Shrinking It Through Expansion?
In a recent post I quoted Martha Beck about how if you care deeply about something, you’ve got to let it go.
That sounds contradictory to most, since it seems like the more we want something, the more we naturally cling to it.
But that approach doesn’t work according to the way the system’s set up, where clinging to something actually repels it.
Once we get “easy” with something, we make a nice space for it to come into our lives. The desperate desire for something is actually not helpful (rather, it’s an obstacle) in achieving it.
On the other side of that wisdom is also this piece of wisdom from Martha: if you want it to shrink, you’ve got to allow it to expand.
Which is related to the topic I wrote about for Catalyst Magazine recently about not needing things to be different than they are in order to change them.
Since I love how contradictory-sounding things often reveal the most valuable insights, I thought it would be fun to explore here.
If we want something to go away, we’ve got to allow it to get bigger.
It sounds sort of like how when you do a detox, symptoms actually get worse before they get better, right? The key is to and ride it out in order to reach that healthier place. But lots of folks experience those detox symptoms and conclude it isn’t working. When that’s not the case at all – the increased symptoms are actually a sign it is working.
It also reminds me the last part of Byron Katie’s Work where she asks us to say “I look forward to … ” whatever it was we really didn’t want to experience again.
As in: “I think it sucks when Russ gets upset about my foster animals” would turn into “I look forward to Russ getting upset about my foster animals.” (Of all the times I’ve witnessed someone doing the Work, it’s that turnaround that’s trickiest!)
So with the “allowing it to expand in order to shrink it” wisdom, that means if I want Russ to stop getting upset about foster animals, I need to allow him to be as upset as he wants to be. (Man, and if I could actually look forward to it, that’s a sign I’ve truly released the charge I had on it! woo hoo!)
This also sounds kind of like Abraham’s suggestion to make peace with it, doesn’t it? To release resistance in order to get unstuck and allow what we want to happen.
Which makes good sense because if I’m pushing against his upsetness, I just add power to it. So to allow him to be as upset as he wants to be is what allows it to subside.
Sounds good in theory, right?
Practicing it can be another deal.
But the times I have practiced it have proven it out. Surely it’s because the lack of resistance and the willingness to allow is what makes transformation possible.
I’m curious to hear your experiences, though …
- Have you ever found debt going away by allowing it to get bigger? (Cool for the U.S. Treasury if that’s the case.)
- Have you ever found love by making peace with more loneliness?
- Or lost weight after you stopped caring how much you were gaining? (I sure know my retriever gained weight after I restricted her food intake.)
This can be a tricky thought at first glance, huh? Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences on the topic!