As we are now a few months into the new year, you may have begun the task of cleaning things out of your life like clothes you haven’t worn in years, kitchen gadgets you forgot you had, and friends who don’t serve a purpose in your life other than to suck the energy from your being. It’s not easy to put things and people where they belong, in your past, but if you take advice from Elsa of ‘Frozen’ fame, and ‘let it go,’ will you miss what you may feel you ‘lost’? Are those things really losses? I’m so glad you asked!
At any given moment in life, there’s probably something or someone we need to let go of. I like inspirational quotes that help me get a clearer picture of my life and here are a few I use to clean up my life.
‘Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.’ – Herman Hesse
Tying ourselves to things or people in our life isn’t always the strong decision to make. There’s no doubt that staying in a bad relationship, going day to day and year to year, is easier in some ways to putting your foot down and saying, ‘I deserve better than this!’ People remain in marriages and long term relationships with loved ones and friends because it’s just not in our DNA to give up; no one likes a quitter, but sometimes letting go of people whom you have outgrown or who are taking advantage of you on a regular basis is just what you need. The initial pain and feeling of ‘I could’ve worked harder, done more, stuck it out,’ will pass in time as you see this period in your rearview mirror.
‘Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not part of your destiny.’ – Steve Maraboli
Over a lifetime, we meet hundreds, if not thousands of people, all of whom I believe serve some sort of purpose during our lives. Whether it is a chance meeting of a server at a restaurant on a particularly bad day, who gives you a word that lifts your spirits, or the woman at the vet who recently lost her dog and you both share your broken hearts over losing your best friends. Long term, did those moments in time change the course of your life or your destiny? Not really, but sometimes those brief encounters are all we need to make it to another day. This can also apply to a friend who you never thought you’d be without, and for whatever reason, you grow apart, and they no longer play a role in your life. Initially, you look at the situation as a loss, but if you can see the break up as a lesson and reflect on the good times, you can see they were in your life during a time when no one else could fill the place they did. Value that time, but realize you have to move on.
‘You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway’ – Steve Maraboli
For a moment, think about all the time and energy – and yes, stress – that you put into trying to make things and relationships work. You have it set in your mind that ‘I must make this work. I do not want to be without this person in my life.’ If you realized how little control you had over most things, circumstances, and people in your life, would you spend so much time stressing out over them? I know I wouldn’t. I have spent much of my life jumping through hoops for people, doing everything I could to build a relationship that was never going to be there. It takes two to make any relationship work, whether that is a friendship, dating, and especially a marriage or long term commitment. You aren’t in control of the situation, so let it go!
‘When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. – Lao Tzu
A fulfilling life is about taking risks, not a risk like jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, but thinking and stepping out of your comfort zone to grow into what you can become. In other words, what you are now is based on what has gone before you. In order to reach your full potential, you have to let go of your old limits and those things that hold you in place.
It’s not always easy, it’s usually not a lot of fun, and it is likely to be a bit scary, but to get from where you are now to where you want to be, letting go can be a cleansing of your life to let better things in.