Learning to let things go is a challenge that all of us must face up to at some point in our lives. Mastering the art will improve your life immeasurably.
One of the most painful aspects of life is the temporality of all things – that is, the fact that nothing is permanent.
When we don’t feel like we’re ready to let things go, having them ripped away from us is one of life’s cruelest and most painful lessons. The experience of something we depend on being taken away from us can stay with us for years, and even dictate the rest of our lives.
Learning to let things go can change your life in several ways. Not only can it help you deal with loss, but it can also help prevent it.
Here are some of the reasons why you should learn to let go, starting today:
1.You’ll improve your overall health
Bitterness is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die.
~ John Ortberg Jr.
One of the main psychological consequences of not being able to let things go is resentment when they’re taken from us. Not only does it not serve any purpose to be resentful about a loss – it can’t bring the lost thing back – but it’s also harmful to our overall psychological and physical wellbeing.
The connection between negative emotions and physical, as well as psychological, illness is well-documented in scientific literature these days.
It’s important to expend your psychological energy on being mindful. Focus on getting yourself through life in the best possible way for you.
If you’re giving that energy to resenting the actions of another person or being bitter about life in general, you’re literally giving your life force away to the thing that hurt you. You’re allowing it to hurt you again and again.
2. You’ll feel stronger and more powerful
Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.
~ Steve Maraboli
It’s helpful to learn in life that the things, situations, and people that you attach significance to are part of your experiences and not part of you per se.
We often get very attached to people that have something that we feel we are missing in ourselves. We can also get attached to resentment for enemies because they also make us aware of a lack in ourselves.
Using this experience to examine what those things are and cultivate them in ourselves can help you let go of such an attachment.
Understand that others can contribute hugely to who we become as a person, but we should understand that they exist independently of us, and we of them.
Once you let go of things, situations, and people that are no longer relevant to you, you appreciate the importance of treading your own path. Then you’ll start caring more about your own fate. Once you care about that, you’ll put in the corresponding amount of energy into making a life that makes you feel satisfied with yourself.
3. You’ll allow positive things to enter your life
The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday.
~ Steve Marabol
When we can’t let go of something that’s over, we close the door to any new opportunity for happiness.
When you’ve let go, you begin to see the opportunities for new experiences. These could be even better than that which you lost. Give yourself time, don’t try frantically to replace what let your life, otherwise, the experience will not be natural and will, therefore, be unsatisfactory.
Concentrate first on cultivating the characteristics you think would make you feel more whole and working out exactly what you want out of your life now. Start a new hobby or class, and you’ll both improve yourself as a person and have the opportunity to socialize.
4. You’ll become a better person
If you truly want to be respected by people you love, you must prove to them that you can survive without them.
~ Michael Barry Johnson
Letting go, forgiving, and ceasing to put upon others’ backs the responsibility for our happiness or dissatisfaction are part of being a person whom you, and others, can respect and admire.
Everyone knows how painful the loss of something you’re attached to in your life is and how hard it is to get over an injustice. When you show that you can pick yourself off the ground and keep walking, that’s when people start to be impressed and inspired by your example.
5. You’ll make better decisions for you
I demolish my bridges behind me…then there is no choice but to move forward.
~ Fridjof Nansen
Bad experiences from the past can make us fearful of taking risks. There’s a good reason for this: we’re programmed to learn from mistakes and avoid pain. Your experiences should inform your decisions, but fear should never be allowed to override reason.
It’s helpful to remember that outcomes are never certain – no one situation is never the same as another.
Once you’ve let go of the past and stopped your emotional attachment to it, you’ll be able to use the experience to inform your reason, not to control you. That way, your decisions will always be based on a reasoned idea of what is best for you.
Did you think the above advice was helpful? Have you any other advice to offer?