The Art of Loosening Your Grip

May 23, 2023by Liz Uimbia0

During a conversation with my mother about the concept of letting go, we reached a shared understanding that the ease of letting go is closely tied to the way we hold or grip something. We both agreed that in life, it is crucial to recognise that our grip on different things varies significantly. Whether it’s a pen, a flower, a child, or a glass of water, each object requires a unique approach to holding. The key lesson we derived from our discussion is the importance of learning to loosen our grip, allowing things to flow naturally and find their own course.

In the course of our everyday lives, we encounter an array of objects that we must hold or grip. From the delicate way we cradle a newborn baby to the firm grip we exert on a pen to sign an important document, our interactions with the world around us often come down to a matter of touch.

Consider how a flower is held, gently pinched between fingers to avoid damaging the delicate petals. The same rules don’t apply when we take a pen into our hand. A pen needs a certain level of firmness to be controlled effectively for writing, not so tight as to break it, but not so loose that it slips away. Or when we hold a child, a combination of strength and tenderness is needed, conveying protection without making them feel confined. And, think about how we grip a glass of water – secure, yet relaxed.

Each situation requires a different level of force, a different type of engagement. But what does this tell us about how we navigate the broader strokes of life? It serves as a metaphor that subtly encourages us to understand that our grip on life and our relationships needs to vary too. And, most importantly, there are moments when we must learn to loosen our grip.

Just as a tight grip can crush a flower or break a glass, clinging too tightly to anything in life can cause harm, be it relationships, careers, or personal expectations. A firm grip often signifies control, but there’s an inherent risk in maintaining such rigidity: we can become so afraid of losing what we hold that we end up suffocating it, stifling its natural flow and potential for growth.

Many of us tend to grip our expectations firmly, holding them so tightly that we often create unnecessary pressure on ourselves. We sometimes forget that not everything is within our control, and in our quest to achieve what we want, we may lose sight of what is truly important.

The same applies to relationships. When we grip too tightly, we can restrict the other person’s freedom, often out of fear of loss or change. In doing so, we risk alienating those we care about, suffocating the very relationship we’re trying to preserve. Instead, a healthy relationship requires space to grow and evolve. It needs a gentle grip that respects and appreciates the individuality of the other person.

Learning to loosen our grip does not mean letting go completely; it means finding balance. It is understanding when to hold firm and when to be gentle, when to step in, and when to step back. It is about creating space for change, growth, and spontaneity. When we allow life to flow naturally, we create room for new possibilities and experiences.

Life, like the objects we hold, requires a varied approach. It’s about learning the strength of our grip and adjusting it as necessary. And remember, it’s in the nature of life to evolve, so sometimes, all we need to do is to hold on loosely, enjoy the ride, and let life unfold in its beautiful, unpredictable way.

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