Holding On or Letting Go

“Some people think it’s holding on that makes one strong;  sometimes it’s letting go.” ~ Sylvia Robinson

Most of us want to hold on to things we value. There’s comfort in being aligned with people and beliefs that strengthen us and contribute to living our purpose.

Some of us are also aware of what happens when we hold on to people and possessions that adversely affect our lives. They can hamper our attempts at happiness, health, success and fulfillment.

Consider then, an affirmation that I recently read: Today I open myself and fully embody my chosen, positive state of being, rather than allowing other, negative states of being to take hold.

Throughout our lives, whether asleep or awake, most of us are continually receiving information about the world around us through our five sensory receptors. This information is relayed through our brain and recorded on brain and body cells. We commonly refer to this as memory, and its effects may be positive, negative or neutral to our mental, physical and emotional well-being.

If these memories are negative or limiting in nature, the subconscious impressions manifest as physical ailments, emotional imbalances, interpersonal problems, patterns of failure and so on. Too often we dwell negatively on past events rather than dealing with the present. Futilely, we try to control what happens in our lives and in the world rather that accepting that “whatever will be will be.” (Nod to Doris Day.)

The good news is: everyone’s core values are different and discovering them means committing to a process of self-reflection. In seeing through and letting go of the layers of habitual beliefs and assumptions that we use to define and protect ourselves, we are left, finally, with who we really are.

Fortunately, we are invited to let go of our self-absorbed need for validation and recommit to living with our healthy choices. Yet do we freely and fully do this?

Letting go is a decision to take action that will result in a significant change in your life or the lives of others. It can be as easy as:

  • decreasing the impact of guilt as a motivator for your behavior;
  • accepting personal responsibility for your life and releasing others from their sense of responsibility to you;
  • facing the changes in your life that are the inevitable result of your being a member of humanity or;
  • facing life’s realities with an open, straightforward approach and accepting the natural consequences of change in your life.

Scientific research has shown that people who are optimistic and have an ability to accept or let go of negative memories, experiences, and events tend to be healthier and live longer than people who are pessimistic and worry about or try to change things that are out of their control.

Think about applying the Beatles’ lyrics to “Let It Be” to your life. It can bring a lot of serenity.

The easiest way to work on letting go and letting ‘be’ is to notice your tendency to want things to be different from what they are and to practice giving up that strong preference. In a simple view, letting go requires just two steps:

  1. Becoming aware of whatever arises within your experience and;
  2. Becoming aware of how you relate to it.

Once you do surrender, there’s a sense of great relief, and just as often – you are bewildered about why you didn’t do it years ago.

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