Learning the Art of Letting Go
"Don't hang in there baby. You will always land on your feet."
Letting go of people, situations and conditioned habits that are unhealthy to us can be quite difficult. The first step is to acknowledge that it is an issue and then attempt to break away from situations, by pulling out of a vicious cycle into greater well-being. The following is a list of scenarios that may lead to the feeling of being trapped and ways to deal with it.
When it comes to unhealthy relationships in any form, the best way to deal with it is by examining what causes the pain and eliminating what no longer serves its purpose in the relationship. Start by setting boundaries with these people, and understand that by letting go of certain relationships, you can discover that you are free from the illusion that you have to suffer in a situation that is no longer (or ever was) healthy. This does not mean that you have to be resentful, nor do you have to feel responsible for anyone else's resentment. What it means is that you are willing to forgive those people, while exercising your right to not be involved with something that makes you uncomfortable or unhappy. Indeed, everyone deserves to be comfortable and happy. By understanding that what constitutes as happiness differs from person to person, we can begin to anchor in our right to honor this for ourselves while accepting others' choices regardless of their opinion towards your own.
Some quirks are tolerable, but bad habits are just plain bad, and can have severe long-term effects if we do not learn how to manage them or otherwise eliminate them completely. You start by taking small steps to slowly activate changes so that bad habits are no longer ritualistic. If this means seeking help from others, then you should do this in order to keep the progression of the goal strong. Seek advice or encouragement from others which awaken your own motivation, and remember to be sensitive to yourself while trying to change for the better. Every accomplishment is a progression and can always be a fresh start until it no longer is an issue.
Insecurity stems from illusions of self incompetence. In order to relinquish this, one must start by not comparing oneself to others and start to appreciate who they really are, flaws and all. Know that it is ok to be you. There is also no need to feel unworthy or have any unhealthy competition with others. At the end of the day, you only have yourself to compete with in order to get better on your own terms. As the old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", and in other words, just accept yourself in all ways, and if you feel something needs changing, do it for yourself, not for others' superficial reasons.
This one is generally the most obvious, but is definitely the "mothership" of what it means to refuse to let go. The need to control others and situations in which we honestly have very little control over, can become stressful and lead to unnecessary mental, physical and emotional pain. Learning to recognize where our will-power meets resistance, in order to regain perspective and compromise, can allow you to free yourself in life by letting go of the illusion of control. By realizing that we are responsible for ourselves and not other's choices is very freeing, because we do not always have to feel responsible, angry or disappointed when things do not go our way. The same applies to trying to control factors about ourselves which we may not always be happy with. Learning to do the best that you can, by working with what you have is not only satisfying, but it also teaches us acceptance for ourselves and others so that we recognize the other greater aspects.
The relief in learning to let go is an active meditation in learning gratitude, acceptance and personal power of choice. We can begin to recondition our lives to the way we would like it to be as opposed to the way we force it to be. Everything starts in the mind-set and reflects through our choice of will. When we start making positive choices and learn to balance the art of acceptance with persistence, we can better enable our circumstances to flow through us easily with calm and security.
The lesson in letting go demonstrates that the power is not in control of others nor others' control over us, but in the fluidity of self to usher in and adapt to what is best for us.
© 2011 Latasha N. Woods