Letting go means just what it says. It’s an invitation to cease clinging to anything − whether it be an idea, a thing, an event, a particular time, or view, or desire. It is a conscious decision to release with full acceptance into the stream of present moments as they are unfolding. To let go means to give up coercing, resisting, or struggling, in exchange for something more powerful and wholesome which comes out of allowing things to be as they are without getting caught up in your attraction to or rejection of them, in the intrinsic stickiness of wanting, of liking and disliking. It’s akin to letting your palm open to unhand something you have been holding on to.
But it’s not only the stickiness of our desires concerning outer events which catches us. Nor is it only a holding on with our hands. We hold on with our minds. We catch ourselves, get stuck ourselves, by holding, often desperately, to narrow views, to self-serving hopes and wishes. Letting go really refers to choosing to become transparent to the strong pull of our own likes and dislikes, and of the unawareness that draws us to cling to them. To be transparent requires that we allow fears and insecurities to play themselves out in the field of full awareness.
Letting go is only possible if we can bring awareness and acceptance to the nitty-gritty of just how stuck we can get, if we allow ourselves to recognize the lenses we slip so unconsciously between observer and observed that then filter and colour, bend and shape our view. …
Stillness, insight, and wisdom arise only when we can settle into being complete in this moment, without having to seek or hold on to or reject anything. … See for yourself whether letting go when a part of you really wants to hold on doesn’t bring a deeper satisfaction than clinging.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go There You Are