Saying Goodbye So You Can Say Hello: The Benefits of Letting GO of What No Longer Serves You
Updated: Jul 13, 2020
Do you have a hard time letting go of people, places and things that no longer serve you? Have you taken the time to notice everything that you hold on to without realizing it? Do you ever feel heavy without having an understanding of why? We are constantly evolving and sometimes we hang on to the old without realizing that we no longer need it. It isn't always easy, but letting GO may be one of best things you can do to help you move forward!
Letting go has never been easy for me. Whether it be inanimate objects like stuffed animals or physical locations like my first childhood home or dorm room, I've struggled with saying goodbye. For a long time, I didn't understand where my need to "hold on" came from, but I knew that having familiarity in my life made me feel safe. Claiming ownership of places and things gave me a sense of security and it wasn't until I started to uncover my hidden demons that I really began to understand my need for attachment. It had to do with deeper struggles within myself- issues with self-esteem, self-worth and control. It wasn't until I started to peel back the hidden layers and uncover the root of the underlying issues that my process for letting go began.
Facing the Fire
Throughout my life I've struggled with the fear of having my home burn down as a result of leaving on the stove. Even when I hadn't used the stove, I still worried that the something would cause the house to burn down. I didn't know where this fear came from, but it plagued me for years. I would think about it at work. I would think about it while driving. I was haunted by these thoughts of losing everything that I owned, including my pets who I couldn't imagine life without. It wasn't until I went inward in search of answers that I found them. I was afraid of losing my possessions because in one way or another, I was afraid of losing myself.
But through holding on to that fear, I was also holding on to lots of other things that I no longer needed. And I had to let go. I had finally realized the damage that not letting go had caused. It was affecting my present life and I knew I didn't want it to affect my future.
"How would your life be different if you learned to let go of the things that have already let go of you . . . Free yourself from the burden of a past you cannot change." - Steve Maraboli
Letting go takes time and it isn't the same for everyone. If you're struggling with letting go and you can use some help, here are some of the tools i've used in my own life:
With the internet at our fingertips, it is easy to try a class without having to step in a studio. If you decide to go this route, please be mindful of the classes and the teachers you choose. Not everyone will offer step by step instruction for poses and it is possible to get injured if you attempt certain poses without proper knowledge of how to execute. I've been a member of the #alohayogaandhealing studio for a few years now and my teachers have all been amazing! This studio offers classes online so I encourage you to check it out and see if it is a good fit for you too!
I will be honest, meditation can be a wonderful tool if you take the time to do it. If you are like me, you won't always make the time or if you do, you may not know how to quiet your mind and you'll get frustrated. However, it will get easier if you practice. I've recently began dabbling with #insightimer and the meditations that I've tried, I've really enjoyed. I find it's easier to begin with guided ones since your mind is focusing on a voice rather than being left to it's own creative devices. I've tried several that help with letting go so it's a place to start.
Writing has been a my "go to" throughout my life. It has helped me in so many ways to deal with myriad issues. If you have a hard time free writing, #dailyom has many wonderful courses that you take which will guide you with writing exercises. I've taken several courses through them and I've enjoyed each and every one of them. Granted I haven't always finished each course or I've taken breaks in between lessons, but I've gotten what I needed to get at the time. Courses specific to letting go can be found on their site. I have personally dabbled with A Year to Clear What is Holding You Back when I was working on letting go of items from my childhood that I couldn't seem to part with.
Not everyone will resonate with this, but during the past few years, I have become more open to guidance from the spiritual realm. I've had oracle card readings, Soul Card readings, an Akashic Records reading, psychic medium readings and other Divine messages through other spiritual avenues like Reiki or Past Life Regression. I've learned a lot about myself through each of these experiences and had light shed on pieces of my personality that was kept in the dark for a long time. Sometimes our present actions or inactions are a result of things we are carrying with us that we haven't become aware of. Having help from the "other side" can often prove very beneficial if you are willing to listen to what is being said. I recognize that not everyone will be able to identify or be open to this last tool and that's ok. Each person is on their own journey and what has worked for me will not necessarily work for you. The important thing is to try different things and see what helps you to let go and continue on your journey without excess baggage.
If none of these methods appeal to you at this time, that's ok. There are so many resources out there. Don't be afraid to ask your family or friends. The odds are you know someone who has struggled with letting go during their lifetime and they can offer you their methods. You are not alone in this battle! Regardless of what you decide to do, keep in mind that there is no time-frame for letting go and no rules! You have to listen to yourself and take steps as you are ready! Be gentle with yourself and honor your pace even if it is slower than you would like. When the time is right and you can finally let go of the things weighing you down, I hope that you feel lighter and more at peace.
"How can you reach for what's in front of you if you're still holding on to what's behind you?" -StressFit