This is the story of my life! I tried to hold on to so many things that I had no way to be happy. Letting go was the most difficult thing for me to do. I didn’t let go of my possession of things, didn’t let of people I desired as the list goes on. But what did the mind set of not letting go bring me? Disaster, more depression, unhappiness and lack of self-confidence. To be happy, we don’t need things or people, because happiness comes from within. Until we don’t learn how to let go of things we can’t control, happiness is far away.
What does letting go implies?
You might think, why would you even let go when the possession is yours? Here lies the secret. There is nothing in this world you can possess rather than yourself. You are the only one who is truly yours. Attachment makes it tough to let go of anything you love or desire. People, material things, views etc. create attachment and make it tough to let go because we become afraid of losing them. We think, if we lose, we will be unhappy even we might not survive. Just take a look at your life back, so many things you had to let go such as, material things and people you liked, did you die??
Most of the things or people in our lives bring us emotional gratification or sensual pleasure. And none of these means happiness. Happiness is not related to others. It’s entirely your decision to be happy whether you have any possession or not.
The illusion of possession:
Often we think that possessions will bring us joy. But, have you ever wondered how a simple possession brings you anxiety many times? Here is an example; suppose, you have a person you like. You have been happy together so far, but suddenly, that person doesn’t want to stay in the relationship anymore. But you are not ready to let of the relation or the possession. The person is not happy with the commitment, and you two start suffering together instead of enjoying it. What do you think is a more suitable thing to do in this situation? To hold on to the dead string or to let go?
Letting go is the key here. You can’t be happy while carrying a burden on your shoulder. But you can let go and be free. Letting go is the key to freedom. Just think this, everything is impermanent. You can’t hold on to everything forever.
Why is letting go hard?
It is hard because of our emotional attachments. We think the thing we possess brings joy. We mostly romanticize about the stuff we have. We love someone and think about them. The affection grows and it becomes hard to let go of them. We are afraid that if we let go, we will lose our happiness along with the person or material. But, we need to understand that worldly possessions can’t bring happiness because happiness only derives from within ourselves. If we can run our mind in the right direction, we will be happy without even having a single thing.
How letting go helps?
Why would you let go when you can have the possession for longer? There are many benefits to letting go.
- Freedom: everyone wishes to be free and from where does freedom come? Freedom comes from letting go of possessions. Without attachment, your mind and soul becomes free. You become a free person with a lot of joy. When something doesn’t serve us anymore, we must let go.
- Personal growth: Letting go teaches us to grow gradually. When we hold on to something, be it a person or a material, we can’t move on. We dwell in past situations and emotions which doesn’t let us flourish. Letting go of possessions helps you to pursue better and healthier things in life.
5 Ways to learn to let go
- Make a decision: The first thing is to decide. You must realize the value of your choice. You will see people who smoke for years find it tough to quit, but once they make their mind, they quit forever. Just like that, you also have to decide to let go. You can write your decision on paper. Make a journal where you can write your thoughts. If needed, write every day the same thing and one day you will see that you feel much better than the time you started.
- Stop blaming others: If you are unhappy, then you are one responsible for it. Don’t blame other people in your life for your state. Stop being the victim. No one can make you unhappy if you don’t support it. You must understand happiness is a state of your mind where others don’t have any access.
- Learn from the past: The past is always the experience. Learn from past mistakes and move on. If you hold on to the past and don’t allow yourself to live in the present, you will never be able to gain anything. Letting is much easier when you know that you can’t bring the past back. You have to live in the moment. The present moment is the only time that can prepare you for everything.
- Have faith in yourself: You have to have faith in yourself and in the universe. Letting go won’t harm you instead will bring the best out of you and bring the best for you. Sometimes, things are physically gone, but we keep craving, which keeps us from moving on. You must accept the absence. Your faith in yourself will help you the most to make a better life. You can even lean on a friend who understands and support you.
- Meditate: It can be one of the first things to do. You need to calm your mind to direct your emotions in the right way. And the best thing is, it only takes 5 minutes a day. You don’t have to meditate 30 minutes or 1 hour everyday, give it a go for 5 minutes. But, do it regularly. Sit in a quiet place and let go of your thoughts. Don’t judge anything, just let your thoughts pass. Remember, what is gone is gone and you are still here alive and well. You don’t need anything to rely on to live. You are solely responsible for your life and you are alone competent to live peacefully. Meditation will make you realize the importance of your life and time.
Finally, I want to say that live for yourself and only then you will be able to help others live. If you are devastated of thinking that you lost something, you will be the most crippled person in the world. Letting go is always the best way to bring better outcomes. It is hard, but worth it. You can understand the value of your life and emotions only after you let go of the past, let of the people that don’t serve you anymore, let go of the memory that makes you restless, let go the things that are of no use.