We have all been there, hurt, angry, and stressed because we don’t know how to let go. Whether it’s a negative relationship, old resentments, or a job, many of us are walking around holding onto things that no longer serve us. Those things are keeping us stuck and are reason #2 that we can’t flourish. (Reason #1 is we don’t love ourselves but I digress.) To move into a healthier space we have to take two steps to the left and learn to let it go.
Learning to let go is easier said than done. Most of the things we are holding on to have been with us for years. To let go of these old friends takes time, work and a few tools to keep things moving. Being the generous dictator that I am, of course, I’m going to share what has worked for me on my journey of learning to let go.
Stop telling that story! We all have stories we tell ourselves about who we are. Some of these stories are empowering, most of them are stories we picked up when we shouldn’t have. Stories like, “I’m weird” or “I’m going to die a lonely cat lady”, do not serve you so stop telling them. Stop telling yourself you can’t find a job in this economy. Stop telling your friends you hate dating. Just stop all of it. Let it all go and start telling a new story. Make it a good story while you’re at it, one about how awesome you are and how great your ass is.
F it! Not that F word, I’m talking about forgiveness. Forgiving yourself and everyone involved in a situation gives you a chance to move on. My forgiveness practice involves writing letters to the person I’m forgiving and burning them. I don’t send the letters because this is about me letting go not about getting an apology. If you wait around for apologies, you’ll be harboring resentment for years.
Be willing! Being willing is the most crucial step in learning to let go. If you want to hold on to something, no matter how much it is hurting you, you will. The minute you decide you have had enough and willingness creeps in, nothing can keep you tethered. In that moment you really are learning to let go, even if it takes years before you actually do.
I would love to hear some of the things you are working on letting go of. Drop them in the comments and use that as your first step towards moving on.
Photo: Jordan Taylor Photo