Letting things go sounds easy. But it is not an easy thing to do. Letting things go does not mean to push things away. It does not mean to switch on the “forget” button. You can do that, of course. But then, you will miss the opportunity to learn and to grow!
The art of letting things go is a powerful and liberating process that drives your personal growth. Letting things go is essential to lead yourself through all adventures live has to offer. To leverage this embedded growth potential, you may need different strategies in different situations to be able to let things go. However you approach your specific challenges; this is the main lesson, I learned:
You have to look at yourself. Deeply. Again and again. From different perspectives. That includes not to use your pointer finger to blame others. Even if the entire process is disrupting your current values and belief systems and is not offering another safe harbor, you should stay open-minded to learn what has to be learned.
The power of rituals – and why they are not enough
Common rituals include writing things you want to let go on a sheet of paper and to burn it in the fire. Those rituals can be powerful because they are tangible and manifest the decision to let something go. But often, those rituals are just an initiation of a deeper and longer process. Sometimes, those mind–driven actions and manifestations are too fast. Our hearts and souls may need more time and additional steps to “let things go”.
Observe yourself from different perspectives to learn
In my experience, observing yourself is a prerequisite to let things go. It means to step out of the situation that was perceived as painful for you and to observe yourself in that situation – but from the outside. If you remain in the epicenter of an earthquake, you won’t be able to see the overall impact and damage, and you won’t be able to look at the situation from different perspectives. To do so, you have to leave the epicenter. And that’s the same with “letting things go”. Step back. Go in silence. Being alone with yourself can be beautiful. Learn to enjoy yourself. We all need time with ourselves to look inwards, to listen, to reflect and to balance our hearts, minds, bodies and souls.
Put yourself next to the situation that was perceived as painful for you. Observe yourself and find the triggers that made you feel this way. Understand why and how you reacted as you did. Maybe somebody “pushed” your buttons? That might have happened. But it’s not a reason to blame others. Be aware that these buttons must have been implemented beforehand – by you. Furthermore, you probably made those buttons accessible for others. Only this way, somebody else could push your buttons; sometimes in an unconscious way. And this principle is true for all involved persons in a certain situation.
I’m a very sensitive person. For many years, I thought that my vulnerability would be my biggest weakness. Where others seem to have more filters and walls (from my perspective!), I rarely have those buffers available for me. There was a time when I tried to build walls around me, to become less vulnerable. But this is not my way. That’s not me. I cannot live like that. I learned to be grateful for who I am and to embrace my vulnerability as my specific gift, my unique growth potential, my early warning sensor.
What’s good and what’s bad in that very moment? It depends…
Perceiving something as “good” or “bad” is based on our situational judgment. Be always aware that this is the case. Then, try to make space for not knowing. Assuming that we don’t know, we have to keep moving and to keep a bit of space for things to happen. Being on this journey requires also to stop judging situations and people. It also means to realize that whatever occurs is neither the beginning nor the end. What is perceived as an end, can later be the beginning of a new chapter in your life. If so, both events were necessary to achieve your current plateau. If I never had experienced lots of frustration on corporate craziness in my previous role, I had not changed this situation. Now I find myself in another role that allows me much more space for creativity, more freedom, and more value creation. My frustration was perceived as very painful at this time. But from today’s perspective, it had to happen this way to get me out of this situation, to bring me in another role that allows me much better to use my talents and passions. What’s good, what’s bad – it depends… It’s a question of different perspectives at different points in time.
Take your time to look at different of those situations and try to discover the overarching patterns and the core challenges in your life. It’s more than a worthwhile journey. It’s a beautiful journey of personal growth – like a beautiful tree. Work on yourself to get to this level of clarity. Instead of falling into the same habits over and over again, wouldn’t it be more valuable to understand and to notice why and how we react in different situations, how we color our reality?
Be curious about yourself and go on a discovery journey.
Letting things go doesn’t lead you to another harbor. It is not a journey to get another level of security. Not at all. You have to learn to swim even in cold and deep water if you want to learn, to grow and to lead yourself. It is always about stepping into unknown territory, continually moving forward.
Enjoy your journey!