Ok, so the mom in me, for some reason, would always think about the song “Let It Go” of Disney’s Frozen every time I think about Letting Go. But, I guess, there’s a lot of truth to what Elsa was singing out loud –
It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all
It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I can just imagine you are singing in your mind while reading this. Anyway, think about it – everyone is free, we are all created free, living free, and supposed to find freedom everywhere. So if we are free, what stops us from doing something? What traps us from this state where we are in now? For me it’s all about choice, all about free will, doing things based on what you believe in, what you think is right or wrong for you, or simply how you just are. So why do we then let ourselves be bound of the things we have? It’s all about what we believe these things represent. These are the memories that made you feel good about an important event in life, an achievement you have been trying to reach since forever, or that one person who made you feel you are the queen of the world. There are so many reasons why, so I cannot just say (or sing) “Let It Go, Let It Goooo!” to any of my clients. By recognizing that these things around you represent a feeling, which has to go through a process in order to change, is already a good start. The start of understanding that another feeling sits on top of that hierarchy of importance in your life you call – purpose. Let me share a few steps with you, which hopefully will help you in finding part of this purpose.
Step 1 – Remember and Transfer
Things you have may or may not have an actual use for you at the present. You might find yourself wondering why you can’t seem to just say yes to letting go of something even if there really is no other reason for you to keep it. Try to remember why these things are important. If you cannot remember a certain event, then try to remember a feeling. Were you very happy when you bought this? Do you feel happy or fulfilled when you look at it? Or is this a remembrance of a sad or angry feeling that you want to remember so that it won’t happen again in the future? In reality, what we come up with is actually a feeling of expectation, an outcome that you expect from the feelings you have had before. Either a feeling of hope from the joy or success you felt will go on forever. Or the feeling of strength that will lead to a better quality of life in the future.
Once you finally remember that feeling, try to understand how you would like to treat it? Do you want that feeling of resentment forever? Or do you accept the fact that everything is bound to change? The joy that you have now, which is a blessing back then, will serve as inspiration for a greater thing in the future.
Once you do understand how to deal with it, there is an option of transferring that emotion. I always suggest writing it and sending it to your own email. This way, it’s easier to look for, and hopefully – will last as long as possible. But taking photos is also an option. This way your imagination will not have to work double time to remember how it really looks like. Nevertheless, transferring is only a tool in order for you to help you cope up with Step 3 later and be able to manage that gap or emptiness that you might feel in the future.
Step 2 – Understand, Accept, and Commit
Now that you have an understanding of the feeling a particular thing reminds you of, you have to understand the rationale for why you should let it go now. Is it because there is a realization that you think is more important? Do you think that letting go of a room full of clothes you have accumulated for the past 15 years is good now because you have a daughter who loves you dearly and would want you to move on? Have you strengthened your faith and found solace on a new concept of giving, where there are a lot more people who may need it more?
This understanding should lead to acceptance that now is the time, and committing yourself to it means that you found that courage to start the process. Take note, you are not letting go yet! You just found that courage to start. Take it easy. It’s never an easy decision, it always has to go through a process. A process of acceptance which will be different in length of time for every person strong enough to start.
Step 3 – Forgive, not Forget. Choose Peace All the Time
Finally, even before the act of letting go, you have to forgive yourself already. Forgiving yourself for the pain that it will be causing you after. Have peace in your heart that this understanding leads to an improvement of life and purpose. This process is a humbling experience that leads to the fact that there’s always something greater than us. And with that, you strive for greatness with your newly found purpose.
Forgiving and not forgetting are always partners in this process. The reason is that we are feeling beings. Our ability to remember gives us a basis for moving forward. It is a learning experience that helps us become better. As you forgive yourself with the pain, don’t forget whatever that thing stood for and how it became part of you. The moment that you let go, there will always be that gap with in you, that feeling of longing you want to solve by bringing that loss back. But as soon as you want to be able to get it back, try reading or looking at the medium you have transferred these objects to, so that you can slowly adapt. Give yourself a time to grieve. And just like any gap in your life, a new joy will fill it up. It can either be an object or an experience. Travelling to see new places, or having new activities to meet new friends, or just finding a new purpose.
Choose peace all the time, peace with yourself and peace with the people around you. Once the process has been completed, you will find yourself smiling, not just because your home is cleaner now, or that you have more space to walk around in, but because you were able to do it without having to resent and binge back to whatever you have accepted to let go of. The success of any person is the success in overcoming their greatest challenge – overcoming oneself.
Thanks for reading!