I’ve been thinking quite a lot lately about the concept of letting things go. When I talk about letting things go, I’m talking about all manner of things from objects all the way through to emotions and people. I think that mastering the skill of letting go is essential for happiness and wellbeing and aids in the art of Mindfulness. For many people, the practise of letting go is highly sought after but exceedingly elusive. In order to let go, one must actually truly desire to do it. Like anything, it is all about the intention. Simply saying that you want to let things go isn’t enough; you have to truly mean it and want it or it won’t happen. It’s all in the mind baby.
I have spoken to many people about why they struggle
to let things go and while actual answers vary, there are several common underlying reasons thathave come through.
- It wasn’t fair! Some people hold onto emotions because they weren’t happy with the outcome of an event. If something occurs and you are unhappy about how it unfolds, say something. Talk about it with the people who are involved and speak your thoughts. If you are not willing to do so, you have no right to complain about how things go. If you speak your mind and still are unhappy with the outcome; so be it. Saying how you really feel is difficult, particularly if you are dealing with loved ones, but it is essential to maintain communication so that resentment doesn’t build which leads to hanging on instead of letting go. When you are brave enough to speak your thoughts, you can be proud of yourself for trying which makes it easier to let go afterwards. Sometimes you voice your thoughts and they fall upon deaf ears (over and over again) and that isn’t fair but it is also out of your control.
- I might need it again later! This is a frequent comment when asked why someone won’t let an object go. Downsizing is becoming a more prevalent topic in society currently and people are making money by telling others to throw out their stuff that they don’t use anymore. Are you freaking serious? If you’ve got stuff that you don’t use, doesn’t it make sense to get rid of it? Surely you don’t need to buy a $40 book or download an app for $3.95/week to tell you to throw out stuff you don’t want. If you don’t use it or it doesn’t bring you joy then get rid of it! If you throw something away or donate it and, by some weird turn of events, down the track you need that exact same item again, borrow it from someone, use an alternative, go without or just buy another one. Trust that the universe will provide for you and let that stuff go!
- I didn’t want to lose him/her. This is the one that is the toughest because broken relationships can hurt. In addition, I believe it is often steeped in fear. Fear of being alone, fear that you weren’t good enough, fear of starting over or fear of admitting you were wrong about the relationship to start with. Don’t get me wrong, it is important to acknowledge the hurt. Let it hurt, let it bleed, let it heal and then move forward. I admit that I have been guilty of this one in the past until I realised that in order to lose something you have to have owned it in the first place. You might argue that you don’t want to lose the feelings for that person. Why the hell not? If they didn’t want you, put a whole lot of gone between you and them and let them go! You are good enough, you don’t need to change who you are and you don’t need anyone to make you happy. You can only do that for yourself. Let them go.
- What if …? Asking yourself the what if question is a complete waste of time unless you are conversing with someone about hypothetical alien situations or something equivalent to that. Don’t wait for a what if! Just go for it. Life is too short to be worried about what ifs. What if I do this and it doesn’t work out? So, you made a mistake and you have a story to tell. What if I’m wrong? Yeah, you might be but what if you’re right? What if; What if; What if. Just follow your heart, trust the universe, let it go and carry on. Your peace is far more important than trying to change something that you have no control over.
It is apparent that no matter what you are trying to let go of, the reasons for holding on to it can be overcome by some logical thinking and support. If you are struggling to let go of something or someone ask yourself some questions like; Do I have control over the situation? Do I need it now? Is it important or is it bringing joy to me? Is it worth giving my energy to? If you answer NO to any of these questions then you don’t want to spend any of your precious time and energy worrying about or thinking about it and if it creeps back into your mind ask the questions again. If you practice enough, it will become easy and you will be able to do it effortlessly. Ultimately everything happens the way it is supposed to happen. Holding on to negative thoughts, ideas or energy is not good for your mental health and wellbeing. Just let it go!