• Stephanie Hammond

Letting go ...

One of the hardest concepts for me to grasp has been the concept of ‘letting go’. I’ve heard it said numerous times that the secret in life is not to attach to an outcome, to let go of what you want, and let it come to you.

Intellectually, that sounds doable. But in practice, it’s not been something I’ve been able to just make up my mind to do and it’s done. It’s not like changing a habit or learning a new skill. I know how to do those things. Just want to do it badly enough, work out a plan and apply myself. I’ve done that countless times, with a measure of success each time.

In the three years before my last child was born, I went to university. I’d left formal schooling behind at 15 and always yearned for that learning. I worked out what my course work load and content would be and I applied myself to the learning. The subject matter changed as I enjoyed different topics, but the method of setting and achieving the goal of getting my degree remained the same: Focus and hard work and organisation. The only way I accomplished my goal and manage a household of eight all while I was pregnant during the third year was to be this way. And that’s how I approached anything that I considered important and worthwhile in my life.

But over the years my personal relationships disintegrated. The focused energy I put into being the ‘ideal’ partner didn’t bear the same fruits as my formal education. As one relationship ended I evaluated what was good and what was not so good and slowly I built up a picture of an ‘ideal’ partnership. I was learning how to visualise and how to attract those relationships. They were not always those which I wanted so much as those that I needed. But that’s in hindsight. By the time my last attempt at marriage ended in disaster, I thought I was useless at this relationship thingy and decided to quit expecting a life partner.

Old habits die hard, so they say. I still dabbled here and there but nothing lasting eventuated. I travelled widely and made some beautiful heart connections. I eventually became satisfied with my partner-less life and found great satisfaction in my connections with friends and family.

Then a series of events led me to subscribe to an on-line dating service and there I met my soulmate. In hindsight, I see that I had achieved what everyone said to do: I let go. I’m still not sure what it is I let go of. The attachment that there was someone out there for me? The desire for a life companion? I’m not sure.

But what I didn’t let go of was a list of desirable qualities in a life mate. This time when I compiled my list there were three qualities that I wasn’t going to compromise on. He had to have these or I wasn’t interested. And to be honest, I didn’t believe he existed, or if he did, that I would find him, and especially not on a dating site.

What was my list? First, he had to have a kind heart. Next he had to have interests outside of me that he was passionate about. And finally, he had to love his friends and family and they had to be happy for him that he’d found me.

I truly thought this was a tall order. But the key to my finding him this time has become evident as I look back. I wasn’t attached to the outcome. I was putting it out there that this was what I wanted (or better) and nothing less. I wasn’t going to settle. There was no Plan B. Plan A only, thank you, and I’ll wait for that for as long as it takes. And if it doesn’t come, I’ll be content to live my life just as I am now, thank you very much.

That’s how you know you’ve let go. That’s what it means to be unattached to outcomes. Thinking about what you want is peaceful. It’s stress-less. It frees you to find joy in life even if you don’t have the thing you ask for. And it frees the Universe to move towards giving you what you’ve asked for, or better. And in my case, it is all I asked for - and more. Much, much more than I could ever have imagined. Truly awesome!

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