It’s that time of year again….when we assess the past year, think about what we desire for the upcoming year and notice all of the things, beliefs, behaviors, people in/around our lives that no longer serve us. Over the years, I have become a master of letting go.
In the last three years alone, I have ended a long relationship, let go of my past, released almost everything inherited from a business asset purchase, broken up with friends and said goodbye to wonderful people I am not likely to ever cross paths with again.
Some things have disappeared from my life out of necessity. Some have been dismissed willingly. Some have been given away anxiously.
And all of them have been let go of painfully.
Letting go is challenging, and sometimes you have to do it again and again and again until it sticks. You show it to the door, and somehow it keeps creeping back in. And then you gently guide it back out.
The cue here is gently. It is as true for letting go as it is for any type of change. What you resist persists.
This will be My Mindful Year. A year of becoming a master of mindfulness; this will require that I first let go of the “musts”. Musts….those sneaky little bugger thoughts that eat away at joy. The thoughts that I’ve failed, if I haven’t reached some nominal, unrealistic standard I set for myself. Insidious stories I tell myself that if something isn’t the exact way I imagined it, I’ve done it wrong.
Musts are made of depleting, clingy ick. Musts are strict and certain and closed up tight. Musts kill creativity. Musts leave no room for hope, joy, and possibility. Frankly, musts suck.
Hello, my name is Jo and I’m a chronic musturbator (Look it up, it’s a real word). So I am letting the musts go. Instead, I am making room for wonder. I wonder how this will turn out. I wonder what I can do today. And this feels like an exhale.
Maybe that’s how it happens – letting go – we must decide in one moment to stop white-knuckling through life. We must loosen our grip for a second. And there is a release, a softening, an opening….peace.
It truly can be that simple – even for us chronic musturbators – those beliefs and stories that have kept us scared and small for so long. It just takes one moment of breathing out, one moment of release – of letting go.
The key to letting go is embracing acceptance. There cannot be release unless you accept.
And just like acceptance, letting go is a practice. Consciously deciding and repeatedly acting is the way.
Personally, I practice acceptance and letting go the same way one would practice yoga: Several times a week, with intention and purpose. Bravely, humbly and gently. Truly.
After years of analyzing and agonizing over the past, I am becoming increasingly ready to let go of my past. At this point in my life, it no longer serves me to identify as a victim. I am so much more than that.
For me, letting my story go means accepting the parts of me that are shaped by my experience. Letting go of my story means being fully present, without burying myself in memories or despair. And most importantly, letting go of my story means learning to see myself as whole and healed, not broken.
In addition to faithfully committing to let go in my mind, repeatedly, every time I fall back into old ways – I am working on opening myself up both energetically and emotionally. The way I let go is active and spiritual, symbolic and visual. It helps me make the intangible clear and definite. And in this, I am connecting with my power.
Before I release a relationship, I find it powerful to say a blessing. One of my favorites: