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LETTING IT GO                  

Sometimes it’s really hard to let go of the things that bother us.  Letting go is one of the most difficult things we will ever do.  Ask the person who is addicted to booze or pills.  If such a person is being honest he or she will tell you that letting go of their addiction requires super human strength.  But you need not be an addict in order to struggle with letting go of something.  We all hold onto things that stifle us and sometimes even suffocate us.  I am talking about the grudges and resentments we carry inside of us.  I’m talking about the anger that constantly lives right below the surface.  I’m talking about the disappointments and the failures that haunt us.  I’m talking about the pain that pierces our souls.              

The high holidays are all about the liberating power of letting go.  Sometimes you just need to let it go.  So here is my favorite letting go story.              

In Asia there is a clever way of trapping monkeys.  You take a coconut and make a tiny hole on one end of the coconut and scoop everything out of it.  Then you fill the coconut with candy.  You then tie the coconut to a pole in the ground.  The monkey comes along and smells the candy inside the coconut and sticks his hand in the coconut to grab a fist full of candy.  The hole on the top of the coconut is just wide enough for the monkey to put through his open hand.  But as soon as the monkey grabs onto a fistful of the candy, his hand becomes too wide to extract from the coconut.  So now the monkey’s hand is stuck in the coconut because the monkey insists on holding onto the candy.  Even as the monkey panics because he hears human beings approaching, he cannot and he will not let go of the candy.  In the end his stubbornness dooms him. All the monkey had to do in order to get free was to let go of the candy.  But the monkey couldn’t let it go.              

During this high holiday season remember not to be a monkey!  When it’s time to let something go, let it go.  But the sad fact is that sometimes we grab hold onto something and make a fist and then refuse to let it go.  And so we trap ourselves.  We become addicted to our resentments and fears and anger.  So during the high holidays work on figuring out what you are holding onto and then let it go.  You will feel years younger and lighter.              

So if you are walking around with a clenched fist because you are holding onto something that is unhealthy, be ready to let it go and then just do it.  Let it go!              

Shanah Tovah! May this New Year bring you health and joy and growth.