Chances are, there’s something worth letting go for the sake of freedom and something new. There always seems to be something. That’s what makes being a human so interesting, even though that also makes the experience more challenging than we’d like. In light of the struggle and what wants to come through it, I’m proposing three simple practices for letting go and moving on—without losing the lessons.
“These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.” — Najwa Zebian
We hold on to things that hurt us, but not because we don’t know that they’re hurting us. Logically, if we pay attention, we can see what’s literally a pain to keep close and what would serve us if we let it go.
One key is to actually stop and pay attention, identifying not only what we’re clutching but also what’s underneath the thing we don’t want to let go of. What is it we’re really afraid to lose? What’s stored inside the pain? Maybe, it’s a lesson of some kind. At the least, probably some data we could use for living better tomorrow (or even today).
Living in the world can be tough because there’s an abundance of painful things ready to hit our triggers—ready to poke at our wounds. If we’re triggered by something that has happened and we’re paying attention to our emotions, we can see that there’s something we’re storing inside and it’s the true cause of a troubled mind.
Blaming the outside world for our internal state of affairs only takes us so far. We can’t go deep into our own power that way. We just stay on the surface, playing with illusions, missing out on the richness of a life lived with intention.
What if we took blame out of it altogether? Then we might be able to take a closer look at what’s really going on: there’s something we don’t want to let go of. There’s something we’re afraid to go without.
Instead of controlling the world so it doesn’t trigger you, try one of these practices for letting go and moving on. They’re sort of followup practices to the ones I shared the other week, so you might want to read those first if you haven’t already.
And moving on, by the way, doesn’t mean disregarding the fruit of what’s bothering us; it means moving in, first, so we can look at the heart of what’s really going on.
3 Practices for Letting Go and Moving On without Losing the Lessons
1. Focus on clearing space.
Rather than focusing solely on the issue or stuck sensation itself, try focusing on clearing some space around whatever it is you’d like to let go of. Give it the room it needs to unravel and give yourself the time and patience needed to watch it unravel.
For me, I might get triggered to feel anxious about how I’m going to get everything done, but I can let the triggered part of me have space to breathe and move through its own process. I can let the discomfort evolve and show me why it’s so hurt. It just takes intense presence and some practice.
Use visualization to your advantage here. Form a picture in your mind of what your hurt place looks like. Notice how it feels, if it’s hot or cold, and where it shows up in your body or your experience. Is it a tightness in your chest or an empty pit in your stomach? What color is it? How big is it? What shape does it take?
Visualize the “ball of stress” or whatever it is that’s sticking with you. Practice being okay with not controlling it. Offer it some space. Let there be space between it and you; you’re now looking at it, rather than identifying with it. Give it a platform for presenting to you the lessons or information it’s holding.
What does this attachment want you to see, to learn, or to change?
Just the willingness to be conscious enough to face our fears is going to create space for us to move beyond them. The opportunity to move forward is born from stillness.We don't need to protect the parts of us that are being triggered into negativity, fear, or doubt. We need to listen to them and learn from them. inspire someone
2. Focus on what you could gain.
Letting go and moving on are hard things to do when we’re consumed by what we might lose. Loss eats away our motivation to try new things, open up to different experiences, and create new realities.
Once you’ve identified what you’re afraid to lose (which is a helpful practice in clarity), identify what you can receive by working through and ultimately releasing this pain and suffering.
Here are a few personal but open-for-interpretation examples:
- I could gain the freedom to be a truer version of myself.
- I could receive the support I need to live a better life.
- I could receive insight into what I need to do from here to make sustainable changes.
- I could gain a new friend.
- I could be given an opportunity to explore my hidden gifts and abandoned strengths.
- I could honestly be grateful to be alive, and not despite the pain.
3. Focus on your commitments.
Next time you’re resisting change or growth, ask yourself what you’re committed to.
Check in with yourself and ask things like:
- Am I committed to being comfortable, or am I committed to growing? (Growth doesn’t always feel comfortable, and though comfort isn’t wrong, you’ll want to see if you’re providing space for a balance or if you’re clutching to the comfort.)
- What core feelings do I want to amplify and live by?
- What are my priorities in this life, honestly? And how can my next actions reflect what really matters to me?
When I take out a journal and answer these kinds of questions, I’ve just given myself a seriously amazing gift: space between the stimulus and my response. I stop focusing on whatever is holding me back or stressing me out and I remember what really matters to me. I pause to recalibrate and remember my own power to cut cords that tie me down to a lifetime of almost-my-best-self-but-not-quite.If you want to live the life that's meant for you, the one that's rich with purpose and passion, you need to surround yourself with tools and techniques for remembering and claiming your own power to live that life. tell a friend
In case you missed them, here are the first three letting go practices that I shared not long ago.
Which of these practices do you think could help you release, so you can receive?
What do you need to practice letting go of? What might you gain, and what are you committed to?
Share your go-to, old or new, methods for letting go and moving on with me in the comments. If you try one of the above methods, let me know how it works for you!
Help someone else move forward into the life they’re capable of living; share these practices to show your support.
Remember your power so you can live according to it.