Letting go is a hard step to take because it forces you to look in the mirror and ask your reflection, “what’s next when this is all I’ve known?” It can feel like crossing a border into uncharted territory. It’s not an easy process to conclude that you need to let go of someone or something you’ve given part of yourself to, even when all the reasons for you to do so are correct. Think of it as trying to break a bad habit that has grown on you over a duration of time; even with the knowledge that it’s terrible and you should quit it, it will still take some time for you to develop a new habit that will counteract the bad habit. Deep down, you may feel an essential need for you to part ways with someone you care about because things aren’t simply working out– it could also be a business or a job that you’ve poured your heart and soul into. The fact remains, you put in time and effort, you gave a bit of yourself to something and letting go cannot be an easy task.
Why do we struggle to let go?
The answer is relatively straightforward; we struggle to let go because of the attachment we form with who we morph into when we have something of preconceived personal value going on in our lives. Factors that contribute to this level of attachment include:
- Familiarity– you’re familiar with the situation you’ve got going on, and rather than walking into uncharted territory, you prefer holding on to something that feels familiar even when it’s not ideal for you.
- Comfort– familiarity brings about comfort. Better the devil you know, than the angel you don’t, right?
- Security– you’re familiar with it, comfortable and fully aware of possible or existing threats–what spells security more than the above factors?
- Fear of the unknown– you’re clinging onto the only reality you’ve known for a while because you don’t know who you are or who you will be without it.
Therefore, letting go calls for you to detach mentally and emotionally with who you’ve become and embrace the vision of who you want to be.
Don’t wait for things to get toxic:
Remain in touch with your intuition and learn how to trust it because then you’ll intrinsically know when it’s time to move on from one chapter in your life and on to the next. Unfortunately, people will wait till the pain of staying the same catches up with them before they look into the option of executing some changes in their lives. Why wait for things to get toxic before you commit to making the relevant changes to your life situation? And more so applies for relationships; do not wait till you resent someone, that the mere act of them breathing grosses you out, to know that you have to let go and move forward. Change is change–it is not meant to be a walk in the park; whether you do it sooner or later, it will entail the same processes. However, if you do it sooner rather than later, you not only enhance your growth process but also embrace the fear of the unknown; and I say that makes you quite bold.
How To Let Go Mindfully:
Mindfulness is the simple act of being present in each moment while fully conscious of your thoughts. It may sound simple, but it requires constant practice, mainly because there are so many distractions in our contemporary world, and our minds can tend to go rogue if not properly kept in check.
So, to let go and to allow yourself to do so in grace, you must first be fully aware of the situation you’re leaving behind and why. I find that it helps to have all the reasons you must move forward at your fingertips because you might get tempted to slither your way back into the life you’re trying to leave behind.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Has this friendship/relationship/business/job run its course? In other words, some things are meant to be seasonal in our lives–like a stepping stone to the next level, they are to serve a single purpose, and when it’s done, trust me, you’ll know.
- Ask yourself, do I feel like my best self in this situation?
- Am I growing in the ways that matter to me while I remain engaged in this situation?
- Is this adding to my happiness or stealing from it?
- Is this the life I envisioned for myself?
- Do I feel like this fulfils me in any way?
Based on your answers, you’ll have something to keep you from making the easy and sloppy mistake of crawling back, begging the life you’re leaving behind to take you back. The truth is that change requires intention, discipline and commitment– if it were easy, we’d have zero toxic relationships, nobody stuck at a job they hate, and a much lower percentage of people sleeping with their toxic exes.
Trust your intuition when you feel that you must let go of your old self and their endorsed habits; this is a crucial step to ushering in the life you desire for yourself.
Trust in your journey–life is a dynamic process. Be open to growth and changes; allow yourself to live, make mistakes and learn from them.