Letting Go Of Things We No Longer Want Or Need

Letting go can be hard. Whether it’s something we once considered a prize possession or whether it’s a relationship that’s run it’s course, letting go is a challenge. How do we know when to let go? What if it we make the wrong choice? How can we be sure?

handcuffs-921290_1920 Letting go: B&W photo of hands in handcuffs reaching to the sky

First, I think it’s important to discuss the consequences of not letting go of things we no longer want or need. Simply put, if we hold onto possessions, activities, feelings, or even people that no longer bring us value, we are essentially prisoners.

My Own Journey Has Taught Me This Again And Again

The negative feelings produced by not letting go of things and people who were no longer adding value to my life became a prison.

The solution is unattachment.

We struggle to let things go because we attach ourselves to those things emotionally. When we learn to let go of our emotional ties, the possessions, activities, feelings, etc., hold less emotional importance and letting go becomes easier.

Try This Exercise

  1. Get a blank sheet of paper. Let it drop to the floor.
  2. Pick the paper up. Write about one large item that you no longer need. Let the paper drop to the floor.
  3. Pick the paper up. Write about one activity that no longer serves you value. Let the paper drop to the floor. 
  4. Pick the paper up. Write about one negative feeling that keeps you from being content. Let the paper drop to the floor.
  5. Pick the paper up. Write about one person you associate with that is more harmful than helpful. Let the paper drop to the floor.

You can continue this exercise with as many things that you feel you’d like to unattach yourself from. When you’re done, you might chose to crumple, bury, or burn the sheet of paper.

You Have To Purge

The next step is to begin to physically and emotionally purge these unneeded things from your life. How will you know if it’s the absolute right thing to do? You won’t. Life is uncertain.

I can’t guarantee that you won’t wish you had kept your old sweater or blender. There’s no certainty that ending a relationship is always the best action. But 99% of the things that I’ve let go, I’ve never regretted. (I still miss my old vinyl record collection I let go in my late 20s.)

The important thing to remember is that these unwanted and unneeded possessions, feelings, and relationships do more damage than good when we hold onto them.

I challenge you to start letting go of some of the things you’ve been holding onto for too long. Start with something simple today and continue to let something go each day. In time you will learn to unattach and you will find more freedom and contentment.

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  1. I love that you listed this post under “December 2017.”

    Nothing like thinking (a year) ahead. LOL

    Thank you for the giggles. I appreciate all types of silliness.


    1. It is hard. I still struggle. Tomorrow I’m posting about one of my biggest passions and weaknesses as stuff goes: music. But I’ve done well. I’ve cut my musical instrument collection in half this year. Thanks for stopping by and reading, Daisy.

  2. Hardest when loved ones incl friends pass on, it takes time, can be devastating especially to young people who lost parents, parents who lost children, or a spouse. Holding on to memories and looking at photos can long after can be overwhelming.

  3. Hi, great post.
    I got rid of about 50% of my CD collection. I regret it.
    But Im happy I got rid of it in parts, slowly, instead of letting go 100%
    I suggest get rid of stuff slowly, do not just dump everything all of a suden.
    Anytime you let go some stuff there is a risk.
    I guess the best thing to do is to realize what is really important to you.
    So as music (classical music) is absolutely important to me, I commit myself to never get rid of any other CD. This commitment makes thing simpler.
    Because once you know for sure what is your passion, other stuff become less relevant and are easier to let go.
    We all have a passion, so be it. The rest can be disposable.

    1. I agree that slow change is best. I’ve gotten rid of most of my CDs over a period of ten years. I don’t regret it. Occasionally, I miss one, but not often.

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