How to Let Go of the PastAll the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. ~Henry Ellis
Despite my best intentions, I’ve spent the past week looking for a fight.
It started as a small seed of frustration over a few things work-related, and passively I stood back as it bloomed into something far greater and much uglier than I ever should have allowed.
My reaction to the situations I encountered was completely off balance.
I found myself seething with anger when a well-meaning coworker took over a task clearly delegated to me. I started sobbing when a meeting that ran longer than expected left me with a $50 parking ticket.
It was the kind of emotion that doesn’t dissipate with time, the kind that you go to sleep thinking about and spend the night dreaming about.
It must be picked up and examined, turned over, contemplated and dissected. It requires finding the origin, and reconstructing it so it isn’t allowed to return to its original form.
It’s the kind of emotion that requires letting go and making the conscious decision to move on. In other words, it takes a lot of hard work.
While I was in the midst of all the heavy emotional lifting, I decided to do physically what I was attempting to do mentally — purge what wasn’t working to make room for what would.
So I went to work on my closet.
I searched through the forgotten, the hidden, the things I had outgrown. I pushed through all the well-I-might-use-that-some-day’s and the but-so-and-so-gave-that-to-me’s until I felt that sense of peace that only physical simplicity can offer.
Not everyone is a fan of extreme organization, but for me, my environment is a direct reflection of my mind. Thus, clearing things out in a physical sense paves the way to mental clarity.
In the days that followed, I made the deliberate decision to clear a space in my mind like the one I had created in my home.
By letting go of the anger and frustration, I opened up enough room for things to flow again. And it’s flow that really allows for things to fall into place in a positive way.
Many of us see spring as the time to clear out the cobwebs, plant gardens, clean all the areas of our homes that were neglected during winter.
But it’s also the perfect time to let go and make room for better feeling feelings, new experiences in alignment with what we desire and relationships that reflect who we are and who we are striving to be.
Choose forgiveness, embody it and move on.
Resentment and anger take up a great deal of space in our minds and in our lives.
They taint future relationships, change the way we feel about ourselves and keep us in a perpetual state of fight or flight. Not to mention the fact that they are exhausting emotions to entertain.
When it comes to cleaning house, practicing forgiveness is the first step, one that will make all other steps possible. Work to release any hurts you may have experienced in the hands of others and be fully present in the moment.
Most of all, be kind to yourself and respect your progress.
#2 Letting Go
Let go of relationships that aren’t adding to your happiness or sense of fulfillment.
Most of us don’t have an infinite amount of time to spend nurturing relationships that refuse to bloom.
Instead of pouring yourself into something that clearly isn’t working, or is no longer offering you the fulfillment relationships — romantic or otherwise — should be giving you, make the conscious decision to let it go.
This might mean confronting someone head on, or simply phasing someone out of your life. Either way, you are creating room for someone else to enter — someone that is better suited to you and your needs at the time.
In all likelihood, this decision will be serving the other person in a positive way as well — the sheer fact that a relationship isn’t working for one person means it’s not working for the other.
#3 Confront Fear
Do one thing everyday that takes you out of your comfort zone.
You can’t get different results by taking the same actions and the greatest change comes from doing something you wouldn’t normally do.
Not only will you put this in contact with new people, but it will slowly give you the confidence to pursue different paths.
A few years ago, I was paralyzed with fear anytime I had to interact with people I didn’t know. So I decided to take a job where I would be required to spark up conversations in restaurants, stores and bars in order to sell a specific product. Needless to say, I was terrified.
After countless conversations, I stopped being intimidated. That lack of intimidation and ability to see everyone as my equal ultimately landed me my next job.
#4 Be Decisive
Stop being wishy-washy and decide what you want. Declare it to the world.
When reflecting on their life, a lot of people will say that they don’t have what they want. But most never actually decided what they wanted in the first place.
The universe doesn’t simply read your mind when you have fleeting thoughts of “wouldn’t it be nice to have that?” You must place your order — the more specific the better.
If you are clear about the things that you want, you will be more likely to notice when it arrives, or be able to tell when certain opportunities or people are being placed in your path for your benefit. It also gives you the motivation to create change instead of simply waiting for it to happen.
#5 Find Abundance
Focus on abundance in every area of your life.
What you focus on multiplies, so why not focus on abundance instead of lack?
Start a gratitude practice in which you concentrate on all of the circumstances, things and people in your life that make your experience on this planet easier, happier or more fulfilling.
No matter how small the impact it’s had, it deserves a mention.
Meditate on your gratitude, create a list or talk about it at your family dinner. Whatever you do, give it a voice and notice how your body and mind shift to a better feeling place almost immediately.
If you make it a habit to be grateful for all of the amazing things you already have, you will inevitably attract more of what you want into your life.
** What about you? What are you having a hard time letting go of? What tips have you found helpful in letting go of unproductive emotions? Share your thoughts and stories with us in the comment section. See you there.