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?
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 overload of possessions I used to have weighed me down each time I physically moved.
- The low-self esteem that came with habits such as smoking and drinking kept me from feeling satisfied.
- The anger and resentment I held toward those who hurt me in my youth kept me from experiencing joy and contentment.
- The longing I felt for a woman who no longer cared for me brought sadness and discontent.
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
- Get a blank sheet of paper. Let it drop to the floor.
- Pick the paper up. Write about one large item that you no longer need. Let the paper drop to the floor.
- Pick the paper up. Write about one activity that no longer serves you value. Let the paper drop to the floor.
- Pick the paper up. Write about one negative feeling that keeps you from being content. Let the paper drop to the floor.
- 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.
If you liked this post, I invite you to sign up for the Hip Diggs newsletter for monthly updates. Just click the link below: