Letting Go and How to Allow Yourself To

Letting GoLetting go, what do those two words mean to you? I immediately think “what is the purpose of letting go?” and “what would my life look like if I did let go?”

Letting go is simply setting your intention so that you no longer allow something from the past to influence your life now. Letting go is about being in the moment. It is about experiencing what is present right now. In Buddhism, becoming fully immersed in what you’re doing is called mindfulness. This is a way of letting go of all the other stuff around you, so that all your concentration is on what you’re doing. When you practice being in the moment or mindfulness, you are free of making judgments, and of having expectations of outcome.

How is it possible to let go of the beliefs and attitudes that prevent us from simply being in the here and now and experiencing a sense of peace? The challenge comes in identifying the beliefs we hold that are preventing us from being in the here and now. The basis of letting go has to do with letting go of beliefs, attitudes and our emotional attachment to them. We let go of dwelling negatively on past events rather than dealing with the present; criticizing others and making judgments about their behavior, and trying to control what happens rather than accepting what is.

Life is a series of choices. Often we make these choices automatically, without really being aware of what we are choosing or why. Fear of judgment and criticism, usually felt as shame or guilt, will hinder our learning from choices. Letting go of our judgments, values and ideas of what should be or what shouldn’t be, is a step towards acceptance of what is. Developing emotional intelligence by replacing judgmental values with a sense of self-worth will allow you to live in the present rather than the past. Expectations are also connected to letting go, because when we hold onto them we are doing exactly that, holding on. Disappointment is based on what you think should have happened or hoped would happen or thought the other person should do. By living a life that is free of expectations and judgments, you will heal yourself and others, too. Consider for a moment how differently you respond if you feel critically judged compared with being accepted as you are.

If you are in the process of letting go and living in the present, and in acceptance of yourself and others, you might want to ask yourself: will I feel this stressed about this situation tomorrow, or next week, or next year, or in five years time? The answer will be no. By letting go of your expectations and letting things and people be as they are you also let go of the need to control and simply allow yourself to be in the moment.

Live your life as if it is a sand castle that you are building. There can be no better reason for doing something other than you’re enjoying it.

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