Letting go is one of the hardest things to figure out in life. As your emotions usually cloud your logic, and because your feelings make it harder for you to concentrate, it seems like the art of letting go can be confusing and complicated.
“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them.” – C. JoyBell C.
Should you let go of a particular person, of your current job, of your past feelings or of your resentment? Or should you hold on and let them consume you altogether?
There comes a point in every person’s life when you part ways with someone: ex, friend and anyone in between. When you first meet this person, there’s usually a good beginning, but once you come to really know each other and grow comfortable, you suddenly realize that the relationship no longer brings any particular value to your life and is perhaps, even detrimental.
Sometimes, we hold on to people purely based on how long we have known them. Time can tie people together, but if you feel as though there’s nothing substantial keeping you connected, time is not a strong enough reason to hold on to something that brings nothing substantial keeping you connected. Time is not a strong enough reason to hold on to something that’s simply no longer worth holding onto. We grow complacent with people once we’re comfortable with them. But, hanging onto someone for the pure sake of it and because you don’t know anything else isn’t a good enough reason.
Fear is another reason why we can’t move on. There’s the fear of being alone and not being able to find someone else; fear of someone using our deepest and darkest secrets as blackmail; fear of the hate and tension that will ensue; fear of regret once someone is gone. Sometimes, things are better left a mere memories. You can try to change things back to how they were or try to create things to be the way you want them, but you’ll never be truly happy because it’ll never be anything like how things once were. If anything, there’s now too much pressure and expectation in the air to recreate what you both once had. Instead, hold on to and cherish the memories, but move forward. Be thankful for what a friendship or relationship brought you and taught you.
Beyond that, friendships and relationships – while they do have their downfalls and can require fixing – should essentially come naturally. If a person isn’t bringing something significant to your life, not treating you how you’d like or isn’t the type of person you want him or her to be, it’s a clear sign that you need distance. While it would be selfish of you not to accept a person for whom he or she is, it would be unfair for you to have to endure a friendship or relationship that isn’t cultivating a better you.
Past hurts and old injustices have a way of keeping us stuck in our tracks, unable to move forward or experience joy. It can take a radical reboot to get past yesterday. Sometimes that past traps us through excessive clutter spilling from every corner of our mental “junk drawer”, elbowing out the new and the possible. Or it takes control your daydreams, obsessively replaying old losses, past injustices, nagging guilts about the stuff that tormented you or the friend that let you down.
Your ability to get past your past does not just lie with the whatever the event was but also, the steps forward you are willing to take and how much effort you are willing to expend to push some emotional baggage up and out of your life. Getting unstuck involves remembering an injury, but looking at it from a different perspective. It means remembering the hurt but it doesn’t hurt anymore. Is there anything you can’t get over. Yes and no. You don’t get over it, you don’t pretend it wasn’t bad, but you have a sense that you can heal. We don’t get over the past. We get past it.
Moving on from yesterday to today to tomorrow can sometimes be a daunting task. But your character is not defined by what happens to you, but rather by how you react to what happens to you. When you get hit, do you stay down? Or do you reach down somewhere deep inside of you and pull up the courage that lifts you back on your feet to keep moving forward? You do have a choice.
Forget Regret. Leave your mistakes and regret in the past. They don’t define your value, then or now. When you stay in the past you become stuck and unable to move forward. We all have made mistakes with our job choices, friends, and relationships. The consequences can hit us pretty hard. However, to begin learning how to put these experiences behind us – by letting them go, we can begin to live in the here and now. Give yourself the gift of forgiveness and keep moving forward.
Learn from Failure. Learning from failure and having regret are two separate things. Regret is an emotion; a feeling of disappointment along with a modest amount of shame of guilt. But to look back at a circumstance and figure out what went wrong gives you some very important information. This review allows you to evaluate what worked and what didn’t, and more importantly, why. Often when you are removed from a situation, you can look at it more objectively which will allow you to make choices to keep moving forward.
Take 100% Responsibility. Except in rare and unfortunate circumstances, you are responsible for the quality and condition of your life. Your career, your relationships, and your happiness are all under your direct control. Sometimes we choose to do nothing when we get hit hard because it’s just easier and less painful that way. But the real pain is only deferred. You have to live with yourself. You have to live with the voice in your gut, your inner wisdom that says you gave up too soon or didn’t try hard enough. When you hear this inner voice speaking to you, it’s usually right. It’s your choice, then, to get up and keep moving forward.
Know What You Want. This isn’t about the how only the what. In order to move forward in life, you need a firm foundation to step from. Understanding what and where you want to go in life will provide your vision and spirit – your foundation. The how will figure itself out when you know you want to keep moving forward.
Keep the Faith. Faith: A strong belief in something without proof or evidence. At the end of the day when you are weary from all of the effort and energy you have expended and you are sore and tired from being hit hard so many times, but the dream is not realized, the one thing that tells you to keep going; to get up tomorrow and to keep moving forward, is your faith. Honor this and cherish it. Faith is what makes you human. It gives you energy and hope. And if you let it, your faith will deliver you to wherever you want to go in life.
As you move forward in life, you may need to change your circle of friends. Everyone around you isn’t interested in seeing you improve. Be Blessed.