“Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.” ― Steve Maraboli
We usually come to the realization that we need to let go of something the moment we’ve reached a low really low in our lives. That’s when we feel the urge to do things differently, and this urge only expands day by day. We want a change, an escape, a reset. The conclusion is that our life is a bubble that no longer serves us and therefore is only making us feel unhappy. We’re missing out on the life we long to live.
Many times, despite these feelings, we’re just blind and don’t even think that the comfort of our lives is what actually generates unhappiness, anxiousness and that “blah” attitude. When was the last time you really felt excitement about a certain thing that made you walk the extra mile to get it? That made you think and feel about it every second, and work your heart out to get it done?
To change anything in your life requires you to want it, and then to make space for it. Sometimes you need to stop, analyze, reflect and declutter. Yes, to declutter of everything you need to do while living day by day in the same routine and life flow. When, at the end of just too many days, you feel like an actor in a play where we’re no longer your lead, something really isn’t all right.
We all learn from experiences life puts us through
Life is really wise and you need to trust that. She knows when you need what, and she will put you through shaking experiences the moment you need that lesson the most. And life will also give you the same lesson over and over again, till you learn what you need to learn.
You only need to pay attention to the lessons life give you, and learn from them. Most of these experiences are there to teach you something, to make you choose, and grow as an individual. These powerful experiences can be personal or professional. They involve a life partner or a boss, a family member or a friend. But they definitely involve you!
My most recent life-learning experience was extremely personal and quite shaky, but it was all for the best in the end, for a better me.
A personal story
A few years back, during my previous relationship, I reached a level of apathy not normal for an “all figured out” couple’s life. I became naive and insecure, while the relationship was only making me feel even more unworthy and incapable of doing anything great. And what was worse was that I didn’t even realize it. I am a passionate human being at core, childish and curious, but during that time I felt I’ve lost it all. I forgot my authenticity and creativity, just to make things work (and they didn’t work anyway). Unconsciously, I was dependent on my boyfriend’s “blessings” to be able to make decisions about my own life. And, even if probably given with good intentions, they felt more like critiques than encouragements.
Story short, time came and luckily we broke up, against my will initially. I moved out, to a place to live by myself. I was shocked to discover that I wasn’t feeling pain, at all. On the contrary, it felt so liberating. I was again free to be myself, free to live the life I wanted. It was as if the whole world lifted off my shoulders, even if I felt lost in this new world.
And so, an intense period of self discovery and coming back to life has started. Wasn’t easy, this process is never easy, and nobody can tell you how to navigate through it. It was only me and the world, but a world full of possibilities. It was only me, my needs and my demons to deal with. And there were a lot of people I discovered, a lot of places, a lot of experiences. And it felt great (it still feels great). It defined who I am now. Since then, pondering on my life and learning what she has to say is a process I consciously do every now and then.
Taking a moment to analyse your life and pondering on how you feel helps you stay true to yourself. It makes you see the things that don’t serve you anymore, what you need to let go of.
Do you need to let go of things?
This one is quite tricky, as in the whirl of the world we live in, we tend to never think about it. We’re just too comfortable with our lives to even think to change, remove things or start all over again in one or more areas, even if we’re just dying inside and nothing is making us happy anymore.
Letting go of the comfortable for the unknown can be scary. Very scary. For some, the scariest thing in their lives. This fear makes many people postponing or putting aside for good any decisions that might make them turn their lives to a different outcome. Imagine letting go of a well paid job, to found a start-up. Leaving your spouse when you also have a house bought together. This is bold, and scary, and you’re right to feel like this.
But you can also start smaller, change smaller things to see how that goes and how it’ll influence your well being. Focus on yourself more and reflect on what can you change about yourself to drive a change. Think hobbies, attitudes, expanding your views, behaviors etc. Think about what do you need to let go of so that your life feels more in order and in control. What do you need to change to avoid waiting just a little bit more, so that everything falls apart by itself, and all you’ll have to do is adapt and adjust? If this happens, you can forget about order and control.
While you’re in control, you can let go of unimportant things to make time for the ones that really matter and contribute to your well being. Take some time to ponder:
- Do you have time for the things that make you feel alive?
- Do you know what makes you feel alive?
- Are there constants in your life that suck the energy out of you?
- Do you dedicate way too much time to things you don’t want to do?
If unhappiness, dissatisfaction, unworthiness, lack of mood, routine that seems unbearable or being stuck are the first things that come to your mind when you really ask yourself “how am I lately?”… then, you need to let go and reorganize.
What do you need to let go of?
Short answer: the things that cause you these feelings.
Long answer: what you need to let go of depends on how much you need to free up. It can be one or more of the things that just clutter your life. They’re insignificant on their own but together, they’re taking up too much of your time and energy as a whole. It will make a real difference if you just stop doing them altogether.
But what you need to let go of can also mean taking some really big leaps into the unknown, into a new you.
“All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without the benefit of experience.” – Henry Miller