Recently, I had a wonderful chat with one of my clients about the concept of 'letting go'. I've explored the process in the past, and have been working on doing so in my own life -- though not to the degree I'm capable of. Revisiting the idea of 'letting go' stimulated all manner of thoughts on the subject, and I wanted to share them with all of you.
Letting go, as with many practices, can be easy or incredibly difficult, depending on the circumstances surrounding what you're letting go of. It's easy enough to de-clutter your closet by letting go of one of your eight pairs of shoes; but when it comes to letting go of emotions, stories, relationships, and entire belief systems, the process can seem a bit... daunting. To many, it creates a feeling of loss -- that you're losing something entirely. With the right mindset, it actually becomes quite the opposite.
When we open ourselves to the concept of letting go, we are preparing ourselves not for some significant loss, but rather, opening ourselves to the addition of something new and amazing. When we shed the weight of old emotions (like guilt and shame), limitations, stories, habits, and beliefs which no longer serve us, we free ourselves of the proverbial baggage we carry. As I said before, at first blush, this may seem as though we are losing something -- a very part of our identity, in some cases. In reality, we're gaining a lightness and stillness that allows us to listen and tune in to our inner voice -- our very core being. In that stillness, we can decide what we want to feel / believe / achieve in our lives, and invite that in; we've created the space by having the courage to let go of what we clung to for so long, and choose who and what we want to be.
I've gone through this process before, and continue to do so every day. I've spoken before about how much of a shock it was to realize I was a habitual complainer, and how I possessed an utterly and completely negative outlook on the world. It was really difficult to explore what holding onto those stories and limitations meant, and how deeply integrated to my worldview they were. Admittedly, I felt a bit lost when I had the realization. In recognizing these things, I knew that they were not the personality traits and beliefs I wanted associated with me; yet, I had lived so long thinking and feeling in that way, I wasn't sure where to go.
It was in that bewildered and raw moment that I decided letting go of those traits was the right thing to do. I didn't know where I was going moving forward, but I knew who I didn't want to be. When I stopped carrying the weight and burden that comes along hand-in-hand with negative thoughts, beliefs, and feelings, I felt light. I felt open. I felt ready to embrace a new, more positive and empowering set of beliefs about myself and the world. In letting go, I didn't so much lose who I was; rather, I began the process of discovering who I am.
We all possess the strength to let go. To explore ourselves, and free our minds from the negative baggage and beliefs we carry. It's kind of like spring cleaning for the soul; making room for all sorts of amazing, new, and wonderful realizations to come into our lives.