This is a chapter from my book "It's Not About Age It's About Attitude"
Chapter 9 Letting Go
“The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday.” – Steve Maraboli
“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” – Buddha
Let go: to relax one’s hold on.
Habit: a usual way of behaving: something a person does often and in a regular repeated way.
Don’t Look Back……You Aren’t Going That Way
We have covered the fact that the past is what was and life today is what is, so the idea here now is the letting go of what was so you can be the person you want to be now, the one that does not allow negative issues to hold back happiness.
However, I know from personal experience, working with clients, and conversing with others in our age group, that nine times out of ten we are still focused on one or more things in our past that were either hurtful or have made us angry.
The stories we tell about the past are just as real as if they happened yesterday instead of many years before. They still haunt us, upset us, and still bring upheaval whenever we discuss them.
The fact is the more we keep reliving these experiences, the more we talk about them, bring them back to life, the negativity of them grows larger and larger even though they are old and tired.
They are like echoes we shout out about something negative and the negativity comes back at us over and over. They are not real we just keep them going by shouting out. If we quiet whatever it is we have been shouting about then we don’t have the repeating negative feelings.
Imagine what your life would be like if you did not have sad, angry, hurtful moments in your past.
They of course were there for a purpose, to let us find out what we want and don’t want in our lives, and now since we have realized these points this would be the time to let each one of those go so we can concentrate on ourselves, on happiness, contentment, and well-being.
It is really time don’t you think to let go of all of the things that adversely affect your beautiful spirit.
Whether it was forty years ago or last week this is about beginning to heal all that hurts or angers and making life the best it can be for the rest of the years we are here.
This is no different than getting a diagnosis about your physical health. If you were told your blood pressure is too high then you would look into what it would take to lower it wouldn’t you?
You should want to let go of anything negative in your thoughts and feelings for your greater good, so that you can be enjoying wonderful emotional health.
What makes negative thoughts any different for your well-being than any physical ailment you might have? If you are striving for a better feeling life then letting go of things that drag you down emotionally is key here to achieving that.
By letting go and realizing what wasted energy we are using by reliving unhappiness in our lives whenever it may have occurred, by not allowing those circumstances, people or issues to really be a thing of the past that can no longer touch us in a way that hurts our well being, then we take charge of feeling as good as we possibly can.
Here is a news flash for you: all of those you may have issues with are going on with their own lives or may no longer be alive, it is you who are in turmoil and are allowing negativity to interfere with being all you would be. It would be you who is allowing yourself to be twisted and turned in a direction that is not in your own best interest.
Let’s not inflict anymore painful thoughts about what was on ourselves, let’s instead move forward with a whole new attitude choosing to change what we are focusing on when we are thinking about our life, making sure that it is the most positive focus we can have.
If you decided to clean out your medicine cabinet at home of prescriptions and over the counter meds you have stored there, the first thing you would look at it the expiration date on them. If you found some that were outdated, you would get rid of them for the fact that they are no longer useful, or they could possibly be harmful. It is ongoing that we have newer and better medication all of the time which benefits those that have to take it.
How about we start using newer and better thoughts about ourselves where we are and how we are feeling? I would ask you to take a look at some of the negative issues that still kept going around and around in your head for a moment and have you check the dates on them. Some of them have expired so long ago they must have whiskers.
Isn’t it time to get rid of those because they are harmful to you in a way that can hurt you as you keep reliving them by thinking or speaking of the subject?
If you think about it, when you are rolling those negative thoughts around in your head how do you feel? Are the feelings that come over you ones you want to live with? Are the thoughts that follow one after another in a negative way helping your well-being or are they harmful to it?
If we let go of these unconstructive thoughts and emotions our future is looking brighter because we are in control of how we focus on what is right now and what was once upon a time truly becomes the past.
One of the things to wrap your thoughts around is this: People are always doing the best they know how to do at each time of their lives. You, me and everyone you know, in fact everyone in the world is doing the best that they can.
Anyone can stay the same doing the same things over and over it is all about choice. It is your choice to change the way you see and think about any situation and let go of anything negative about it.
If in fact we are going to celebrate our time here and how far we have already come then our focus is on only who we are right now, the good things all around us, and the happiness and joy we have experienced on this journey.
We do know how to feel happy, we have felt this way so many times in so many different situations over the years that it is not hard to do if we in fact make it a habit to be in that frame of mind.
When we let go of the unhappy times and embrace the happy ones it shifts our perspective our attitude and our focus so that our life becomes one of joy and serenity.
There are two things we can learn to let go of which helps our focus immensely. These two things are ingrained in our daily thought process more than most of us would like to admit and you will know them immediately.
Being in control and being right.
About this control thing, it is a very wise person who realizes that we just do not need to control anything except where our thought process is at. By letting go of control and just allowing life to flow we are then able to see the bigger picture of everything around us and it may surprise you to see how amazing it is when you stop trying to dictate the direction things are going. You know there is a difference in being prepared and controlling everyone and everything.
The first thing to really pay attention to is that most people do not think alike in every single instance.
Good for us because it would be an incredibly dull world and needless to say we would all be doing the same thing.
If we respect the fact that not everyone thinks like we do, does things the same way or wants the same things we do; then it becomes apparent that we should just take care of ourselves, our own environment, so that life runs smoothly for us.
Our energy should be about peace and contentment in our own lives and let others do what they do to achieve it for themselves.
I am sure that this is a difficult thing to read for several, as some of us are control freaks and we just can’t help ourselves. But if you analyze how controlling makes you feel just for a moment you will understand how tough it really is to expend all of that power on so many things that could very well be out of your control anyway.
t is exhausting to try to keep all the oranges in the air at one time isn’t it? Why not just relax and see your life as easy and peaceful and let everyone else juggle their own oranges.
When we use our focus on ourselves then our time is well spent just seeing to our own needs and wants. That frees up everyone else to do their thing and isn’t that calming already?
Take if from a reformed controller, it is so worth letting go, relaxing into life and knowing that you will feel so much better when you do.
What is the worst thing that can happen by letting go of control, of just letting everything and everyone be what they are? Could it be a whole new outlook on life, could it be an ease of your thoughts so that you can enjoy being without these interruptions? Sounds pretty scary…..not!
If we try to control everything, try to make sure things go a certain way we may be inhibiting something better from coming into our lives. Sometimes it just helps to let go and see how things line up.
Being in control and being right go hand in hand. This is a tough one because we have all had so many years of needing to be right. The one question you must ask yourself is this; “Is it worth it?”
So much negative energy is expended because someone has to be right. In fact if you take a look at some of the issues in your life you will find they are based on the fact that you think you are right and they think they are right. Chaos can be the result.
Isn’t it better to agree to disagree so that life stays easy and peaceful?
There comes a time when we could adjust our thinking on being right and how we handle it so that we can again, let go and just be the person we are right now today and let everyone else be the same.
If you are taking care of how you think and feel and where your focus is then you know what is right for you and that is all that matters.
Now I hope you are all not gasping for breath here as that is not my intention. It is my intention to ask you to take a look at how important these things are to you and to lighten up so that they are not the most central thing in your thought process.
Let go of the criticism of life issues, people, and situations. Remember that each of us has our own thought process and what is right for one may not be right for the other.
It is important to understand that if we do not know about another’s life then how could we possibly be critical of how they are living it. When we let go of judging everyone else to the standard we expect in life then things lighten up. It is a pretty heavy load we carry around if we think we have all the answers to everyone else’s life.
This of course takes practice, but you can do it and when you do you will feel the difference in your day to day existence because you will only be thinking about what is good for you and how you are going to focus for yourself.
There is power in that alone don’t you think?
Positive thoughts on letting go:
· I choose to let go of anything negative that holds me back from being the best feeling person I can be.
· I choose to let go of any negative emotion no matter how long ago it was I experienced it so that I can feel the freedom that gives me.
· I choose to let go of controlling anything but myself. I will try as hard as I can to let others live their lives as they wish to.
· I choose to listen to others and agree to disagree with love.
· What area of my life have I spent enough negative energy on that I am ready to let go of?
· I choose to only control the remote for the television.