Autumn is often a time when melancholy sets in. The beauty in nature peaks as the leaves turn, then slowly, or suddenly, the trees are stripped bare.
The energy in nature is moving downwards in autumn, and so this is an excellent time of year to let go. Letting go can look drastic. Maybe you clean out that closet, room, or drawer in one fell swoop. Or it can be gradual. Maybe you begin to assess the quality of relationships in your life and vow to communicate more authentically so that you can get your needs met.
Letting go means loss but it also opens us up to receive.
The two organ systems associated with autumn are the lung and the colon. A seemingly funny pair but both work with this dynamic of taking in (the lung) and letting go (the colon).
Generally, we are only able to receive to a certain capacity before we feel overwhelmed. Letting go allows us to create more space to take in the magic of life.
Letting go of negative assessments of others allows us to be more generous and kind, to be less stuck in the mire of judgment, which taints just as much as (and maybe even more so than) the person we are directing that judgment to.
One of my techniques for being less judgmental used to be making excuses or assessments, using what I perceived to be logic, to make up a STORY about why another person couldn’t quite meet my needs or act as I expected them to.
Because the root of the story was intended to “excuse” what I labeled as bad or inappropriate behavior, the story I created was never very nice. The basic plot went something like this: so and so doesn’t know any better because (blank).
Even when I filled in the blank with something that may have sounded potentially generous, (like: so and so didn’t have access to the same privileges or resources or support), the root of the story remained that so and so was in the wrong.
But the thing about stories is that we can get stuck in them. So more recently, I’ve been dropping the narrative and letting go of my story (and of the time, so much time!, spent constructing a semi-believable narrative; it’s super nice to have that time back!)
Now I just do my best to remember that I actually DO NOT KNOW WHY someone else acted as they did. Also, regardless, they are allowed to act however they want. Though, importantly, there are times to stand up to instances of abuse or neglect or misuse of power. Sometimes we let go after we confront.
But for the everyday little slights and the tiniest of outrages, I’ve learned that life is a lot more pleasant when you worry about your own domain rather than spending your time in judgment of others.
Maybe judgment isn’t your thing. Maybe it’s blame or victimization. Or a sense of self-loathing or unworthiness that holds you back from really giving and receiving love. Whatever it is that is holding you back, how can you find a little space to lay those feelings down?
Even the act of recognizing where you are stuck is an act of radical opportunity. It reveals, if even only for a moment, your possible willingness to shift.