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Letting Go of Old Ideas

I saw watching this cartoon series with my little one of this mouse who dreams of being a ballerina. She moves into a new town and goes to a new dancing school. On her first day of class, she was thrilled as she was looking forward to perfect some new steps that she has been practicing, expecting her new class the same as it would be the previous. However, to her surprise the class was not as she had expected. Her teacher warmed up to jazz music (it is a ballet class) instead of her ex-teacher’s classical and she was introduced to moves which were different from the usual classical moves of ballet. She practically did not enjoy the class and did badly in class, hence labeled herself as a failure. Soon, her new teacher came forward to talk to her, advising her to let go of her old concept of ballet, and to remain open the new ideas.

I was thinking to myself then, how brilliant to instill these kinds of ideas to kids at such a tender age, and couldn’t agree more on how we are always hanging on to old ideas that limit us.

These old ideas served as new ideas once, and we liked those ideas and it is naturally to hang on to them, for that is nature. But considering that hanging on to that old idea is limiting our experiences of joy and creativity, which is our birth right, then would the old idea be serving us, or be restricting our experiences in the world?

Hanging on to ideas to the point that it is hard to let go has usually a stint of identification with it – the false self. And the false self is one who is most of the time not in acceptance with the way things are, as in the way it is. There are thoughts of, it should be, it should not be – always thriving for things to be different – a bigger house, a smaller bag, a sportier car, a big figure in the bank account. These thoughts leave nothing out. They (the thoughts) constantly find fault with reality, with the way things are.

Acceptance is one thing most misunderstood by most, too. They say, since it is like that, I have no choice but to accept it, and these kinds of acceptance usually is accompanied with a sense of resignation, giving up. A loved one said, “aiya… give me time la… I am already accepting what…” and until the right understanding comes in, the acceptance is experienced with a sense of anger, disappointment and grudge, either targeting at someone else or himself.

True acceptance is peace. While it does take time due to the un-ripening of insights, the process has to go on until the new idea is wholly accepted into the system. We can’t mimic acceptance or peace. It is there or it is not no matter how hard we try to put up a front.

At least, take the first step of letting go. As much as the letting go takes some time and can be difficult, but the initial intention of willingness is the first step anyone can take consciously, to allow the engine to start heading towards that direction.

Hang on to ideas that brings freedom, and not of those which consequences in a closed up world. There we’d find experiences that enrich us, without needing anything else to be different.

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