Holding on tenaciously when things get rough may be a sign of inner strength but sometimes letting go may require more heroic strength and determination. It is wise to discern what things are within your power to change and those you have to give up, and this is where the dilemma begins.
Why is it so difficult to let go? This is because we have been trying to fill up the void inside us by clinging to things outside us that are beyond our complete control. This may be a habit, a friendship, ideas, etc, which we had developed for convenience. The purpose or usefulness of these things to us
may have gone obsolete but our attachment to them has taken deep root in us. Although pulling them out of our system is very difficult and painful, it is not impossible.
Below are some tips that can make this painful process of letting go less traumatic, if not really painless:
• Face the music. Running away from things or burying your head in the sand would just prolong your agony unnecessarily. Rather, accept the truth and be grateful for the experiences that have caused you to laugh, cry, even learn and grow in the process. Accept the fact that there circumstances and events in your lives that are beyond your control despite your effort to have everything done your own way. Learn to admit that everything you once had and all the possibilities that lie in the future for you are all parts of your evolving life. Instead of mourning for your losses, find the strength to accept these changes. Value the lessons their going teach and continue your onward journey through life with more vigor and resilience you learned from the experience.
• Remove yourself from your present for a while. Keep some distance from the people, places, and events for a while to find the trees for the forest. When you are too involved in an event, you do not see clearly the over-all situation (just like someone who is in the middle of a forest who could not see the trees that make up the entire forest). Try to look back and be a witness rather than a participant in the whole event. This way, you can have a clearer look at things without emotional involvement that can blur the actual facts. By leaving for a while, you can then return and see things differently. Returning later where you started gives a fresher outlook and has different effect from not leaving at all.
• Focus on what is left, not what was gone. Crying over spilt milk and regretting what could never be undone are wastes of energy, time, and emotions. Assess what you can change or improve on what you have left. Review other options available and if necessary, do not hesitate to re-start and fine tune your procedures to attain alternative and better results.
• Admit full responsibility for your actions. Blaming would not alter the result of mistakes. Your disavowal of any responsibility means you refuse to learn from the incident and this is a great pity, indeed, because you are missing the opportunity to turn the wrong into something positive. Owning responsibility gives you complete control of your life, thus giving you the full power to correct it as you see fit. As is written by Deborah Reber in “Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul”, “Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.”
• Look inside yourself. Instead on hanging on to things or circumstances outside yourself for strength, focus inward within yourself instead. Everything there is within your power to control. You would realize that outside emotional crutches you tenaciously hang to would lose their grip on you. They become obsolete to fill your needs for support so letting them go of would be easier.
• Change the people around you. It is said that everyone we meet in this life comes for a purpose and when that purpose is accomplished, they somehow have a way of disappearing. They can parts of our memory but they we should not allow them to dictate our destiny. When these people start to compromise our present happiness and your potential for the people around you at present, it is time to let them go from our life. Cherish their memories and the lessons your encounters with them taught you but do not allow them to hold you from moving on.
• Your destiny awaits your decision. Do not allow your opportunity to a brighter future wait for too long—it might just pass you by altogether. Embrace changes that come into your life. They will surely do anyway, whether you like them or not. Instead of avoiding them, wouldn’t it be wiser of you to welcome them fully ready for whatever they bring? New challenges that come to you are chances for you to let go of your old self and make ways for new ones. Grab them and move on!
Now is the time for you to make up your mind. Decide if you will allow cobwebs of your past hold you back from reaching your future. Accept the fact that the fond memories of your past are gone. The sooner you let go of them and free yourself of their weight that burdens unnecessarily, the faster can
you move forward to the destiny that awaits you.