Let go of the unessential

In the past few months, my heart has dealt with much discomfort and it still continues on today. A combination of work, emotional stress, and pressure gives me random moments of anger and anxiety. It’s not crazy in the sense that I lose control of myself, but it can become so overbearing that I need a moment to take multiple deep breaths to allow the pain to slowly subside.

I spent a lot of time trying to counter the discomfort by doing fun things I enjoy. Running, weight training, reading, food adventures, real estate…that’s just to name a few. It helps, but only for a short while. Then I recalled this quote from Bruce Lee:

“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”

It became clear that I was going about this the wrong way. I need to think and confront this problem, but not let myself become obsessed. I need to find a way to let go of the problem – having good times just to distract me from the problem isn’t the true solution.

A simple analogy is spoiled milk. When milk is spoiled, anyone with common sense will throw it out. You can add sugar, food coloring, and whatever else you want to mask the smelly odor and bad taste, but it doesn’t change that underneath it all bad milk exists, no matter how hard we try to counter it with good stuff. Spoiled milk is simply bad, so it only makes sense to throw it out.

But tossing away pain in our heart is not as easy as throwing away spoiled milk. We have to learn to let go. The anger only exists because I choose to let it bother me.


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