Letting Go to Get Ahead - Jan. 2021 Volume 2

Navigating Life with Casey – January 2020 [2]

Letting Go to Get Ahead!

Healthy life includes letting things like people, views, beliefs, and material stuff into our lives and life includes letting things go.  We are conditioned to believe “more is better” and that if we can just acquire the right set of stuff, we will know happiness. That’s why there are storage units filled to the brim across our communities.  Adding things we need to our lives to create, maintain, or change something is brilliant.  If we add the right tools, boom, it’s possible.  And, letting go of things in our lives that don’t serve us can be challenging but equally brilliant.  The act of “letting go” frees up space for the things we want and need materially, spiritually, mentally, and physically.   


We’ve all heard it, the faithful old advice, “just let it go”.  But, most of us have no idea how to do that.  How do we “let it go”?  Where does “it” go?  Is “it” trying to get away or do we shove “it” away?  I decided to explore “letting it go” a little deeper.  My first thought was, “So what, what’s so dangerous about NOT letting go?  Does it really matter?”  It does matter.


Not letting go of, or holding onto, things can wreak havoc in our lives.  One obvious example is when we hang on, tooth and nail, to an unhealthy relationship.  But let’s talk about our tendency to hold onto a time when things, from here, seemed to be “better”.  Since the pandemic, I’ve noticed people saying they can’t wait until things go back to “normal”.  That statement and hope will not help us create, change, or maintain much of anything except a grumpy outlook and disappointment.  For us to “let go” we need to tease out facts from myths, come to terms with the reality of what we can and cannot control, set our intention, and act. 


Sometimes we cling to the past while we navigate the present.  There are lessons and blessings from the past, but life is headed in the other direction.  And, facts: we don’t have eyes on the backs of our heads for a reason and change is one of life’s few guarantees.  “Right now” is the life we’re living.  Life doesn’t wait; we are moving forward with time, like it or not.  Imagine hiking down a path in the forest, fixated on the what’s behind us, “good old days”, or a time when we believe things were “normal”, instead of the opportunities, roots, limbs, rocks, and dips ahead.  That sounds like a short painful hike. 


Letting go isn’t a simple decision; it’s a process that takes some practice.  Fear, emotional attachment, and even unconscious fixations complicate the process.  Life in 2021 engulfs us in the idea that having things provides happiness.  Happiness is a derivative of freedom from suffering; having our basic needs met consistently is a happiness machine, for example.  We also tend to associate our things and our fierce and heroic grip with our identity.  Character, integrity, beliefs, values, and how we make other people feel are components of who we are regardless of our stuff.  No one ever said, “letting go is easy,” but hanging on to things that cause us stress and anguish isn’t easy either.  Maybe it’s time to do a little inventory.  Do you have some things to let go of?   Let us know how we can help!