ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Health»
  • Mental Health»
  • Stress Management

Letting Go and Living Now

Updated on August 23, 2015

I believe the hardest lesson we have to learn as humans is the art of letting go. We are beings born into the reality of change and loss. There is no escaping it and no amount of money, position, or fame can change the inevitability that we are powerless when it comes to our mortality. So, in effect, what I have to say concerns every reader, whether you agree with me or not.

What fascinates me about the truism, “Change is the only constant,” is how we handle this in our personal lives. And, I’ve recently happened upon my own epiphany with respect to change. The school year before I retired in June of 2014 was especially hard. I couldn’t imagine not walking into that classroom every summer and transforming it for a whole new group of eager minds; a new group of amazing little people with whom I had the honor of teaching for thirty-six consecutive years. I simply didn’t know who I would be after my teaching life ended. What astonished me during that school year was how automatically my heart and mind kicked into action to prepare me for letting go.

We just bought a house. As I write, I am in the middle of purging the detritus of twenty years that has collected in this house, the place where my marriage began and the place where so many memories reside. Again, something automatic has clicked in and I’m dealing with the fact that we will no longer be in this house within the month.

My mother is 84. With each passing moment, I know that our time together has a definite shelf life. It is always in the back of my mind that one day my best friend in life will no longer be on the other end of my phone dispensing loving, motherly advice. I am nowhere near ready to let my mother go, yet I sadly acknowledge this reality.

So what have I learned with respect to letting go thus far? I have learned another way to successfully integrate this truth. Yes, we must learn to accept and move on; however, growing older has opened my eyes to something even more profound. I have discovered a way to tap into a deeper, more fulfilling happiness- a joyfulness that costs nothing and can be accessed whenever I want it. In short, I have learned how to replace my constant state of worry with a peaceful state of mind.

I access this state of mind by focusing on only my senses at any particular moment in time. For example, when I get home from Mexico in a few days, my life will be turned upside down with moving into a new home and selling a current home. In the past, I would miss the moments of my present by worrying over ‘what ifs.’ I still acknowledge the truth of this in my mind, but can now immediately shift my focus onto the now. It seems so basic and simple, but I could never achieve this level of actualization as a younger woman.

Before I sat down to write this piece, I found my thoughts and feelings going back home, where I am not in this moment. I then told myself, “No, you are only here. What can you do to shift your focus on the now?” I grabbed my laptop and began writing. I wrote until I felt energized to get back out in the streets of Oaxaca and let the happenings of this colorful city envelope me. Even when I feel homesick, I can alter sadness into gratitude for things that are presented directly in front of me.

I spent my entire working life in a constant state of ‘what if’; however, the gift of retirement has given me such a deeper appreciation of daily life. Having to let go of accounted for time was terrifying at first, but during the freefall of this first year of retirement, I have found much more peace by being totally present in any given moment. My advice to anyone at any age: Don’t wait until you are retired to give yourself permission to bask in the moment. It’s easy to do and costs nothing, but it is a perspective that pays great dividends for your mental and physical health. As we say in Mexico when celebrating something or someone, “Salud!” It simply means, “To your health.”


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • JEscallierKato profile image
      Author

      Jeaninne Escallier Kato 2 years ago from Rocklin, CA

      Denise, I used to be like you every waking moment, but as I look back on all the family members who have passed and what I could have learned if I only stayed with them in the moment, well, what a huge wake-up call! Thanks for the nice input.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      This is what I have difficulty with, basking in the moment. I am so consumed with the "what ifs" that every waking moment is spent preparing for them or analyzing what happened in the past. Thanks for the insight!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)