Zia Hassan

Letting Vs Doing

It seems like every day as an adult, life becomes more real. All the things we feared as children are coming true: disease, death, broken relationships, and other things.

It seems like no one actually taught us what do when we grieve. Whether it’s losing a loved one or a childhood bed, no one taught us how to handle it when we need to say goodbye to something that has accumulated so much meaning in our lives.

Our teachers never taught us how to grieve because it wasn’t on the test. And our parents may have tried, but no one taught them how to grieve either.

It was a few years ago when I, on a whim, went to a class on grief. I don’t remember much from this class, except for one important thing.

“Processing grief,” the instructor said, “is something your brain does all on its own. It’s an amazing computer and it has all the instruction it needs. You don’t need to do anything at all.”

Most people try really hard to control a bad situation. Any form of control at all helps and makes us feel like we have agency, and that we’re not at the whim of the universe.

But if you’ve been playing the spiritual game long enough, you know that this is a misconception. We are entirely at the whim of the universe. We could choose to sit back and watch. And in times of joy, this is a lot easier to do, although even then we try to recreate joyful situations over and over, trying to find the thing we’re looking for until we realize that we already have the thing we’re looking for.

In times of sadness and grief, this is much harder to do.

“Let it flow,” the instructor of this class told us. “There is nothing to do. Just let.”

Let, which is one of the most beautiful words in the English language is the start of most math problems. Defining x ourselves is a recipe for disaster. It’s like trying to label the contents of a box that we can’t open.

If we allow or let variables take a shape, instead of trying to define them ourselves, it sure makes the math process much more fluid.