Until recently, I had never consciously thought about the difference between cleansing and letting go. Since I am concerned about metaphysical matters, it is not obvious if what we cleanse could be what we release or let go. Besides, many New Age or self-help readings have confused me for years by giving me wrong impressions that our daily meditation, going to the seaside or smudging could release our old wounds or attachments. By writing the topic letting go/ releasing, I realised that they are distinct. Even if we try hard to cleanse or purify ourselves with sage smudging or hitting oneself under the waterfall, it does not mean that we are releasing or letting go of our attachments. We are simply cleansing unwanted energies of our outer layers.
To me, our old wounds or attachments are like something carefully stored in a closet or a locked safebox. They are cautiously and sensitively hidden somewhere in our cluttered inner home. Cleansing of unwanted energies is the first step to declutter the whole inner world but not necessarily releasing our old wounds. Before tackling on closets or drawers, we need to clear the floor to reach them. If the entrance of our inner home is swamped with stuff, we cannot even enter it. That is why we need to do cleansing first.
Popular rituals like meditations, candle lighting, sea bathing, white sage smudging, being in nature, etc. may be for us to open our mental and emotional spaces and to see how much they are cluttered and to sweep the floor or to ditch junks at the entrance. In Japan, Buddhist monks go through practices being under waterfalls. It is an optimal and hard way to cleanse and purify our mind and body. The cold natural water from the waterfalls is not only refreshing but also the impact of the water crashing to the body gives direct activation to the physicality. Thus, cleansing automatically happens. In Nordic countries, people jump into the cold ocean or lake most likely give the same effect! ?
What we really need to release or let go is often not obvious. They are often hidden or unidentified among other inner clutters. For some, it may require some conscious work.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash