The challenge: Learn to let go
Letting go is hard, but sometimes holding on is harder.
Why is it, that we hold onto our pain far beyond its ability to serve us? It’s like we create and maintain problems because they give us a sense of identity about who we are or who we want to stay as.
We will replay past mistakes and failures over and over again in our heads. We allow feelings of shame and regret to shape our actions in the present. We will cling to frustration and worry about the future as if that is going to do something for us. We hold stress in our minds and bodies, potentially creating serious health issues, and accept that state of tension as the norm.
Because why? We can’t learn to let go.
Why make the change:
“Letting go” can mean a multitude of things to different people. It can mean:
Letting go and not worrying about my house being cleaned perfectly so that I can enjoy fellowship with a friend that stops over for the afternoon.
Letting go and not keeping up appearances because I am afraid of what I will look like to others.
Letting go and not “making” my husband conform to my wants. Example, not wearing his shoes in my house, eating the foods that I choose, or not leaving his clothing where he wants.
Letting go of my children and allowing them to grow on their own.
Letting go of my past hurt and allowing myself to grow.
Letting go of my expectations as a Mom and what I am called to be doing.
Letting go of controlling different situations in my life—finances, spouse, children, job, or friends.
Letting go and surrendering my life to the Lord.
There are so many different aspects that we ALL struggle with and deal with on a daily basis. We need to be recognizing what areas in our life we are “holding” onto and learning to let them go and be free.
How to make the change:
Letting go and moving on, isn’t always easy. Here are some things you can do to help ease the process:
- Accept and be thankful. It is what it is. People are people and you can’t do anything about it. Be thankful for the memories, hold onto the good ones and get rid of the bad ones. Every situation and problem has value, learn from it and move forward taking positive steps to avoid it.
- Focus on change. Realize that not everything in life is meant to be understood. You can drive yourself crazy mulling over the could of , should of, would of, statements in your head. Realize that bad things happen and to good people. You just have to live, let go, and learn what you can from it. Don’t waste energy worrying about the things you can’t change. Focus on what you CAN change. If there appears to be nothing that you can change, than change the way you think about it.
- Stop playing the victim. Playing the victim feels good. People like the “poor me syndrome.” They enjoy the attention they get from it. Guess what? That gets old quickly. Yes, your feelings do matter, but don’t think that the world owes you for your problems. Everyone has them, it is part of life, we get knocked down and then get back up. Take ownership of the problem, you be responsible for your happiness and outcome in life. Don’t let someone else decide that for you.
- Forgiveness. In every moment of the day, you have a choice. A choice to continue to feel bad about another person’s actions, or the choice to start feeling good. You need to take responsibility for your own happiness, and not put such power into the hands of another. Make the choice to forgive and move on.
- Get rid of excess. You need to rid yourself of superfluous excess in your life. Look around your home, in those dark, dusty corners and cupboards. They are filled to the brim with excess stuff. Then start looking at the more difficult items that no longer add value to our lives. Things like sentimental items, our unnecessarily large home, the expensive toys and gadgets, and bad relationships. Start asking yourself what purpose does this serve in my life?
You have the power to decide whether you want to be happy and move forward with your life or if you want to try to hang onto all of those “excessive” things that will ultimately be too heavy for you to carry and will cause you to stumble in some shape or form.
“Letting go” means learning from those negative experiences and realizing that you don’t have to take all of it with you as you try and move forward. Take the lessons and move onward. Sometimes it is an expectation that you have with something and you just have to say, “Okay, it’s not for me to decide how things SHOULD go, I have to just do and let everything fall into place in time. Let go of expectations. Be content. Be happy.