Sunday, 04 November 2018 11:10

Know When to Let Go. Featured

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It is easier said than done, the most courageous decision you’ll ever make is to let go of what is hurting you. Sometimes you clinched and held so tight that what you are not letting go begin to move away from you despite your tight gripped. Sometimes, you need to let go, and the

things that want to get away from you start coming back and glued to you.

One reason most people cannot let go is that they are attached. These could be an attachment to relationships, jobs, friends, locations, belongings, and even ideas. We attach to our hopes and dreams. The things you attach yourself to might not be valuable but becomes valuable because of your attachment. We all have attachments to one or two things in our lives. Living with detachment is a sign of spiritual maturity. Stop being manipulated by the stuff you attached to yourself.

There is a difference between connection and attachment. The connection is healthy. Connecting with someone enables you to share a commonality. You both share mutual respect, love, trust, and peace. When attached you become entangled. You can become vulnerable as a result because your energy and thoughts will become disproportionately focused on your attachment. You lose your perspective the more entangled you become. Getting attached moves you to a place of need. The moment you believe you need someone to be happy, you are powerless as you just gave a valuable power to the object or subject you are attached to, and this can be depressing.

Nothing in the world should have the capacity to make you happy and subject your life to be dependent on that thing, event, idea, people or object. Happiness comes from within; it is in the present moment by making peace with the past and looking forward to the future. Happiness does not come from any other person, idea, place or material things. Gratitude has a lot to play in being happy. When you are grateful for the hurts and hardship you have been through and for the fact you are still alive, it creates happiness inside of you, and this kind of happiness brings with it a joy that you cannot understand. You will have peace that surpasses all understanding. You are satisfied, no matter the nature of your challenges because you are happy, and you know that whatever you are going through, you have another chance, a great opportunity for something new, more significant, and better.

The moment you realise that it only takes you to be happy that is the time you have found true happiness. Your happiness should not depend on anything, but you. You decide to be happy no matter what. It is a conscious decision you make. Happiness is an inside job, not external. Happiness is not what you can see or touch. It is not what others can do for you. It is what you think and feels and does to others and yourself.  It’s about your Thinking and Feeling.

Positive thinking and happiness cannot be separated. It is essential to learn how to accentuate the positive if you must be happy in life. Start boosting your happiness by focusing on positive things. The more time you spend on positive thinking, the less time you will spend on negative thinking. The ratio of positive to negative thoughts is a significant factor in overall happiness. Your brain is continually monitoring the emotional tone of your thoughts. With too many negative thoughts your brain responds by creating stress and sadness in your body. When you add more positive thoughts, your brain will create relaxation and happiness. By training yourself to follow or refute negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll improve your positive/negative thought ratio and be happier.

When you are happy, your perception in life about things will be different from someone that is not happy. Your habits will become different as well. The small stuff you do daily will vary. Happiness is the consequence of what you do and how you behave. Your behaviour is significant if you want to be happy. Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterised by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.

Happiness is action, but happy habits are not hedonic habits, as Action for Happiness recognises in their ‘Ten Keys to Happier Living”’– synthesised from all the happiness research. Their GREAT DREAM advocates:

Giving – do things for others
Relating – connect with people
Exercising – taking care of your body
Appreciating – awareness of what you do and the world around you
Trying Out – doing new things

Direction – doing things towards a goal
Resilience – bouncing back after something negative
Emotion – being positive about what you do
Acceptance – that we all have faults and that things go wrong
Meaning – being part of something bigger

Action for Happiness is a movement of people committed to building a happier and more caring society. We want to see a fundamentally different way of life - where people care less about what they can get just for themselves and more about the happiness of others.

Some of the behaviours of happy people include:

  • Staying connected to their families
  • Engaging in activities that fit their strengths, values, and lifestyle.
  • They practice gratitude.
  • Being optimistic in their thinking pattern.
  • Being kind and generous.
  • Their happiness does not depend on their state or condition.
  • They develop a healthy coping strategy.
  • They are health conscious.
  • They live above their emotions.
  • They have a purpose, a sense of direction and leadership.

Telling you to let go is not saying you should give up that easily. When I tell you that you should know when to let go, it is not the same as giving up. It takes discipline, so much control and courage to let go of something that might be valuable, but it was time to let go. Lots of people store junk in their homes because they refused to let go of certain things they should have discarded. You will never achieve what you are capable of if you are too attached to the things you’re supposed to let go of in life. Many people believe holding on and hanging in there, infinitely, are signs of incredible strength.  But there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and let go.

The signs are there to let go, but you keep holding on thinking there will be a change. Sometimes the change is for you to let go. If it is easy to let go, I won’t be talking about it here. It is not easy; it is very hard. You are the only one in the universe with the power to let go. You might be finding it difficult to let go, and if you do, I have a simple way to help you out. Let things be. The only meaning that anything has is the meaning you give it.

Could you look at the situation differently or more objectively?  Could you create a different story about it?  What lessons could you then glean from the whole mess?  How could it help you? People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar. Lots of people for this same reason stay in a toxic relationship. They lied when they say the devil you know is better than the angel you don’t. If an angel is terrible, they cannot be as bad as the devil. I understand it is an idiom, but just saying, so you don’t put up with the toxic relationship because of the fear of the unknown.

You need to stop justifying the reasons why you are holding on because they are baseless. Your life is significant, and you must not spend time with people who talk down to you or treat you like shit. If you are in a relationship where you cannot remember the last time you were happy, then why are you still there? What will change that has not changed to date? You need to give yourself a reality check by accessing yourself. You must get your perspective right. Sit back and analyse the situation. I have walked out, ending my contract earlier on several jobs in the past because the environment was toxic. These companies pay better and make it difficult for you to want to leave. I had to resign because I refused to anyone to look down at me and think they are superior. Sometimes not letting go means you are sabotaging yourself. Stop being your greatest enemy. Respect yourself.

Are you holding on the pain you should have let go? Holding on to pain doesn’t fix anything. Replaying the past will not change the past, wishing things were different doesn’t things about the past different. Most times, when it comes to the past, all you can do is to accept whatever it is you’re holding on to and then let it go. Let things be for themselves, don’t force the event. Allow the universe to heal the situation and remove the pain. You must let go of anything that is hurting you.

To let go, you must accept the things you cannot change. It is time you stop wishing things could be the way they were. You need to accept what it is now and align yourself in making the best of it. You can’t change the past; you can only make decisions today to help how your future turns out. One reason why you don’t want to let go is the fear of the unknown. My advice is to do the things that scare you most and not before long you will overcome the fear.

Stay engaged and busy in a positive manner. Learn new skills, develop and invest in yourself instead of dwelling in the past. Positively see things. There is always a root to a cause. Don’t conclude by assumption. If there is no way to conclude without assuming then just let it be, don’t conclude, walk away. If you feel like crying, don’t hesitate for there is healing in crying. When you cry away your negative feeling, your system releases the harmful chemicals that build up in your body due to stress. Channel your discontent into immediate affirmative action. Learn to count your blessings. When you list down your blessing, you will have reasons to be grateful.

Don’t allow your expectations to limit your experience. Stop dwelling on how things should be or should have been, mentally shelve the thoughts away. Remove any obstacles that will limit you.  Embrace physical activities like exercise. Exercise will decrease any stress hormones and increase endorphins, the chemicals that improve your state of mind. You must concentrate your energy on something you can control instead of dwelling on things you can’t.

Until you let go and forgive yourself for whatever is causing you the guilt of the past, you can never move forward. You cannot fly to the sky without leaving the earth. You cannot walk away from the past if you have refused to move forward. You will find yourself but lose a lot of things when you let go. It should not discourage you to take the big leap forward.

You get to make a conscious choice every day to shed the old – whatever “the old” means for you. Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energy moving forward and not backward. Life is short; you must make the most of it. I made my mind that I will never allow the past to define my life. I will occasionally use the past as a rear-view but not my windscreen.

Finally, it is time to let go and be yourself. It is necessary to let go. Don’t be afraid. Soon it will be history.


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