What I've Learned From Letting Go

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I hope this blog post finds you and your loved ones well this holiday season! If you’ve been following along with our Let It Go Challenge, then I’d like to congratulate you for showing up and being with us on the journey. The 21 days are over, but the real journey has only just begun!

Personally, I got rid of a lot… and in return, I gained so much back. Time. Peace. Growth. Restored relationships. I feel moved to share my journey with you and hope it fills you with determination for your own journey in letting go.

Major Lesson #1: Forgiveness

Prior to starting the challenge, I was holding onto some bitterness regarding a family member and a dispute we had. Even after the challenge began, I didn’t want to let go. I felt hurt and deeply misunderstood, and avoided all opportunities to reconcile or even see this person. But when I reflected on what I was holding onto (the knowledge that I was “right” and she was “wrong”), it all seemed silly. Was it really worth it? I was hurting myself much more by holding on.

I decided to let go. When I consciously made that decision, these four reflections came up:

(1) Forgiveness frees you and the other person. But most importantly, you. Because you hold the power to choose forgiveness.

(2) Forgiveness doesn’t mean they deserve it. Oftentimes, they don’t. That’s what forgiveness is all about.

(3) Forgiveness frees you from the outcome. Your happiness isn’t tied to how the other person responds… Because you can get closure no matter what. You can move on.

(4) Forgiveness means letting go of your ego. Ego is one of the biggest obstacles to letting go of anything.

Speaking of ego, I realized that ego contributes to a lot of “holding on” behavior. So let’s move on to lesson #2.

Major Lesson #2: Ego

Soon after my forgiveness lesson, I faced another important lesson, which hit me hard in the middle of the night. It inspired me so much that I felt compelled to share on our Let It Go Challenge Facebook group (which you are most welcome to join):

“Just had a flash of insight in the middle of the night. I was thinking about a friend who said I seem stressed out lately, which is weird because I’m more laid back and chill right now than I’ve ever been in my entire life. And part of me wonders when I’ll come down from that high, but the chill side of me wants to let that go and just enjoy it.

My initial response was that of surprise, and thought of explaining myself in depth. But an inner voice told me, ‘Your purpose in life is not to be understood. Nor to understand.’ Confused, I asked: ‘What is our purpose then?’

It was quiet for a moment, then I heard the voice again.

‘Your purpose is to communicate Love. To feel Love. In every encounter… With every intention.’

It feels so freeing for me to hear that… To know that I can let go of my ego–the need to defend myself for my actions, the need to constantly explain… And all I have to do is set forth an intention of gratitude and compassion. To let go of the outcome and to be truly forgiving of myself and my shortcomings.

Everyone has a struggle… So when they’re acting from a place of pain, when they’re not aware of their Highest self, they act out. And rather than stoop to their level, I want to come from a place of Love, forgiving them for their moments of weakness.. The moments where they may criticize or doubt me… It’s not personal at all. They’re speaking from their own pain.

When two hearts meet and one communicates with Love, neither seeking to be understood nor to understand, but just to love… The other is more able to vibrate at that same frequency.

When we forgive, we break the cycle of communicating from that place of pain. By communicating with Love instead and letting go of ego, we can move forward and bring ourselves into a better place of peace, one that isn’t focused on being heard or understood. One that doesn’t rely on a certain outcome in order to be happy. Because we can choose to be happy right now.

Look deep within yourself, and if you let go of ego and listen closely to the needs of your heart, you will find that the Love has been there all along.”

This “letting go of ego” led to many other insights…

Other Letting Go Lessons

(1) I’ve let go of overthinking. I used to want to know all the answers… Call it the student in me, but I wanted to know everything. I prided myself in what I knew. Now, I don’t care what I know, or what I don’t know. I remain open to knowing what I need to know, when it’s time to know it. And I no longer feel ashamed if I don’t know something.

(2) I let go of comparing and jealousy. Keeping up with others is so draining. A fellow blogger wrote a post that resonated with me (called “Don’t Compare Your Insides to Someone Else’s Outsides”), which sums up my thoughts on the subject perfectly.

(3) I let go of the need to be perfect.

(4) I let go of what others think about me. Because in the end, what people think of me says so much more about them than me. Instead, I focus on how to get really connected with my Higher Self, the one that brings me to a higher level of understanding – of myself and the world around me. And to follow the calling of my Higher Self (which I call “intuition”) throughout the day – what can I do in each moment to make the world a better place?

Lesson #3: Letting Go of Limitations

Near the end of the 21 days, I realized that I’ve never given myself permission to really dream. A friend had asked me to create a list of 30 dreams I want to accomplish, if time and money were not an obstacle.

I thought it would be easy, but once I got to 15, I was having some difficulty finishing the other half of my list. Different dreams came up once I cleared some resistance and let go of the limits I placed on my dreams. I started to dream bigger than ever before.

When I got REALLY clear on what my dreams were (after allowing myself to Dream in the first place), it became clear on w hat activities were and were not bringing me closer to my dreams. Tap Titans and watching YouTube gamers were two huge culprits, so I let those go. I’ve started making home lunches for us and eating out much less (although saying no is still difficult).

“If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve gotta do something you’ve never done.”

A mentor of mine once said that thinking ahead and having vision is not making decisions simply for yourself, but for the grandchildren you haven’t had yet. It’s thinking far ahead and realizing that the actions we take now can and will compound into something much greater, if we keep that vision strong.

If you want an ordinary life, then do what everyone else is doing. But if you want a life of freedom and abundance, find people who are living that, people who exude character and integrity, and find out what they did to get there. They probably did something very different from what normal people do.

Once I got really clear on my dreams, the clutter faded away, and it was painless. I felt like a phoenix, one that rises above the ashes of clutter in an act of transformation. I feel more fulfilled, focused, and my days don’t feel so full. I can stop and breathe. I can take care of myself much more easily. I don’t have “brain fog” anymore (except when I eat too much or unhealthily, which still happens sometimes). Huge opportunities have come up once I learned to let go and trust the Universe will let the plan (the “how”) unfold.

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Of course, I’m still on this journey of learning and discovering, and I’m by no means perfect at letting go of any of these. But by becoming more aware of my thoughts, feelings, the energy I’m attracting, and being constantly connected with my Higher Self… these make the process much easier.

It’s such a wonderful journey and I haven’t felt so at ease in a long time. (Perhaps forever.)

If you’ve joined the Let It Go Challenge, what were your results? Did you learn anything about yourself along the way? And if you haven’t joined us, what would you like to let go of, and what do you think is the toughest thing to let go of?

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6 thoughts on “What I've Learned From Letting Go

  1. Oh you are so right about how difficult it is to let go of certain things. It took me years to let go of an anger I had against my sister -one that she didn’t even know about!! But because of that letting go we have become closer than we have ever been at any point in our lives. I’m so glad I was able to do that as she is my only family left and how sad it would have been to continue keeping that anger inside of me. Now…perhaps it is time to let go of a few other things…and start living my dream(s). Great post!

    • Hey Kendra!

      I’m so glad you were able to let go of the anger towards your sister. I understand how tough it can be to let go, but I’ve found that when we truly think about what matters more in the grand scheme of things– being right and understood, or patching the relationship– I’ve learned to let go with more grace. I just read your post on stress, and remembered that letting go can be a powerful antidote for stress too 🙂 thanks for sharing! Happy holidays!

  2. +1 to letting go of limitations and fear. If you want it, go for it. It will never be the right time, things won’t ever be “perfect”, but what is the worst that could happen? A nice post to read ahead of the new year! Thanks!

    • Yup, that’s so true, Al – we will never have all of our “ducks in a row,” so to speak. I often find myself overthinking everything and want to just take the leap of faith, that things will work out in its own way. Thanks for sharing!

  3. What a journey! I definitely struggle with letting go as well. A lot of your writing reminded me of The Four Agreements and The Voice of Knowledge by Don Miguel Ruiz. They’re pretty new age-y, so I don’t know if that’s your style, but there is always some wisdom to learn. If you haven’t read them already, I think you’d enjoy them.

    • Hi Grace! Wow – what an honor to be associated with Don Miguel Ruiz… I have The Four Agreements and am currently re-reading it. I will add The Voice of Knowledge to my reading list. Thanks for sharing and stopping by! 🙂

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