I’ve heard about real estate deals falling apart at the table but I’ve never experienced it, until recently. I was about to close on the sale of a rental property I own; one I’ve wanted to sell for many years. Finally, the timing was working out. Finally, I had a great buyer and we were within days of closing, or so I thought. I’ll spare you the details but suffice it to say, the deal fell apart within 48 hours of closing. I was devastated. In addition to not wanting the burden of a rental property, selling this house meant finally releasing a heavy negative part of my life. I purchased this home ten years ago, while I was in the middle of a divorce. I only lived there seven months and it was a sad seven months. This house was the only remaining piece of that time of my life.
As I watched the deal fall apart I was not only disappointed but I was angry. I wanted to be okay with it, to let it go, and believe there was another buyer right around the corner, but I couldn’t. I needed to get rid of this property. I was determined to find a way to make it work. I couldn’t find solace in any of the information I was receiving. I couldn’t even find solace at my pond, which, is my solace and sanctuary. No, I didn’t even want to go to the pond. I wanted to be angry and figure out how I could control a situation that was beyond my control.
Despite the fact that I write, coach, and teach about letting go and going with the flow of life, I could not find any of that inside me during this experience. I didn’t want to let go. It was too important. In fact, I was determined to not let it go until the Universe intervened… I picked up my iPhone to catch up on Facebook and bury myself in the negativity of the political campaign that was impossible to avoid on social media and, the first thing in my news feed was a quote by John Kabat-Zinn, “It’s not a matter of letting go – you would if you could. Instead of ‘let it go’, we should probably say, ‘let it be.’”
I rolled my eyes and thought, whatever.
And then my inner wisdom rose up: Wait. Can you just let this be what it is? It’s a situation that feels bad and is disappointing so just let it be that. Just let it be that without judging how you feel about it. Can’t you do that?
No, I retorted back to myself like a toddler having a tantrum. I can’t.
A few minutes passed, as I remained stuck on that quote in my news feed. I thought, what’s the alternative? To stew in my anger over a situation that is beyond my control? To think I could actually control it?
It was obvious that all that was doing was frustrating me. The situation was what it was. The deal fell apart. The house was still mine. There was no avoiding or changing that. Maybe I couldn’t let it go because it was important to me, but I needed to let it be. I needed to let it be exactly what it was because trying to do anything other than that created and perpetuated more suffering for me. So I did. I came out of my temper tantrum and let it be. I also let me be. I let myself be disappointed and bitch about it for a few days and then watched as the anger and disappointment began to dissipate.
That was last month and guess what? I still haven’t let it go, but I have let it be. What I discovered is when you do that you reach the place of acceptance. By letting it be I arrived at acceptance of what the situation currently is. I may not like it but at least I’ve accepted it.
When we can’t let something go, if we are able to let it be what it is, without judgment of it or ourselves, we eventually reach acceptance. From there we find a new form of peace. Maybe not the peace we originally wanted but peace, nonetheless. And that my friends, is something we all need a little more of.
So, if you’re feeling too attached, or something is so important that you can’t just let it go, I offer you the practice of letting it be. Give it a try…
This blog was originally posted on The Huffington Post on November 30, 2016.