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

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

  1. The part about feeling threatened stood out to me today. As I currently understand, my Soul doesn’t feel threatened, my spirit, however, does experience feeling threatened and wanting security.

  2. Everything you have shared here Luz is so supportive so that we can hold ourselves with greater understanding. So many behaviours can come from our childhood when we felt scared or threatened and didn’t know how to deal with something traumatic, and that trauma and our reaction to the situation is still being carried within us. It’s given me a new perspective on something that is repeating in my life, thank you.

  3. The easiest way to see if you ‘hold onto’ things… do you have a junk drawer in your house or many? And, when you decide to clean it out, you put it in a box and store it elsewhere so that you can start again? Is this a reflection for what we hold in our body?

  4. Holding on to things is a sure way to have the reality we expect and think we deserve. If we don’t let things go how will we ever know that there is more to life.

  5. Unfortunately life being what it is in its sometimes harsh reality makes us feel insecure and so we seek some form of control or security naturally to counter this but does this really work? And what is the real effect that this control and the tension that goes with it have on our bodies and our health?

  6. Holding onto individuality is what is and has long been our problem. We are not individual, this is just an illusion. We are indeed all one and everything is telling us so, but we don’t want to listen.

  7. ‘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.’ Beautifully said Luz, to learn to let go of the control we allow space for something more… greater love and awareness.

  8. A great example how the body can continuously relive trauma from the past, even layers of trauma, i.e. we can become aware of and release one trauma and later realise that there is a further trauma underneath and go through a shift each time a trauma is released.

  9. It is not broadly appreciated throughout society that when we have an experience that we feel traumatised by an even that it stays within our bodies, until we clear that trauma. This has huge effects on our wellbeing, but unless we present with something like PTSD we can think that what we feel is ‘normal’. We have lost our baseline. The baseline of how our body feels without tension, holding on, protection. We have forgotten what it feels like to be truly open.

  10. Last days I feel I am holding onto something, a sadness I cannot define but that tries to rule over me. Part of it is the surrender I am asked to go in and resist. Actually being aware and nominate it helps to stop this holding onto which causes holding back in every area of my life.

  11. The more I let go, the more I see clearly how tightly I have gripped onto things – people, projects, ideas about how I think things, or I, ‘should be’- but for what? As we learn to connect more deeply to our souls, and the essence of who we are, we have less need for things to be a certain way to make us feel secure and protected in the world.

  12. Holding on to anything literally holds us back, the more we let go the freer our body feels in its movements and suddenly we are walking in a beautiful flow.

  13. When we ‘hold onto’ things and thoughts we fear losing our grip but when we let go we can be as free as star dust.

  14. I can so relate to ‘holding on’ throughout my life, for me learning to surrender has been key in learning to let this pattern go. It feels very freeing and spaciousness in my body when I allow this.

  15. Holding onto anything is always a resistance to growth and to evolution. By being addicted to a lower vibration we don’t allow more awareness and more responsibility and we think we can stay where are. The effects of our stubborn fight to control this outcome has a big impact on our bodies.

  16. In my view, ‘holding on to’ is the same as numbing oneself to the realities of life, because by holding we can create buffers against feeling and truly seeing what is going on – too distracted by the tensions that we can make in to issues.

  17. Holding on may give us a sense of control but in reality, we are the ones who are being controlled. This is evident in how rigid our bodies can feel and how stubbornly we hold to at the expense of the discomfort in the body.

  18. What is offered here is just so profound. To me it unlocks how creation works and what we consider self is. It always made me wonder how a strand of grey hair always grew in the same spot, and how an old scar on my knee from when I was little was still there after 40 years while our cells are constantly discarding and regenerating themselves – again, if I apply the same concept of holding onto and densification, it just makes sense.

    1. It’s a big shift from holding tightly onto something or someone, to then let go, allow ourselves to be love and to recognise others are that same equal love, to give others space, and become beholding.

  19. Bracing and holding onto anything is a strain on the body as the body is designed to flow and any denseness held has to lead to an illness or disease as it is blocking the natural flow back to harmony.

  20. When we start to feel, see, observe the seditious effects of control in everyone’s life, it becomes so obvious that just letting go of this is an extraordinary start to reconnection.

  21. In my experience holding onto is definitely related to control and the more I let go and let go of control, the more I see it for the illusion it is, and the effect is has on my body.

    1. Hmmmm, I can relate to this Ruth. This is exactly what I’ve experienced and it is not fun to live with this illusion and my body sings with joy every time I let go of control and allow love to flow.

  22. It dawned on me reading this that everything we hold onto is placed in the way of our expression of love, and our connection to this love is a huge letting go, surrender into, and allowing. We don’t need to hold onto anything because once we are this love it’s everything we have truly ever wanted, and it’s right there within us. When we hold onto something it is like the debris damming up the flow of the river (love).

  23. Is it also that we do not feel ‘comfortable’ in a light filled body so we choose the denseness which is something that identifies us? A false raft in the sea of the all consciousness we are a part of.

  24. In truth it is futile trying to control life as it plays out as it will. It is understandable why we might go into protection and ‘hang on’ as you express Luz yet in truth it creates more tension, hurts us and others when we do this.

    1. I know Victoria, this is so true. Why try to control what we cannot control? It is an exhausting exercise that leaves us drained, pushes people away and drives us insane.

    2. I find the pictures I hold of how I think life has to be really get in the way of receiving life as it is, and feeling what is there for me to observe and learn.

  25. You are right that holding onto things creates tension and stress on the body. I now see that things are supposed to pass through our body, as a free-flowing stream would. When we hold onto things it creates a stagnant area in the flow of energy through the body, which if left undealt with leads to illness and dis-ease.

  26. There is much to ponder here about what we hold onto not only from a young age but as we age. What and how does it serve us and judging by my own personal experience and this blog, it isn’t a pleasant impact on the body.

    Letting go of that which does not belong to you is a process and I believe these opportunities are offered all the time. Without perfection I now know what I need to do is to let go of what ever I have been holding onto, otherwise it becomes too painful or burdensome on my body to carry around.

    This blog is for others to ponder on too.

  27. “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” – anything used to block what is not wanting to be felt because it’s not nice, or it hurts for example, is equally an attempt by us to block the inevitable pull of evolving or expanding back to the truth of love. When there is love, there is nothing else worth holding onto except this quality.

  28. ‘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.’ This is a great explanation Luz, the more we bring this understanding to our lives the more our bodies will experience feeling much lighter and more expansive.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

    1. I agree it can’t be healthy for us and I reckon this is why our world is so sick. I can see a lot of people are sick with various illness and disease and our planet is also sick. Our oceans are heavily polluted due to the way we live and the pollution on our planet is a reflection of the pollution in our own body.

  31. 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.

    1. It may be Mary that we clutter up the body with all the things we hold onto as a way to try to remedy or distract ourselves away from living disconnected to our essence, and the unease and feeling of emptiness this brings.

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

  33. 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.

    1. It’s a fascinating process understanding it all, I know for myself at times I don’t understand my own behaviour so it can be a challenge to understand others, however being willing to understand is such a beautiful thing to bring to relationships. We have so, so much to learn.

      1. I love how you say “We have so, so much to learn”, Melinda and not because of the fact that indeed we do but because of the curiosity, zest and openness you say it in.

  34. ‘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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. “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

  38. “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.

  39. 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’.

  40. 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.

    1. What a beautiful comment Fiona, thank you – “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.”

  41. 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?

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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?

    1. Mary it’s a great comment and addition to the conversation, we can bring that perspective to our lives without waiting for a big wake up call to awaken us to the truth we already know. We can value ourselves, others, and life without a terminal illness hanging over our head, and let go of the hurts and live the love we are in full.

  45. 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.

  46. 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

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

  49. 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.

  50. “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.

  51. 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?

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

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