The gift of letting go
If you still remember my blog post: "Resisting the urge to quit", you might find the title of this one a bit contradicting - but don't stop reading just yet! There is a difference between perseverance and holding on to things. The English Oxford Living Dictionary defines "Perseverance" as "Persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success." That means overcoming for a positive cause and outcome. Holding on to something, on the contrary, often comes with a negative connotation. You can hold on to something material for example and hold it so dear that it means more to you than anything else. There seems nothing wrong with that, right? I mean, who does not consider their smartphone their life in mini format? Nearly everything is condensed in that small device and if it was lost or taken away it would be as though a part of us was missing. Yet, shouldn't we question the things we do not want to let go off by all means? Things that would make living without them unimaginable. The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes it as: "maintaining possession of or adherence to." Something that blurs the lines between lovingly holding on and forcefully clinging on.
The aspect of holding on, most of the time, does not even involve anything physical but touches on the aspect of our emotions and thoughts. We all know those moments of irritation or when something upsets us. In such situations it can sometimes feel like what the other person has said or done is an offense of the highest order. How would you ever be able to forgive and forget? Well, the good news is you can. And that is because you have the option and ability to let things go. You can choose not to give into negative thoughts and emotions, like anger, resentment, and unforgiveness. You can also redirect your thoughts and decide not respond in anger when faced with a situation that tries to bring out the worst in you. Instead, let it showcase the best in you! This may seem like something that sounds great in theory but is simply impossible in reality. But is it really?
Imagine this, you take a stroll down the street and somebody accidentally ran into you and poured their cup of coffee all over your white t-shirt. You have every right to get upset in the situation like this, isn't it? But if you start getting upset it will neither make your t-shirt clean and turn back to white, neither will it undo what just happened. On the contrary, through your negative reaction, this incident might just cause you to be in a terrible mood the entire day. Hours that you will never be able to retrieve once passed and time you could have invested in productive and positive thoughts. Now, in this scenario the other person made an honest mistake, which is easy to forgive but what about those people who purposely want to bring you down? They should deserve the full force of your fury. Well, have you heard the saying: "Whatever you give your attention to has power over you." Then think about the power you give to someone when you allow their words and actions dictate your feelings. Do you really want to allow somebody else to control your feelings and thought? Guess not. People often consider being the loudest, instantly reacting in anger and always having a word of mockery or slander about others as strength but that is actually the greatest display of weakness. You not paying attention to other people's negative behavior towards you is the real demonstration of strength.
Just think of all the clutter you would be able to remove when you learn how to let things go. Visualize a storage room that you have been filling up with things for years, without ever taking anything out. You just keep adding item after item. One day the door to that storage room will not close anymore. In addition, picture all the dust that would have settled on those things over time if they remain untouched. Then, turn this thought around and imagine this storage room after it has been cleaned out. How fresh the air would feel. How much space would be available for new things. And it is the same with the mind. When you learn to let go of negative things and do a good spring cleaning, you will create space for new and fresh ideas. New inspiration and new plans. Do yourself a favor and learn how to clean out your storage room on a regular basis. Embracing the gift of letting go. Life is too short to clutter it with unnecessary things.