October 8, 2012

Letting Go (When you can’t…)

Letting go is very difficult for us humans; whether it’s a person, perception, job or treasured item, letting go brings on the greatest unrest inside of us.

We create our biggest struggles when we work against life—we fear change and disappointment can eat us alive

We’ll sacrifice the good to hold onto something (even when we’ve grown out of it), which causes us pain—we make excuses to ourselves and to the world around us, that what we’re doing has some hidden merit.

(Thank you Gandi or Mother Teresa, for they were selfless toward a greater good.)

For most of us, our struggles aren’t about a greater good, they are about fear; we find ourselves trying to cobble the hole in the shoe, rather than getting a new pair.

Not letting go looks something like this:

Settling in a “good-enough” love relationship, when you have different life goals. (As in, wanting to get married, have kids, live in Timbuktu or give up your worldly possessions to be a missionary.)

Holding onto your crappy job out of fear that you’ll not find another.

A negative perception about the opposite sex, yet you want to meet someone and get married.

Entering a relationship that kicks your ass, you white knuckle it (although it’s killing you to stay.)

Holding onto to your idea that another person will change.

Unable to change your external circumstances that create suffering and battling with life.

Giving up your happiness to hide in a dead relationship for your children, dog, house, etc…

Staying anywhere, because of the belief that you’ll heal another person, your childhood, heart or soul…by sacrificing you.

It can be insidious and you can’t see another way to live—but, there is—first, you accept it and then you find courage

The unknown isn’t to be feared, it’s to be embraced; staying stuck is far more painful than releasing yourself from bondage.

By accepting what is, you stop your internal battle—it’s not about forcing circumstances—it’s about having the courage to blaze a new path. It’s not easy to decide to accept it all, so make babysteps towards acceptance.

Steps to freedom:

1. Giving up your deepest wants and desires to appease another won’t get you what you want; accept where the other is in their life and ask yourself if you are settling if you stay?

2. Holding onto a job you dread: Why do you stay? What’s the fear in leaving? Do you believe you’re unworthy of better? Maybe it won’t be easy to find something else, but doors of opportunity eventually open, when you have the courage to listen to your truth.

3. Negative generalizing of the opposite sex, because of your past experiences, only sets you up for more. No one comes along and changes how you view yourself. It’s about you, not them. You’re here because of what you believe is true for you. Start accepting the (sometimes painful) truths about your responsibility for your love life and stop blaming; take action toward embracing vulnerability and watch your perception change.

4. You’re magnetized to a relationship that’s a rollercoaster and the voices in your head say leave…but you can’t. Kicking yourself, complaining and losing your mind. Stop. Accept the situation—accept you can’t leave—and look inside. Why are you here? Is it the disappointment of failure? You need it to work so you’re worthy of love? What is it? Dive into your heart and listen; it will reveal the truth.

5. If only he/she would do this, everything would be hunky dory. Yeah, this selfish viewpoint excludes honoring where another is in their life. They need to fit our vision of perfection. Accept them right where they are. Can you handle this dented pinto or are you settling by staying? Have the courage to make a decision. Stop fixing that person. Where do they mirror you in a matching insecurity? In (perceived) flaws?

6. It’s white flag time when nothing is working in your life. A pattern, maybe? How much can you control? What action will move you toward believing a new direction is possible? When you get past the ego and chorus of “poor me, ” there’s a flicker of a light at the end of the tunnel.

7. Wannabe Gandis’ and Mother Teresas’ take note: giving up your happiness to stay in a crappy situation does not benefit those you think it’s helping. You’re setting an example to your kids of sacrificing yourself—do you really want them to repeat what you’re doing…or it’s extreme opposite? Do you want them to grow up and be happy, functioning adults? Who are you trying to get approval from? Why? Will it make you a good person and the parent you never had? Stop acting out your childhood, honor your needs and your kids. Stop trying to fix your past. Accept what is and have courage.

8. The moment of regret will come for the amazing things you let slip by. If you talked yourself into believing suffering instead of risk, is the right course to take; it’s fear in disguise. Life without emotional risk is a life of regret. Staying in things that have died—or hoping for (past) good moments to reappear—is a waste of time. Look within for why you stay. Are you afraid of being alone if you leave, because your amazing love will discover you’re worthless? Do you undeserving of the amazing gifts of love and so you sabotage, make excuses and stay miserable?

Accept that everything in our life has a purpose and let it go. Accept its death as an opportunity to give your life rebirth, move through your past emotionally and open to the gifts of the present.

It’s a choice to suffer with old agreements and promises you made, things change and what you thought as a kid or as a younger adult, may not hold true in current circumstances.

Accept your old ideas, mourn them and let em’ fly away; distracting yourself from your reality, whether by compartmentalizing or not dealing with your own inner unrest is not the way to peace and happiness.

Allow the unknown and open yourself to you; accept what you see and release the known.

Letting go comes eventually; whether it’s letting go of being stuck or letting go of the life you could have had, if only you’d had the courage to leap.


Editor: Bryonie Wise

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