“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.” – Eckhart Tolle.
What does it mean to let go?
Letting go is a process of detaching from feelings you have suppressed that cause you pain and suffering. In the process, you free yourself from emotional burdens which keep you living in the past and prevent you from moving forward. Look forward to the future with optimism, but do not hold expectations of what you will or want to find there. Our future only exists in our imagination. Live in the present moment, enjoy and be grateful for all you have now, not what you could have in the future. Let go of what could be and enjoy what is.
Letting go can resemble a whole variety of things in our life. Below are just some of the few examples that I have experienced in my time.
Letting go of:
- a relationship (platonic or romantic) that has run its course,
- a job that is no longer fulfilling you,
- expectations of yourself and others,
- detaching from a thought pattern or a feeling,
- a version of ourselves that no longer exists,
- false stories we keep telling ourselves.
The list could go on. We are individual; we all have issues that we are dealing with or have dealt with at some point. How and when we deal with them will be different for each of us. Try the activity below by @rockinruksi it helps identify the things in your life that you need to release and let go of. Fill in the balloons with things you want to release.
Why letting go can be so hard
We have all gone through this stage in our lives. Letting something go that we were once emotionally attached to can be one of the hardest things we can do. It provokes feelings in us that we do not want to face and forces us to walk on a journey that we may not be ready to take.
We often think letting go of something means we are letting go of a part of ourselves. It is somewhat true, but in order to free ourselves and find inner peace, we have to no longer associate ourselves with that feeling, moment or thing that is keeping us stuck.
We hold ourselves in a self-made prison by holding onto the past. It keeps us in a negative state and stops us from experiencing new and exciting opportunities. We change, evolve and grow over time; we are not supposed to stay the same person forever.
We take the lessons from our mistakes, hardships, losses and use them to develop and grow. Some people, places and things are just not meant to be. No matter how much we wished, they were.
6 Tips for letting go and moving forward
1.Realise that nothing is forever. Relationships and people change- We will come across so many different kinds of relationships in our lifetime. Some will stay with us for many chapters in our life, others just for a page or two. It is important to understand nothing is forever. People change, situations change; and that is ok. It is how we choose to accept the change that is important.
Practise appreciation and gratitude for the time and memories shared. Sometimes we hold on to something even when we know that it no longer serves us. We fear the outcome if we let something go. However, letting go may actually make way for something far more wonderful than you had before.
2.Learn the art of forgiveness and let go of resentment- To forgive does not mean to forget. It simply means allowing yourself to accept something and recognise it no longer has the power to affect you. Forgiveness can be one of the hardest things to do when you have been wronged or hurt by someone or something. Not forgiving others often leads to feelings of resentment, anger and frustration.
Resenting a person because of their actions or lack of ability to see what they did wrong will only harbour ill feelings inside of you, not them. By holding onto resentment, you are contaminating yourself. Do not wait for an apology because it may never come. We can not be responsible for others, only ourselves. Letting go of resentment and forgiving is a gift to yourself, not the other person. By choosing to forgive something, you allow yourself to accept the situation and begin to heal from it.
3.Release your expectations of others- Expecting people to act and behave in a certain way will often lead to disappointment. Expecting another person to be responsible for your happiness will only lead to you getting hurt. You can not control how another person shows up. We base our happiness on the fantasy of what another person can do for us. However, when that fantasy does not become our reality, feelings of hurt, anger, rejection and resentment can develop. Only have expectations of how you will show up, not how you want others to show up.
4.Compare only to yourself, not others– Let go of where you think you should be, in comparison to others. Comparison is one of the most common reasons why we experience sadness. Everyone has their own path to walk in life. Some move along that path at lightning speed, while others take more of a stroll. I know I would prefer to be the latter. I would rather enjoy lives little moments instead of whizzing by and not appreciating all I have in front of me.
We will all reach certain milestones in our lives, but they may not be at the same time as others. You can look up to others for inspiration and admire their effort to achieve but never look from a place of envy. Focus on working on your own goals in your own time and celebrating your achievements along the way.
Competing with others causes bitterness, not betterment– Vex KingGood Vibes, Good life.
5.Managing your thoughts and feelings- Being aware of your thoughts and feelings will allow you to have more control over them. Rather than suppressing how you feel about a situation, voice how you feel. By expressing how you feel, you are already in the process of letting go of negative thoughts. It is ok to feel a certain way about something that has happened to you, but the key is to recognise and accept the feeling. If we do not, then the cycle begins again.
6.Live in the present moment. Not the past- It seems so obvious but it is something we all do subconsciously. Living in the past holds us in a state of pain. Recalling and reliving the past stops us from moving forward and enjoying the present moment. We often ask ourselves the same questions, what if? If only I had? Would it have been different if? We can not answer those questions. What happened has happened. We can not go back and change the way things played out. We can only accept it and learn from it. We can choose to take mistakes from the past, apply them to the present moment and learn from what we know in the future. The present moment is all we have.
Live moves on and so should we- Spencer Johnson.
Thanks for taking the time out to read.
I hope this helped in some way.