» » The Art of Letting Go

The Art of Letting Go

posted in: Motherhood, Postnatal | 0

People change. You change. The world changes.

Who would better understand how life can change than mothers, right? It doesn’t matter how you’ve prepared, the motherhood journey will never be exactly as you’d envisaged it. Nor will returning to any of the things you put on pause to have children ever be quite the same again.

If we hold on too tight to what was or put too much value in how we expect things to be, we constantly set ourselves up for disappointment.

This doesn’t just apply to motherhood. If you look at your life 10 years ago, how does it differ to now? And 10 years before that? As we grow, we change. People around us change, relationships alter, transition and evolve. Circumstances move in and out of expectation and certainty.

When we talk about finding balance in life, we explore the idea of moving with this natural ebb and flow of life. Even the most avid planner can’t predict the future and must learn to move with the unexpected.

Part of what makes us stuck or feel weighed down, is this obsession with holding on.

Holding on to the past, a regret, a relationship, a hurt, a lifestyle, an idea.

Letting go isn’t about having the courage to release the past, it’s about having the wisdom to embrace the present. ~ Steve Maraboli

Part of our “holding on” may be as simple of changing our focus ~ you can’t reach what’s in front of you until you let go of what’s behind you. When we focus on the present and future, we truly allow the past to be in the past.

However, sometimes it’s not as simple as changing your focus and it’s not as easy as just “letting it go”. When our fears, doubts, regrets or sadness are deep, then it can be more of a challenge. And it will take time.

Getting unstuck involves remembering an injury, but reconsidering it from a different, more empathetic perspective. Moving forward may mean reconfiguring a relationship so that you are less giving, more realistic. But it rarely means cutting off those ties. Think alteration, not amputation. Getting unstuck requires being truthful with yourself about how you feel—still angry, sad, or anxious, even though you wish you weren’t—but holding out the possibility that someday you might feel better.

~ Judith Sills, Psychology Today

Whilst every journey will be different and every path will vary, there are things you can do to start that transition towards letting go.

Accept what is.

Look at your life right now and explore what it might be that’s holding you back from being happy and in the flow of life. Write a list if you need to, hash it out. REALLY delve deep. If your circumstances have changed, then you need to alter your idea, or your perception of that reality to truly move with life.

Allow a little distance.

Sometimes allowing some space or distance from whatever you’re holding onto can give you greater clarity. Whether this is taking a few steps back to assess the situation from a different angle and to get a better view or to test the situation by removing yourself altogether – notice what happens.

Focus on possible change.

Focus on what you CAN change, not what you can’t. As hard as it is, that’s a never ending circle with no exit point. Live and learn from your experiences, then let it go. No point wasting energy on something you can’t change.

Make a choice.

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is your ‘lot in life’ and you simply have to deal. If you’re starting to feel like you don’t have the control, then take it back. Whilst the path of life can sometimes be taken out of your hands, it is your choice where you go from there. So make a statement to yourself – you are the boss!

Live in the moment.

If you’re consistently swept up in the memories of your life “before” or dreaming about what might be, you’re missing out on what’s happening RIGHT NOW. Soon enough the present will become the past and just another thing for you to regret not paying attention to. Notice what’s happening around you, how can you change your perspective? The mind is a powerful thing, but if we let it get away with us, it can do us damage.

Let go of what brings you down.

Heard of toxic relationships? This doesn’t mean culling your friendship group, but it may mean choosing to spend the majority of your time with people who lift you up and keeping the negative ones to a minimum. Of course if it does feel like a one way street, perhaps reserve that effort for elsewhere.

Take a journey inward.

The buck stops with you. You have to be true to yourself, and whilst it’s important to help others and find your place in the world, it’s just as important to look inside yourself. Take a look at your life and work out what makes you feel alive – nurture that, allow it to grow, let that be your focus. Take some time to just sit, with breath, with meditation, with whatever works. Allow your mind to ease so you can see it more clearly.

Letting go means confronting these invisible emotional barriers: bringing them into your awareness and then struggling against them. It means challenging irrational, unproductive thinking until you get your head on straight; it means facing up to your fear and then calling on your courage and your character to face it down; and it means confronting your passionate attachment to a past love and reducing it from a boulder to a pebble. Put the pebble in your pocket as a cherished reminder, and leave room in your heart for something new.

It won’t be easy, but it’s necessary. And it will take time.

Explore what you’re holding onto that’s holding you back.

Take the first step.