Learning to ride a bicycle is the most fitting example of letting go, in order to conquer a goal.
In essence, it feels like a piece of metal with pedals and two wheels shouldn’t practically make any sense for being able to function as a transportation tool; without the training wheels, one even doubts as to how a bicycle will stay upright when in function.
The first time the training wheels come off, as you’re told “Trust it, I’ll be holding you so as to make sure you don’t fall” — you gave up control.
Only to realise in a matter of seconds, that there’s really no one holding you except for yourself as you learn to master the tool you once felt was uncomfortable and impossible to manoeuvre.
You gain faith in your abilities, enjoying the euphoria of feeling the cool breeze as your body intuitively binds itself to the mechanical tool — you learn that it was in giving up control, that you truly mastered the goal you felt was once impossible.
We grow older, and the urge to control undeniably takes up a larger part of our mental space than we’d hoped for. No matter, how much we try to relinquish the effect of the “need” to control the outcome; we almost always fall victim to doing so.
Unable to come to terms with the reality, that it’s rarely that we can alter the outcome; it’s only the reaction that we can control.
Losing a loved one, someone you deeply cared for is a gruelling reminder of just how the “need” to control has caused us the deepest of pain. As I hope you never have to experience such a situation, know that it may one day arise.
A long lost friend reminded me, “Losing a child is the worst feeling a human-being can experience, after it — nothing hurts worse than the pain endured of losing a child. One becomes indifferent, almost care free, like life is a suicide mission. All hope seems lost”.
I’ve never been a parent, and couldn’t much empathise with the feeling — but I have experienced loss, and could relate to the feeling of how much I deeply relied on the need to control the outcome.
As one sits next to a hospital bed, watching a body decay to the structure beneath visible to its very skin, witnessing a skeleton of a human in a vegetable state far different from the person that I once recognised, one whom I now wish I had valued much earlier and far-more in life.
The regret sets in and the need to control takes over, the selfishness of not being able to do enough, I lash out at the doctors every chance I get.
Only to be told, “what is going to happen will happen, there’s nothing more we can do to change that”.
The failure to come to terms with that sentence is the very destruction of the inner-self, instead of savouring the final moments — I’ve wasted the most precious of seconds as they passed me by whilst I couldn’t help but pursue the urge towards wanting to change the imminent outcome.
In moments of adversity, I like to remind myself of such moments.
Of how I’ve been through far worse.
Of how “control” my was very undoing.
Of how life is unexpected.
Of how reactions matter.
Of how not every situation requires an action.
Of how only in letting go, could I have experienced the joy of learning to ride a bicycle.
Thank you for reading.