That pang you feel even after you say, ‘I’m over it’. That’s called not being able to let go. You might not even know it, but you’re holding on to something that’s hurting you. And it’s not just the people that can be hurting. It’s your thoughts, it’s the situations that you’re in and it can even be how you see yourself.
Letting go is not only about allowing someone or something else to let go, but rather freeing yourself of the burden that thing might be on you.
Think of this as paying attention while driving (some of you may have never sat in the driver seat of a car but you’ll get the idea).
Recollect how many types of mirrors and glasses are there for assisting the driver.
There’s the rear view mirror, the side-view mirrors and ultimately the windshield.
Now think about the purpose of each of these mirrors.
The rear view mirror is to help the driver see what’s behind them.
The side view mirror allows us to see what’s in our blind spots and what is happening around the car at the same spot it is on.
The windshield, while it doesn’t have the added benefit of being able to show a reflection like a mirror does, is there for one reason and that’s so you can see where you’re going (also be aware of obstacles) and look ahead.
It wouldn’t be too strange of an analogy to compare our lives to the car and the phases of our lives to the mirrors and glasses.
The rear view mirror: our past. The side-view mirrors: the present and what we are doing. And finally, the windshield is like a screen to show us our path ahead and where our destination will be in life.
Another interesting, but not coincidental fact is the size of each mirror.
The rear view mirror is pretty small but big enough to make sure we’re not attacked by something from behind, or rather the mistakes from our past.
The side-view mirrors are much bigger and we can see the present world around us with a lot more clarity, and as much as we need to pay attention to them, being attentive only to them won’t suffice.
And the windshield is big enough to show us our destination and what we need to do in order to reach it. It shows us our vision ahead and the obstacles that may come with it.
An added advantage to the rear view and side view mirrors is the ability to reflect upon them and adjust them.
You can think about your past and your present and reflect upon it. You have the control to adjust them and see the same things from different perspectives. A missed opportunity in the past can be viewed as a close save. A mistake you did in the past can be seen as a good lesson learned.
You have the control to adjust your mirrors and see life from different perspectives. Let go of old situations that don’t serve any purpose, thoughts that are not helpful anymore, or beliefs that no longer make sense for you. Cut out the noise from your past and the present and look forward to what’s next.
While talking about it, letting go is often used in the sense of letting people who hurt you or bother you go. But it’s not about just that. It’s also about leaving behind situations you are not happy with, your beliefs that don’t let you grow, your thoughts that don’t bring you peace, and all the other things in life that are not what you want. You may want to hold onto them because they helped you at some point, but you don’t need them anymore if it doesn’t help you now.
Remember that if something or someone hurts you or throws hate towards you, it is your decision to respond to them, to participate in their meaningless conversations. You don’t owe anyone anything.
I recognize that in some cases it is easier said than done, but sometimes it is possible.
And when it comes to letting go, there are no rules or guidelines – just do what feels right for you! The more you practice letting things go, the easier it will get and the better off your life will be. It is okay to take some time before you can easily let go of something. If an attachment was built in years, you can’t expect it to disappear in a day. It takes courage and determination to change your own thoughts. Letting go can take time and that’s fine – especially when it is something of ours, be it our thoughts or beliefs that we’ve held onto for a long time.
In a nutshell
Letting go is about freeing yourself from burdens.
The rear view mirror: Reflecting on past mistakes and experiences, but not letting them define you or your life.
Side-view mirrors: Understanding current events happening around you so that they don’t surprise you down the road.
Windshield: Seeing a clear picture of what you want for your life and having the will to pursue it with everything in you, no matter how hard it may be or long it takes.
Letting go is not only about leaving people behind, but it also means letting go of any situation and thoughts that you are unhappy with.
You don’t owe anyone a response.
Letting go can take time and that’s fine