As living beings we are constantly experiencing beginnings and endings. They are part of the natural progression of things. Whether it's a birth, a death, the end of a relationship or the start of a new job, doors are always opening and closing for us. But sometimes when one door closes, we find ourselves knocking on it time after time or standing in that doorway staring into the past. Our inability to let things go does nothing to promote our growth or bring us prosperity.
A Little Exercise
"What do I need to let go of," you may be wondering. For everyone, the answer to this is going to be different. We all have had different experiences in life, and even when we share experiences, we tend to perceive and interpret them differently. One way to begin figuring out what you need to let go of is to think about what scares you and what makes you uncomfortable. Consider any grudges you may have or dissatisfaction with someone or something. Think about the people and relationships in your life. Make a list of these things and evaluate them. As you go through your list, ask yourself a few questions.
- How is this serving me?
- Is this helping me achieve my goals?
- Does this make me feel good?
- Can I make peace with this?
The whole purpose of the exercise is to get you to assess whether or not is something you need to let go. And knowing what you need to let go of is the first step in letting go.
Pulling Back vs. Cold Turkey
Sometimes letting go completely is a very tall order. If this is true for you, cold turkey is not the best move for you. You may need to take baby steps toward release. Whether it's spending less time with someone or making yourself less accessible, redirecting misplaced energy or seeing a therapist, there are many ways you can start to let go. Generally, the more you let go of the better you start to feel. When you come across something that you can easily let go, please do. And commit yourself to not picking it back up again. Remember the experience, the lessons, the people, but don't let these things define you and take up so much space in your life that you can't move forward.
Here are a few things that you can begin to incorporate into your life to help you let go. Cleaning house is always hard work, but when it's done everything is brighter, smells fresher and much more comfortable. So, don't shy away from doing the work, you'll be so glad that you did.
- Practicing mindfulness can be very beneficial. Stay attuned to your feelings and keep track of them. You can write things down or you can just sit in silence with yourself. There are even moving meditations that you may better enjoy.
- Counterbalance the negative when they inevitably come up. An example of this is saying, "I am the master of my fate, the creator of solutions and a way finder," instead of, "Why did this have to happen to me?" Speak positively and say it with conviction and your brain will get the message.
- Stop trying to avoid the negative and uncomfortable emotions. Let them flow. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to yell, yell. That release is good for you.
- Create some distance physically or psychologically. Doing this will allow you to look at situations and people differently and more objectively.
Once you get a taste of the freedom and joy that comes with letting go, you may be more willing to start on the path of releasing more and more. Beware, a side effect of releasing people, emotions, ideals, grudges, etc. is having more room to accept life's awesome opportunities.