The Art of Letting Go: A, B, C’s of Moving the Fuck On
I have always had a hard time Letting Go. Whether it was a relationship that had run its course, a career path that no longer provided joy, or toxic thought patterns — year after year I found myself hanging on that which no longer served me… and I couldn’t figure out why.
I like to think myself an educated woman with fairly solid deductive reasoning abilities, yet I could not explain away my choice to remain in environments that were draining me mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I could not move on from them. I was unable to Let Go. And it was killing me.
I found myself saying that I wanted to be “Happy.” But instead of cutting ties, abandoning my burdens and walking in Freedom, I continuously chained myself to the proverbial kicking of dead horses.
I was disconnected.
There was a clear disconnect between what I said I wanted for myself and what I was actually creating for myself. I realized that all this talk of Happiness meant nothing if I was not willing to put in work to Create the life I wanted. And that meant taking a hard look in the mirror, acknowledging patterns of behaviors (or habits) that no longer served me, and committing to the intentional long-term work required to retrain myself.
In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg breaks down the formation of the “Habit Loop”: Trigger > Routine > Reward. Once a behavior becomes automatic, the decision-making portion of our brain sort of goes to sleep . . . which is actually a huge advantage to us as humans because it frees up a lot of other mental energy to devote elsewhere. But this function creates a huge disadvantage for us when we want to break a habit or addiction — we are actually working against the neurology of our own brain.
Yes, it sounds daunting but the good news is it is possible. Here are my A, B, Cs to getting unstuck and moving the fuck on:
A: ACCEPT what is
In his book The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle describes Acceptance as a “This is it” response to anything occurring at any given moment in life; the release of resistance to any reality in life which welcomes a sense of peace and serenity.
What you resist, persists.
Regarding our internal experience: When we run from our fears, or disassociate from entire portions of the Self, they become monsters, living just beneath the surface, ready to sabotage any effort we make to build anew. But when we confront our fears of isolation, abandonment and unworthiness, we strip them of their power.
Regarding our external experience: Once we turn our sights from the comforts of the past and release expectations of the future, we are able to look at the present moment through a clear lens to see people and situations for exactly what they are.
Acceptance demands Presence. When you find yourself being drawn back by regrets or anger from the past or being lured forward with fantasies of the future, bring yourself back into your body. Breathe in and out. Engage your senses and SAVOR the moment at hand — the smells, the tastes, the sights before you. Focus on specific Joys of the here and now to help bring you back.
B: BELIEVE in what will come
There is a Proverb that reads, “As a man thinks within himself, so he is . . .” And it’s true. Like attracts like. If you sew negativity into your mind, you will reap harmful behaviors which will draw in destructive company to your life.
Without boundaries the mind will run out of control. It will jump around from painful moments in the past to unfulfilled dreams; from damaging thought to damaging thought. You will be a hostage to your mind, out of control and full of anxiety.
It is incredibly important to be intentional about the thoughts we host because our thoughts create our reality.
C: CLEAR, BE CLEAR & COMMIT.
The fastest way to move forward is not by doing more but rather by stopping to Clear away that which no longer serves us. Sometimes this refers to negative behaviors or ways of thinking, but a lot of times we must remove physical barriers in our path.
Marie Kondo shares in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tiding Up, “The place we live should be for the person we are becoming now — not for the person we have been in the past.”
- Is your living space chaotic, filled with items that keep you tied to the past? Time to purge.
- Does every item you own bring you joy? If not, chuck it.
- Does your environment produce the emotions you desire to constantly experience? No? Clear and Create.
Once you have cleared away all that old energy, what are you going to replace it with? It is time to Be Clear about what you want to bring into your Life.
During times of transition, it is vital to maintain our focus. But how can we maintain that focus if we aren’t really clear about what we are aiming towards? Journal daily. Create a vision board. Write a list of what you want. Be specific.Once you get clear about what you want, get ready! The whole world will open for you & you will discover that God was just waiting for you to get onboard with the process.
Change is not easy. I can guarantee that there will be moments of frustration, anger, loneliness and uncertainty; there will be setbacks, lapse in judgement and moments of questionable decision making. Its ok. They are all a part of your journey. Welcome them without judgement and leave them as you continue on. Commit to the ebb and flow the Journey brings, remembering you are only human & you are doing your best.