Essential Principles, Practices and Panaceas, A – Z: Letting Go

letting go haiku

Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it. Ann Landers

One of the biggest misconceptions we live under is that we are in charge; realistically, the only things in life we have control over are our own standards, habits and behaviour. This is why it is necessary to be able to allow life to be as it is, responding to it as necessary.

In The Language of Letting Go, Melody Beatty says: Yes, it’s important to acknowledge and accept what we want to happen. But it’s equally important to follow through by letting go. What Melody is saying is that if there’s something we truly desire, like a new job, for example, we do what we can to secure the position; complete the application to the best of our ability, prepare as well as we can for an interview, but then leave it at that. What is the point in stressing over the rest of the process, which you can do nothing to influence?

Letting go as it relates to other Essential Principles… includes the following:

  • If you wish to let go of insecurity and create balance in your psyche, then it’s advisable to practice acceptance, which means letting go of denial and resistance. Self-acceptance means that you can let go of others’ opinions of you.
  • Eliminating distractions leads to increased attention on what really matters.
  • Changing your attitude can remove you from the drama triangle that keeps you stuck in lies, shame and unhealthy secrecy.
  • Deciding you want to kiss goodbye to ignorance promotes greater awareness.
  • Washing your hands of limiting, unhelpful beliefs is a must if you want to get anywhere near fulfilling your potential.
  • Each exhalation of breath is a form of letting go in itself.
  • By practicing compassion you let go of criticism and judgement, including self-criticism and self-judgement.
  • Consciousness evolves when you can recognise and discard cognitive distortions, replacing fear-based consciousness with freedom-based consciousness.
  • To encourage creativity and imagination it is necessary to banish preconceptions and open yourself to the wonder of life.
  • Cultivating curiosity helps us to expel disinterest, boredom, even.
  • Practicing detachment gives us less to let go of; it’s the difference between going through life with pockets full of boulders, ankle weights and over-filled rucksacks on our backs, or being unencumbered by unnecessary burdens.
  • Using divination tools is inspiring; taking action on the wisdom they provide enables us to rid ourselves of limitations.
  • Developing emotional intelligence helps us to let go of the neurotic ego. When the ego is no longer running the show, we are empowered .
  • If you want to evolve it is necessary to outlaw perfectionism and arrogance.
  • Dropping bitterness and resentment helps us to achieve forgiveness.
  • When we let go of who we are based on who we think others expect us to be, we gain freedom.
  • Kicking a sense of entitlement into touch fosters gratitude.
  • We develop honesty when we are able to let go of denial and artifice.
  • Humour is achieved by waving goodbye to heaviness and self-righteousness.
  • Intuition flowers when we shoo away rigidity and limited thinking.
  • Journalling, done in the right way, is letting go.
  • When we let go of blame and self-reproach we allow joy and kindness to find expression in our being.
  • If you want to know know yourself, it is necessary to ditch the conditioning that was inflicted on you when you were at your most impressionable.

In all of these instances, there’s no loss as a result of letting go, there’s only gain. Attachment – to people, to things, to outcomes – is, as Buddhist thought observes, a recipe for suffering. Clinging doesn’t make things better; it just makes your arms, hands and fingers ache.

The biggest obstacle to letting go is the neurotic/unhealthy/fragile ego, which wants to be in total control. This is because the ego finds it difficult to trust. Engaging with Essential Principles… and doing the inner work necessary to heal the wounded ego makes it easier to let go of that which you have no say over.

You might just find that if you learn how to let go and trust that life will bring you exactly what you need, and circumstances will work out in your favour.

Mary Manin Morrissey tells us: Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?

I’m letting go of anything that doesn’t serve me. How about you?

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