Lately I’ve had to do A LOT of letting go. Letting go of expectations. Letting go of desired sleep. Letting go of certain hopes and dreams. Letting go of old memorabilia. Letting go of locations to live. Letting go of difficult relationships. Letting go of emotions. Letting go of fears. Just to name a few.
We’ve all heard about how important it is to let go of things and about the peace and power that comes from so doing. We’re to let go of thoughts, feelings, emotions, fears, relationships, and even tangible things that no longer serve us in helping us reach our greatest potential and live in our fullest joy. But letting go isn’t always easy and it isn’t always fun.
Here are ten ways and situations to help letting go be a little less painful and a lot more fun:
- Look at letting go as a way to lose weight. If you’ve been wanting to lose those few extra pounds so you can look and feel fabulous in your body. Why not let go of that emotional weight you’ve been carrying around for no reason. You don’t need it. Besides, emotional weight can actually create physical weight in our bodies. But regardless, just by letting go of that excess weight you’ve been carrying on your shoulders and allowing to heavy your heart, you’ll look and feel fabulous in your body, mind and soul. And others will notice too. Try it and see.
- When it comes to letting go of tangible stuff that you just can’t seem to part with. Try actually holding it tight in your hands for a few minutes and see how that feels. If it doesn’t feel good holding tight to it physically, then trust that it doesn’t feel good holding tight to it emotionally either. Toss it in the trash. Donate it to a charity. It just might be what somebody else is looking for to hold on to for a while.
- Letting go of expectations makes getting disappointed and hurt a lot less likely. If you don’t expect a certain outcome or response from someone then all that’s left is to be pleasantly surprised when it goes well and only slightly bummed if it doesn’t. Letting go of expectations also opens us up to experiencing to a lot more gratitude.
- Memories are stored in our mind and heart not boxes of stuff. However, memories are often triggered by certain things like pictures and letters. It’s okay to hold on to some things of sentimental value but truth is we all tend to hold on to too much and probably even create sentimental value and attachments to some things where there really isn’t any. As you go through your boxes of mementos try taking a mental picture and engrave it on your heart. Learn to look at things and people as they are now and see them for who they are and who they can be, not just who they once were.
- Difficulty in letting go of living locations is simply another type of attachment we have created to a tangible and memorable place. Again take photos in your mind and heart. Be grateful for the time and experiences spent there. Take the love you’ve felt and the lessons you’ve learned with you, those don’t take up any space and they won’t burden your heart. In fact, lessons when truly learned and lived, create more space and peace in our heart and homes. And of course love makes everything and everyone feel lighter and brighter.
- Having to let go of desired sleep due to children in demand of your time and attention, or a job that can’t do without you, or some other reasons that keep you from getting the sleep you want, can be looked at as letting go of expectations. So refer to #3 above and just be grateful for what sleep you do get, for the fact that others love and desire you and your presence, for the opportunity you’ll have to try again for more sleep each and every night. Of course if you’re the one keeping yourself up and not getting the sleep you need then that’s a whole other issue we can look at another time.
- Holding on to hurt, hatred, anger, bitterness, resentment, and any other negative emotions you have towards yourself or any other person or situation is just heavy and burdensome to your life and heart. You don’t need them. Nobody gains anything from holding on to those emotions. You’re not making the other person pay, you’re paying! And it’s too high of a cost to pay on your emotional, spiritual and physical well-being. So seriously, let go. Forgive and live. Live free of such burdens and fill your heart, your life and your emotions with love instead. Remember, how light and bright love makes people feel. Doesn’t that sound easier and more fun to carry around than dark heaviness?
- There are certain people that come into our lives for a specific purpose. Sometimes those people and their purpose is forever and some it’s for a brief moment and others anywhere in between. Relationships teach us a lot about ourselves and what we’re willing and capable of. So learn what you need to, give what is needed of you, and if it comes time that a particular purpose has been met in a relationship, let go with gratitude and love. Holding on to a relationship that needs to be let go of is like holding on to a cat’s tail while it’s trying to run free, it’s just cruel and has no purpose for either of you.
- Letting go of certain hopes and dreams is another type of expectation. I’m not saying don’t have hopes and dreams just don’t hold to them so tightly that if for some reason beyond your control, it’s not happening, don’t beat yourself up about it and don’t try and control the outcome or response of others. Just let it go and open yourself to creating another beautiful dream to live for.
- Letting go of fears is probably one of the biggest and hardest things to let go of but also one of the greatest and most rewarding. Fears keep us trapped from reaching our true potential and living with a fullness of joy. Fear is like a bad relationship we’re trying to hold on to, so refer to #8 again for some more clarity there. Fear is also a negative emotion that keeps us from progressing forward and is too high of a cost to pay by clinging to. Fear is also an expectation we have of thinking things might go a certain scary, painful, or uncomfortable way. But you can’t control the future you can only control right now. So how do you know what will happen if you let go of your fear and just go for it? Maybe something completely unexpected might happen. Something that you never thought possible. Something beyond your wildest dreams. So why not give it a try and see. Let go and live fearlessly.
Letting go isn’t so hard and scary when you break it down into little chunks and see how and understand why to do it. It’s actually quite fun to do because it’s so liberating when it’s done and it’s also a bit funny when we see what and why we hold on to certain things that no longer serve us.
Look at letting go like putting up an “Out of Service” sign on whatever you’re holding on to that needs to be let go of. If you saw an “Out of Service” sign at a gas station pump. would you still try and get gas from it? No, because nothing is going to flow into your tank from it to help you get anywhere. So you’d move on to another one that is working. Do the same in your life…don’t try and get something from something that isn’t working… just let it go and let it flow.