In the past several months, I’ve let go of a lot: preconceived notions about parenting. My old office job and the predictability that came with it (for maternity leave). Friends who have moved onto different ways of life or friends I’ve outgrown. Clothes that used to fit. Beloved books to make room for new. Control over certain parts of my life (newborns tend to take the reins – at least in the beginning).
I’ve let go of so much and so many that I almost feel dizzy. But I also feel free and lighter than I have in years. I can say I’ve learned a hell of a lot about letting go in my recent history. It hasn’t been easy, sometimes it hurts like hell. When you just accept that pain of letting go is part of the deal, you tend to heal a little faster.
But let’s get real: most of us tend to replay past mistakes over and over again in our head, allowing feelings of shame and regret to shape our actions in the present. Many of us hang on to things and people we know aren’t good for us, for fear of letting go.
We cling to stale friendships when they long ago stopped teaching us or meaning something to us, hanging on out of obligation and not out of a real desire from the heart.
We hang on to frustration and worry about the future, as if the act of fixation somehow gives us control over it.
We hold grudges over past hurts, promising to never open up/trust/forgive that person ever again.
We hold stress in our minds and bodies, potentially creating serious health issues, and accept that state of tension as the norm.
We hang on to that sweatshirt with holes in it that can’t be seen in public, and the jeans that haven’t fit in 10 years.
We need – we owe it to ourselves – to let go.
“If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.” ~Ajahn Chah
“You must choose between your attachments and happiness.” ~Adyashanti
Letting go means you’re creating space in your heart, home and mind for something new. Who doesn’t want that new breath-taking love, new horizon-expanding friend, new wardrobe, new way of thinking — soul growth? We don’t incarnate and live this life to stay in the same place all of our lives. We come to grow, change and expand. And in order to do that, we have to let go.
The Universe wants us to be happy. If you feel yourself anchored in the past, or feel like you’re teetering on the edge of letting go but can’t quite do it, take this article as a sign that it is time to let go. Some of us may feel powerless to let go of what is now behind us – relationships, friendships, a job, an opportunity missed. We may carry regret, shame or disappointment. This is a heavy burden for a person to carry, and it’s okay to let it all go. You owe it to yourself. So let’s do it together: let go and make room for the new.
Do you struggle with letting go? What (or who) is no longer serving you that you could let go of? Have you ever held on to a relationship that did not suit you? I would love to hear your stories.
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