What does it Mean – ‘Holding Onto’?

I love how the English language has words and ways of expressing things that bring so much precision and simplicity in communication.

I especially remember when the expression “hold onto” came to my awareness and opened up a new understanding of the way I was living in my body. I was superficially aware of words and experiences of ‘tension’ and ‘stress’, but I wasn’t fully aware of the fact that we can “hold onto” things both in our body and in our mind, which may lead to states of stress and illness.

This revolution came about when I started participating in Universal Medicine events and began to hear this expression and its close friends, “hardening”, “becoming hard”, “bracing” and “holding tight”.

Since 2008, I´ve been unfolding and deepening my understanding of all these terms and the extent to which I am governed by them. Thanks to many different tools presented during Universal Medicine events, and through experiencing some Esoteric Healing Therapies and modalities, I got to feel and accept that holding onto had been a very normal, consistent and debilitating way of living in my body. I had lived with a very tangible feeling of hardness and tension, with an unbearable anxiousness underneath, that I hadn´t truly acknowledged. I remember bringing this holding onto to my sleep, with the bracing of my arms and tightening of my jaw.

I traced it all back to an event that was outstanding in my personal history of holding tight. When I was two years old, I went with my family on a trip by boat to some islands in the Caribbean. There were nine people altogether, the boat was small and we hadn’t brought life vests or oars with us. On our way back to the continent´s coast we ran out of petrol, were nearly shipwrecked, yet managed to arrive on a desert island later in the evening and spent the night there. It might sound like an adventure, but it was actually pretty scary. I especially remember how cold the night was and the out of control feelings of desperation and despair from my parents and adults involved. Today I still have vivid feelings of the bracing and holding onto the boat, each other and to life by everybody, including me. This experience, at such a young age, marked me deeply and left a trauma in my body that I have been carrying and that has been influencing many of my responses and reactions to situations throughout my life.

This was just a one-off event that represents the beginning of a life of control, feeling unsafe and defenceless, having needy attachments to people and things, and holding tight in order to defend and protect against threats and unknown dangers, people and situations.

The mechanism of holding onto can be easily felt in our bodies in the form of pain, stiffness of muscles and body parts, tension, illness, shallow breath, weakened body systems, anxiety and so on. It not only has a visible impact on the way we live and move in our human bodies, but also is discernible in many of our behaviours and ways of being.

For instance, when we feel threatened in any way, shape or form, we react by holding onto something, whether that be a relationship, a job, a position, a role, a house, a habit, a place, a group of people, a certain food, a drug, negativity, isolation, a wish, a belief, an idea or a project. It is like an automatic reaction in our attempt to feel safe, protected, and comfortable, and to have control over the outcomes and investments of the situation in which we find ourselves.

When something bothers us or when we feel uncomfortable in a situation, encounter or conversation, we tend to close off, hold our chest up, breath more shallowly, hold tight and harden in our body so as not to go there, nor feel and deal with whatever issue or truth is surfacing.

When we fall into self-doubt, feel rejected or have trouble in relationships, we tend to hold stuff, criticism and even little resentments against others. If we get obsessed with a plan, goal or aim, we hold onto an image, expectation, method or strategy. We become fixated and easily lose perspective.

We could extend the list, but what is interesting is to see the variety of things we can hold onto, ranging from muscles, limbs, ideas, beliefs, patterns of behaviour, places, wishes, objects, people, `buts,´ issues against ourselves and others, and so on.

It feels as if all of human life is about `holding onto´ something so we can keep our existence valid through productions, creations, designs, dramas and struggles. All of this is lived through our bodies, which at some point become ill and die. No matter how tenacious our attempt to hold onto life is, matter gets transformed because in the end, matter is energy and follows energetic laws.

Is it not then an illusion to pretend we can hold onto things, have control over outcomes and keep living comfortably aloof from the astonishing order and mystery of the universe?

What sort of energy or what quality of energy are we using to keep our existence going? Could it be that by `holding onto´ we are not controlling anything?

When we go into control or try to hold onto something, we make our bodies feel dense and heavy, our particles move more slowly and their vibration declines.

Could it be that we find assurance and comfort in this density, compression and seemingly rock-solidness, because at the root of our human psyche we feel deeply insecure and empty? Could it be that what we are “holding onto” is “holding onto denseness”?

This concept of holding onto denseness may seem challenging to our everyday concrete experience, but what if such reflections have the potential to awaken us to a greater and deeper understanding of why we are currently living on this planet and choosing to be much less than who we truly are?

Thanks to the Teachings of the Ageless Wisdom and amazing presentations given by Serge Benhayon in the Living Sutras of the Hierarchy, I have been awakened to another reality that can be actually lived in this plane of life, that is completely applicable to our reality and THAT is truly evolutionary.

By Luz Helena Hincapie, Bogotá, Colombia

Further reading:
Holding onto denseness
Harden Up Wuss, What Are You Made Of! Real Men & Putting On The Tough Act
Letting Go of An Old Way Of Protecting Myself
Goodbye Hardness – Hello Spaciousness

837 thoughts on “What does it Mean – ‘Holding Onto’?

  1. Great to reflect just how much I hold onto not just objects (ongoing project to de-clutter my house) but also behaviours and attitudes that do not support me. So often in the past I have felt powerless to change behaviours etc but what I am learning is that by opening up to others there is lots of support to challenge all areas where I am currently holding on and explore letting go and freeing myself to be me, unencumbered by past baggage physical and otherwise.

  2. I hadn’t really realised it before but holding back and holding onto things both creates tension and anxiety in our bodies. That cannot be healthy for us.

  3. Luz this is such a great honest question to ask of ourselves.
    “Could it be that we find assurance and comfort in this density, compression and seemingly rock-solidness, because at the root of our human psyche we feel deeply insecure and empty? Could it be that what we are “holding onto” is “holding onto denseness”?
    This feels true to me as from my own experience I can agree with you when you say
    “at the root of our human psyche we feel deeply insecure and empty? ”
    This is what I have found, this emptiness and so I wonder it is possible that we seek to fill the emptiness with all the things that we have filled our lives with as a distraction from the pain of the emptiness that we all feel and yet numb ourselves so not to feel what we cannot stop feeling – our emptiness.

  4. When we let go of ‘stuff’ that we have been holding onto we feel a lightness and a weight is lifted off us.

  5. I have been observing in relationships lately a kind of tenacious happening, and this wonderful blog which takes us back to that situation you found yourself in Luz Helena at the age of 2, nearly shipwrecked and shows how the first trauma has imbued the person with that stance. This helps me to deepen my understanding of what the tenaciousness of holding on is about when someone is communicating to me in that way.

  6. ‘Holding on’ to anything means we are identifying ourselves with the past and refusing to let go of that which identifies us whether it be a hurt or an idea of ourself or another. When we understand this we then know that it is for us to look at what we are getting out of holding this in our body and see the futility of this if we are indeed wanting to present as a fresh page every day rather than a reactionary bundled of held onto hurts; expectations of ourself and others; and the burden of our flavour of particular ideals and beliefs.

  7. It makes sense Luz that we hold onto things in our emptiness, because the more I feel my Soul and live in the fullness of that connection the easier it is to let go.

  8. When we try to grab and hold onto anything it is not that we own it, but rather that we are owned by it! We might like to think that we are in control, but really it’s the other way around and we are now at the mercy of said object or outcome and entirely its puppet.

  9. “Could it be that we find assurance and comfort in this density, compression and seemingly rock-solidness, because at the root of our human psyche we feel deeply insecure and empty?” I think you are onto something here Luz. As a human race we deeply miss our connection to ourselves, to each other, to the divine natural world around us. We don’t nurture this, which leaves us feeling deeply insecure and empty as you say. When leaves us open to clinging and holding onto whatever we can. But nothing can hold us like the steady foundation of knowing who you are and what you are here to do. And The Way of the Livingness is showing us the way how to do that. http://www.unimedliving.com/serge-benhayon/uni-med/experiencing-universal-medicine/the-way-of-the-livingness-presentation.html

  10. “When we go into control or try to hold onto something, we make our bodies feel dense and heavy, our particles move more slowly and their vibration declines.” By building a relationship with the communication that comes from our body this sentence becomes a known science.

  11. We all get the opportunity to deepen this relationship with our bodies so we can feel the density that is chosen on a moment by moment basis when we have pictures of expectations about what is ‘to come’.

  12. I have been noticing how we hold onto old hurts and behaviours that protect that hurt, like a life raft that we cling to. In our fear we believe that this is the only safety we know. Yet deep down we know that the greatest feeling of being safe, loved and held is when we let go of hurts and come back to the warm embrace we come from.

  13. The list of things we hold onto is immense and includes just about everything and anything.. when you look at it, nearly everyone is holding onto something, in some way, whether that be family, a job, a relationship.. what are we all so afraid of feeling, without these things that we think we need to anchor us and make us feel safe? Could it be that we’ve forgotten how to trust that inner knowingness of who we are, and so have made our lives all about defining ourselves through and by what we have, own and hold onto? What would life feel like, if we committed 100% to whatever was there to be done, but without any attachment to the outcome?

  14. I’m finding more and more that I hold on to what seems to be a library full of pictures, ideals and beliefs that I have taken on with no discernment at all. I am constantly building pictures of how and what life should look like or be like and then wonder why I’m disappointed because life is not matching up to the picture I am holding on to. This is a very artfully and cunning way that a part of me is using to try and get me to give up and withdraw from life again.

    1. When I open the boot of my metaphorical car, it is still full of pictures and ideals that I’m carrying around with me. But, the step forward is that I do now open the boot and there is a willingness to look at these which is a first step to being able to put them down.

  15. I like the point you make that everything is energy and that it has its own movement and so when we hold onto things they don’t stay stationary, there is a constant movement to either come up and be healed or to be buried further into the body but the will cause illness in time and thus will also come up to be healed.

  16. I remember someone telling a group of us about a book that had been written by people who were terminally ill and one of their biggest regrets seems to be that they held onto hurts and this led to tensions with family, friends and work colleagues. And that if they could have their lives over again they would not be so controlling and try to be more understanding how silly it is to bear grudges. May be we should all read this book as it may bring us to our senses. Why does it take a terminal illness for us to stop and take a look at our reactions to life?

  17. Anything no matter how great it is that we hold onto holds us back because energy moves on and so what is next is even grander than what was before as the Universe is constantly expanding. So trying to hang onto the past hinders and ultimately stops what is ahead of us. We can appreciate what we have, definitely, but making it the be all and end all means, at least it has for me, a compromise and a holding back being comfortable with what I have without allowing it to unfold and expand as it is naturally being called to do.

  18. To be transparent in our body which means being open in our body, connected with everything, letting everything passing through is where we feel the light we are

  19. Thank you Luz, every time I read this I find I experience another healing and expand my awareness of how holding onto things plays out in my life. I can feel for me how easily it can be to continually hold onto things, I might let them go and then another thing comes in to hold onto – and around it all goes. Making my way to a more consistent connection to myself in daily life means then that my essence starts to take up the space of what I would normally fill with what I hold onto.

  20. Holding onto is a pattern of movement that only feeds a familiar way of doing life. It is a constant re-creation of familiarity that makes us feel ‘safe’ because we are in a chartered territory.

  21. What I am understanding more and more about tension and or denseness is the very fact that life is never just a straight line and when we come to an event or situation in which we feel dense and or tension it is not only an opportunity to understand our behaviours but to grow and surrender to the what is and to let go of the what is not in our bodies. Without these tensions we would not have the chance to deepen our relationship with self and others and to connect in a way that aids our development.

  22. “I got to feel and accept that holding onto had been a very normal, consistent and debilitating way of living in my body”. Until Universal Medicine and especially doing Esoteric Yoga sessions, I had not realised the level of bracing and tension I felt in my body. I think most people can relate to the feeling of letting go you get when you have a massage or even sit in nature but we don’t take the next step to question why we are holding that tension in the first place or if there is a way to live that doesn’t create this holding.

  23. The only thing that we need to grab with both hands is the opportunity life constantly gives us to evolve, everything else we hold onto holds us back – what’s the point in that?

  24. Something I have found is when I am ‘holding onto’ something, I am not able to step back to view the whole situation or circumstance and whatever I am holding onto is all I can see. In that the issue becomes bigger than anything including bigger than me.

  25. Holding onto the pictures and beliefs of how a woman should be in the world, prevents me from living the depth of sacredness I naturally hold as a woman.

  26. ‘Could it be that what we are “holding onto” is “holding onto denseness”?’ Yes and yes and yes, and to read this right now as I’m holding onto some old habits and foods is deeply supportive. And there is an order and magic to the Universe which we are a part of, and in fact our job is to live in a way that allow us to align to that order and in doing so we evolve to be all of who we are, not a small, tightly controlled thing.

  27. Sometimes things rise up again that I thought I had let go of at the time, and I realise that I am still holding a hurt around that. This is a great opportunity for self-responsibility and to deeply surrender and let go, because when I live from my hurts it feels like I am holding the world to ransom.

  28. There is so much we hold onto, no wonder we end up feeling exhausted, ‘When something bothers us or when we feel uncomfortable in a situation, encounter or conversation, we tend to close off, hold our chest up, breath more shallowly, hold tight and harden in our body so as not to go there, nor feel and deal with whatever issue or truth is surfacing.’

    1. That’s very true Lorraine. Rather than allowing life to unfold, we hang on in the hope that nothing changes thereby resulting in high levels of exhaustion because of the tension we are ‘holding onto’ in our bodies. I can see too why we would need, as a result, the amounts of sugar and caffeine to keep out bodies going so we don’t feel the levels of exhaustion we are living with.

  29. Although this blog describes an extreme event, our bodies are almost always ‘holding’ and in the ‘brace position’, expecting something to come at us that will threaten our survival. It is quite liberating to recognise when you feel unsafe and what that feels like. We can then work with the tension and whatever beliefs or hurts are causing us to feel unsafe in the world.

  30. It is amazing to be aware of the things we hold onto, and how these behaviours, ways of being, or issues, are not loving or evolving and yet they can still be in our lives, ‘When we go into control or try to hold onto something, we make our bodies feel dense and heavy, our particles move more slowly and their vibration declines.’ I am letting go of old patterns, beliefs, and ways of living that stop me being my true self.

  31. It is exactly that holding onto that gives us existence as an individual and equally gives existence to our issues and woes. I always notice when I have an issue I have to keep on thinking about it, if I stand up and do something else the issue is most often far gone and naturally let go of. We have to then do effort to ‘think’ the issue back and move in a way to feel that heaviness again. These issues give us an identity, something that defines us, without issues when we are allowing ourselves to let go, we would all be the same.

  32. I continue to be amazed at what I have held onto, not just in this life but in past lives that then have had an impact on all the subsequent lives I have lived as I did not deal with the issues at the time. When we pass over with undealt with issues we carry them with us to the next life to deal with, or in my case not. I buried the hurt and this lead to many lives of not living life to my full potential. This insight that I have gained about the way we live has come about by attending workshops and presentations by Serge Benhayon. He has a way of presenting that leaves me in no doubt that as a whole, humanity lives a lesser life than the grandness we all are. This makes sense to me because many people I talk to say they lead dull and boring lives made up of working just to make ends meet but know this isn’t the way they would want to live if given the chance to change.

  33. Today I can feel a tension in my body, thoughts of “I can’t do/say this or that” physical pain and anxiety this creates feels huge until I ask myself “what’s underneath?” Because within my body, from my essence is something that wants to come out, connecting to this helps the body let go.

  34. I am learning more and more how ‘holding onto things’ be it patterns, behaviours, beliefs, ideals, expectations is basically just staying in a really stagnant yucky place and I can feel this in my body. When we start to let go of these be in the flow and keep moving it starts to shift but from living lifetimes in this momentum it feels like it is a constant clearing and takes a while until it is truly clear from the body.

  35. I often hear people say that they are tired but not sure why as they got a ‘good sleep last night’ or ‘went to bed early’. Reading this today and also being a student of the Ageless Wisdom, I am becoming aware of how much else can effect (and drains) our bodies. The quality in energy in which we live our live, what we hold onto, the way we move can either support us or drain us.

  36. I have been an expert at holding onto things, until now where i have said enough is enough, but it is still tough for me to completely let go and surrender, even with support. I am taking one step at a time…

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