Sometimes we need to let go of things.
It’s been a little quiet around here lately because I’ve been doing a lot of letting go.
I recently parted ways from my boyfriend of six years. He’s a wonderful and fun guy whom I remain close friends with, but it was time for both of us to move on. Listen closely to who you are and what you want, embrace it, let go of who you’re not.
I also recently moved out of the apartment I shared with my boyfriend. We lived in that apartment since we first moved to Los Angeles almost four years ago. It was actually the place I’ve lived longest in my life besides my parents’ house. It was weird to leave, but there were also good things ahead. Move forward with what is, let go of what was.
I chose to live by myself for the first time ever, a decision I’m very happy with. But living alone in a nice apartment in the country’s most unaffordable rental market isn’t very kind to the pocketbook. After years of working hard to become debt-free and financially comfortable, I’m back to a strict budget…which isn’t what I pictured for myself at this age. I’ll write more in a different post about my strategies for budgeting and earning extracurricular income, but my new financial situation certainly required that I let go of some things. Consider your options, choose what’s most important to you, understand you can’t have everything, let go of what you didn’t choose.
While the three things above were the real biggies in the past month, I also had another source of letting go: I joined a Toastmasters club. Since I was a teenager I’ve had a debilitating fear of public speaking. I’ve spent countless hours/days anguishing over some upcoming presentation, so much so that it made me physically sick at times. And even worse, I know I’ve sold myself short and missed opportunities in life because of letting this fear define me. Sometimes you have to step back and say, “Enough is enough. I don’t like living this way and I’m going to change it.” I’ve only been to two Toastmasters meetings so far but I can already tell it’s going to be an incredible and empowering experience, and I’m so glad I decided to try it. Examine your fear, ask who you would be without it, take the first step, let go of what holds you back.
I don’t mean for this post to be a rundown of my personal challenges du jour, but rather I want to share how healthy and liberating it is to master the art of “letting go.” This is something I’ve never been very good at, but recently (through practice, necessity, or both) it seemed to click for me. However I learned it, I can honestly say that this process has made big decisions and life transitions so much easier and healthier.
It’s not about abandoning or ignoring your feelings, but rather consciously detaching from the emotional burden of worrying or holding on to things that are too heavy to carry with you. Here’s how I’d break it down:
How to let go
*of worry, overwhelm, anger, sadness, confusion, anything
- Face the issue by really looking for and acknowledging its root cause. How did you get where you are right now? How does where you are compare to where you want to be? What role do you play in that?
- Address whatever you need to address there. What power or resources do you have to start moving in the right direction? What do you need to do/say/think to get you there? Follow through. Be resourceful and resilient and don’t stop until you’re done.
- Approach everything with your best intentions. This means you’re being true to yourself and kind to others.
- Forgive yourself for what is out of reach. Know that it is enough to do your best with what you have and what you know.
- Let go of your worry. Trust that you’ve done your part and step back from the rest, knowing it will work itself out in some way–and you will let it.