work is done. The fire’s work begins. – Osho
Over time, our heart tends to become the repository of many such “used” matchsticks. We tend to hold on to them, refuse to release them, “just in case”. The result? Instead of sharing the light, the energy and the warmth that the fire has lit within us, we hold on to worry – what if the fire goes out and I don’t have any more matchsticks left? Maybe I’ll be able to use the burnt one after all.
What else may we hold on to in the heart, as we refuse to release?
We hold on to waiting and waffling, letting our mind convince us that we aren’t ready, aren’t good enough to share our light yet.
We while our time away watching and marveling at the fire, all the sparks emanating from it, hoping for it to change for the better, before we decide to share it. We hold on to procrastination.
We make deep dives into the mind’s spaces, wondering about the ‘why me’, ‘what now’, ‘what if’, ‘what about’ and ‘is it really my purpose to share’ questions. We hold on to the never-ending wondering.
We keep looking at the wishing well in wistfulness and get swamped by uncertainty about the purpose and possible impact of our sharing. We hold on to a lifetime of inactive wishes while we let the heart accumulate ever-new desires, as the fire dwindles.
All this worrying, waiting, waffling, whiling, why me-ing, what now-ing, what iff-ing, what about-ing, wishing and more. All the while, the fire has now gone out, the embers have gotten cold, and we are still holding on to the burnt matchstick in our hands.
And yet, there is a bright path, which can be walked by us, if we allow the heart to release the matchstick of our dogmas, our vanities, our hubris, our anger, our hate, and that is burning us out from within. It is akin to letting go of the weight of the hundreds of thousands of parts, systems, and engines that have served their purpose, and brought us this far on our journey. We are grateful for all them, including the sky-crane which has finally set our wheels down ever so gently on a new planet.
And yet, the sky-crane needs to be released too, or will be forever frozen in time and space, unable to move, to explore, to search for life. It’s time to release the final matchstick.
In releasing with gratitude, all that has brought us here, we create space for our heart’s new mission — whatever we may choose it to be. In the heart’s release, we become free to leverage our spirit, opportunity and curiosity. Freedom allows us to appreciate and acknowledge our journey, and engage our wheels to begin our work.
A new world beckons. Let’s release our light.
P.S. Join us for our weekly conversation with the #SpiritChat community on twitter – Sunday, February 21 at 9am ET / 730pm India. Bring your wheels, ready to explore! – @AjmaniK
In a final act of release, a skycrane lowers @NASA’s Rover, Perseverance, on to the Martian Surface on February 18 2021.