I’ll admit, one of my personal faults is trying to control things in my life. I should know better. I’m a creature of habit, of routine. I like things to be just so. This isn’t to say that I’m inflexible. I’m good with change in that I accept it’s inevitable. Life without change would be incredibly boring. But I do struggle with it and I’m learning to let go.
Recently, I had to say goodbye to one of my dogs. It was unexpected and emotional, but it was for the best. A quality of life decision. It’s also a big change in the house. My partner and I have to adjust to the empty spaces left behind. Our other dog, a fifteen year old mutt, is also having to adjust to her companion being gone. It’s tough on all of us.
But I’m using this time to learn to let go.
One of the things I’ve learned from Buddhism is that a cause of suffering is not letting go, not accepting change. In a way, it’s selfishness. I want things to continue as they are, and when they don’t, then I suffer from it. In this case, I had to make a difficult decision that resulted in a major change in my life. However, instead of fighting it, I accepted it. I accepted the responsibility. I accepted the fact that it was going to be emotional, painful. I accepted that I had to say goodbye to a beloved pet who had been a part of my life for over a decade.
By accepting the reality of this situation, I have been able to let go of a lot of the sadness. Sure, I still see her shadow in the usual places around the house and yard. I still hear echoes of her excitement when the garbage men stop by each week, or a deliver driver drops a package on the front step. I have wonderful memories of the times she made me smile rolling on a sunny spot of grass or sticking her head out the car window and seeing her cheeks flap in the wind.
This is something I’m working on adapting to other parts of my life. Going forward, I am going to work on being better at letting go of things, the unpleasantness, and sadness, the anxieties, and the self-doubt. I think it’s a healthier way to live.