How to Let Go

The Art of Letting Go

by Lindsay on May 2, 2013

in Attitude, Inspiration, Motivation, Personal Growth

Screen shot 2013-04-30 at 8.58.51 PMIn 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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tatiana May 2, 2013 at 10:16 am

This post is perfect and timely because I need to let go in order to keep moving forward.

I’ve been struggling with forgiving myself for clinging to the past – it’s so familiar and provides a type of “road map” albeit a not very effective one. And I have to let go if I’m going to keep moving forward in this new life I’m creating for myself. But it’s tempting, and easy, to get sucked back into old narratives, old wounds and missed opportunities (or things just not working themselves out).

It can be hard to let go when the future seems to uncertain, and I don’t feel equipped to handle it.

melle_mel May 2, 2013 at 11:40 am

This is a perfect sign at a perfect time, Lindsay. I have spent a week away deliberating over whether to let go of a friendship that has grown stale and very destructive. On the airplane home I closed my eyes and wished for guidance on what to do- do I hang on to the friendship for the sake of old times and hope things will change, or do I give myself the respect I deserve and let go of such an unhealthy relationship. Your article was the answer I had asked for. Thank you. Xx

kdivasilver May 2, 2013 at 12:16 pm

This is so where I am right now. Letting go of the self-destructive habits that, though “comfortable,” keep me from realizing the vision of me and my life that I have. This is only one of several messages on this topic that I’ve seen today, which says to me that the work I’ve been doing over the past couple of years is paying off and now it’s time to set the new path. Thank you!

Kathy May 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Love your writing always! This one is a pat on the back for me. I have left a corporate “King of the Heap” job (in Hospice – go figure!) after 10 years and have landed in another hospice where I intend to co-create with like minded people!
Over the past 2 years I have painfully left MANY friends and relationships that were not ready to expand into community and spiritual growth as I understand it now.
In the process I re-connected to ME – where I hear my intuition louder than my personality, ego, conditions, obligations….This was probably the hardest – and most rewarding part of this experience. The rest has fallen into place. I can say I can choose my life now instead of it choosing me. I am thankful for all the people in my life and for the ones I am not in communication with at this time – I thank them for holding the space for my transformation and know that many roads lead to the same Source.
With the new space I created – I have this new job, am Reikki 1 and 2 certified, certified in Sound Energy Dynamic, have deepened many relationships, learned a ton, and have a really clean closet! I expect it to just get better and better and I expect to maneuver through the down hills with more space, mastery and compassion.
Namaste…Thanks for your blogs and guidance over this year. I hope you know you make a difference. K

Jennifer Lynne Flint May 2, 2013 at 10:08 pm

I’m definitely in that space right now too, Lindsay – a big decluttering on all possible levels, simplifying, restructuring, getting back to the basics so I can figure out what I’m really about and where I’m going. It’s a lot of work, but it’s very liberating. Very. I recommend it. 🙂

T. May 5, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I’m a HUGE grudge holder. Actually, I am guilty of not being able let very much go.. hence the ten year old holey Nirvana tees in my closet. Sentimental value, I tell myself. But hey, at least I stopped wearing them a few months ago.

Vladimir May 12, 2013 at 5:59 am

I’ll soon have to let go of the job I’ve had for three years. It won’t be easy, but something tells me it’s time.

Gabby May 18, 2013 at 4:25 am

I agree with your post so much. It is very difficult for a lot of people to simply let go of things… even if they know deep down that they should. Thank for the post.

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