Releasing the things that no longer serve you
Over the past seven months, I’ve immersed myself in a personal development journey that I never planned for 2018. Amongst the work I’ve done, I’ve spent a fair amount of time reflecting on the all of the various events and circumstances that brought me to this point in my life. From time to time in a session with my coach or whilst I’m working through some of the homework I do in between sessions I dig up a thought or a feeling that takes me back into a place I don’t want to be, a time that perhaps I don’t want to relive or a situation that doesn’t serve my vision for how I want to live my life now and I feel myself constricting or pulling back. I’ve learnt however that this is where my growth opportunities are and that in order to get to where I want to and become who I want to become I have to step up to the plate and swing my bat. In other words, I’ve got to find my courage and deal with these things, finding a way to work through them and ultimately let them go. The memory of the negative thoughts and feelings may never truly be erased but when you learn to accept them instead of fighting them and forgive yourself instead of beating yourself up about them, that’s where I believe happiness starts. Pushing these things down the order of priority in terms of dealing with them is not a strategy that works. Over time all of the feelings being suppressed build up and the issues become bigger than they ever needed to be.
Why do we do this to ourselves? It’s a natural law of existence for people or things to come and go but society has made collection or acquisition a norm and that the more we have the more we are worth. We feel that the people, the stuff, the relationships, the jobs, the situations and the habits are all a part of us, that they define who we are and what we are worth, and that if we let these things go we’re going to suffer some kind of loss. The prospect of loss brings on fear and this fear makes us hold on tighter. When we hold on tighter we lose the ability to trust that everything in life happens for us and not to us. So how do we go about releasing the things that no longer serve us? These thoughts, feelings, actions and patterns that we’ve learnt over time, that we’ve somehow reinforced and turned into habits?
The first step we can take is to identify the aspects of our lives that no longer serve us. If we are honest with ourselves, we probably already know exactly what we’re holding onto that we should have let go of a long time ago. Acknowledging these things and bringing them forward allows us to move into a space of acceptance.
Once we’ve acknowledged the things we know no longer serve us, the natural reaction from within will often be resistance. We might find ourselves thinking of all the reasons not to let something go, but this is often just a cover the mind uses to try and protect us. Letting go of anything can be a painful process and it’s normal to feel a sense of loss or fear or longing. Step into these feelings and trust that letting go is right and that in doing so you will open the door to growth and to possibility.
Perhaps the hardest part of this process is having faith and belief that something greater will fill the space that we have just created. This is where many of us often give up. Keep doing the work on yourself, keep trusting in the decisions and actions you have made and stay patient in the process of growth.
One of the most well-known quotes from The Alchemist is “When you want something; all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” But here’s my take on this quote: nothing happens without deliberate action. You’ve got to have a dream or a vision and you’ve got to believe in that dream or vision enough to act on it, including letting go of the things that no longer serve you. And you’ve got to stay the course. Having the strength to do this takes courage and it often makes us feel vulnerable, but I believe that the reward of the personal growth in becoming who you want to be will ultimately outweigh any of the challenges faced along the way.
#LIVELIFELOVELIFE #liveinthemoment #bebetteratbeingbetter #payitforwards