Some favorite books on love and letting go. What are yours?
“What would you do if you knew you only had a year to live?”
It is a question I have often asked myself when I’ve felt particularly adrift–or just overly caught up in the hyper distractibility of modern life.
I always find it clarifying. And, remarkably, the answers always come down to matters of love and letting go.
Letting go of the disappointments, resentments, fears—and especially, the fantasies about how I think life should be. Letting of the wish that someone or something would be different from the way he or she or it is. That I would be different from the way I am.
Love is always what’s left. Love is always the prize.
And the work, life’s work, I see in these moments, is letting go of the disappointments, fantasies and fears—which are the very things, the only things, that get in the way.
Here are three books I love that offer some inspiration on the topic:
Teachings on Love, by Thich Nhat Hanh
Radical Acceptance, by Tara Brach
The Wisdom of No Escape, by Pema Chödrön
And here’s one absolutely lovely conversation I heard recently between Buddhist teachers Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman on my favorite podcast: On Being with Krista Tippet.