The Fine Art of Letting Go
We all hold on to things for one reason or another. Maybe it’s a grudge, a feeling, or an experience. These are all things we hold on to from the past. We like to hold on to thing, situations, and circumstances because in some odd way we find them fulfilling. There’s comfort in familiarity and justification. But holding on to these things only holds us back. Sometimes we have to practice letting go instead.
Sometimes we use the past to justify our current decision-making and that’s the reason we don’t want to let go. It’s that ‘thing’ someone said or did to us years ago that now affects whether you will go to that family gathering, or if you will ever date again. Those memories justify everything for you. But when you are unable to let go, it becomes part of your “story” and it holds you back.
Your story is what you tell yourself to justify your decisions. Things like you can’t have a successful relationship because of how you grew up. Instead of allowing these things to become your “truth” and allowing them to influence our current direction, we should instead use them as tools to push us ahead, not as an excuse to hold us back.
Bad things happen and we can’t change the past. To let go, you have to face what has happened, accept your part in it, accept that you can’t change it, and move on. When you’re able to move on and close old doors, new doors inevitably open up to you and better opportunities arise. But most of all, when you learn to practice letting go, you create a much better story that moves you forwards instead of holding you back.
Many people tend to hold on to “stuff” for the sake of owning more. They hoard possessions because it somehow fills them up and makes them feel like they have an abundance.
They live with a poverty mindset and the more stuff they have, the better they feel about themselves. In the end however, it’s just useless stuff. It holds energy and it affects your being every day that it remains in your possession. If it doesn’t serve you authentically, you need to release it. Let it go with love and acceptance. It served its purpose in your life and now it must be set free.
Some people hold on to stuff that holds painful memories of a past relationship. Every time they see the object, it resurfaces the painful, negative memories. Let it go. It does not remind you of how strong you are. It reminds you of all the meanings you have attached to it. It’s like cutting yourself to remind yourself what it feels like to feel pain, or to feel alive somehow. It all holds negative, disempowering energy that needs to be released with love.
Letting Go of Relationships
One of the areas in our lives that it tends to be hardest to practice letting go is within our relationships. Whether those relationships are intimate, friendships, work related, or other, some need to be released from our lives.
The biggest problem with relationships, whether they are friendships or intimate relationships, is the perceptions that people tend to have about relationships. Far too many people enter relationships with this misguided notion that a relationship is a place where you go to get something out of it.
This causes a lot of stress and ill feelings because people will rarely live up to your expectations of them. They are human and they are bound to disappoint you. But that disappointment comes from your assumptions of how they should act in order for you to be in a relationship with them and accept them.
A relationship is somewhere that you go to give- not to get. You give all of yourself regardless of whether you are getting something in return. If you are giving to get something in return, this is selfish, it’s not love and it will die.
Think of your closest relationships. Do you give 100% of yourself without expecting anything in return? This is how you should show up in the world with all of your relationships.
Is there a balance in your relationships? Does these people that you have relationships with constantly resort to emotional blackmail, manipulation, or control to get things from you? Are they they kind of people who will give you something and then hold it over your head later? Are they the kind of people who are giving because the act of giving brings them joy?
Really look at the relationships you have with people in your life. Are they enriching, uplifting, and positive? Do you feel good in the presence of certain people and drained or irritable with others?
Letting Go of Friendships
We as human beings take on so many ideas and beliefs from our friends. Friend help create us, so you want to make sure that your friendships are healthy. You need friendships with people who are helping you grow mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If they are holding you back, practice letting go.
You are the sum total of the 5 people that you spend the most time with. Who are the 5 people in your life that you align yourself with? What kind of relationship do you have with them?
Take a look at all of your friendships, most specifically the 5 people closest to you. What type of people are they? How are they like you? How are they not like you? Why did you become friends? Are they holding you back from growing? Are you holding them back? Are you growing together?
Ask yourself, is this person helping me to serve my higher purpose? Is this person holding me back from aligning with my authentic self? Will this person still be supportive and loving if I break free and become someone that they are not?
Really think about the people you have relationships with. If they are not aligned with your authentic self and your highest intentions, then it’s time to gracefully let them go and surround yourself with a better quality of people.
Take the time to practice letting go of the situations, people, events, and material things that do no nourish your soul and speak to who you are at an authentic soul level. True freedom lies in letting go.
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