What Should You Let Go Of?

In order to grow, sometimes it is necessary to let go of a memory that is holding you back. Can you think of any such event in your life?

The New Year offers a convenient opportunity for introspection. During that period of self-examination, it is possible that you will realize that there are memories of events or people that are preventing you from realizing your potential.

There are many such traumatic or painful instances that you might obsess over. For example, your relationship with someone may be a cause of anxiety. Or you might regret a thoughtless action that you took without thinking.

The ability to let go, or move on with your life under such circumstances, can be very important. Obsessing over the past isn’t likely to be helpful or productive.

Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes a place feel like home?’

But what does it mean to “let go”? In one instance, it might mean to forget about something entirely. Rather than replay a conversation over and over in your head, it might be better to relegate it to the past.

In another, it might be acceptance. If you come to terms with something that brings you emotional pain, it may be possible to accept it and move on.

It might also mean, literally, letting go. Throwing away a thing that has outlived its usefulness can be very meaningful.

At any rate, it is normal for human beings to be faced with regret over past speech and actions. Can you think of regrets of your own, ones that you would be best served to let go of?

Related questions: What mistake taught you the most? Are there beliefs about yourself you’ve had to let go? How do you learn? What can you control?

1 thought on “What Should You Let Go Of?”

  1. I have the ingredients for a good life. My relationship with Rebecca is strong and supportive. My home life is comforting. I have a job that allows me to strive for my social justice goals. And I have hobbies that bring me — and sometimes others — pleasure and the ability to create a kinder and more sustainable world. I need to recognize this, along with its privileges and opportunities.

    But being utterly truthful without getting too much into the details, the past decade has been one of collecting narratives that prevent me from moving forward constructively. I need to let go of what does not serve me.

    My mental health is in the best place it has been, perhaps ever, and yet I regret the side effects of my medications. Those effects are common to nearly any meds I could take. I can’t change that. So I need to accept that my drugs will help me achieve that good life I want if I can just shed the unrealistic hope that I could take side effect-free meds.

    Regarding physicality, I have a negative self-body image. This does nothing to make me more healthy — physically or emotionally. Let it go, Mr. Dahl.

    Regarding my vocation, I regret that the trajectory of homelessness has continued upward. I know I can only advocate so much, but I want to play a role in changing things for the better. Homelessness exists solely because of a lack of political will to change it. We know it costs just as much, if not more, to maintain homelessness than to provide affordable housing (and sometimes services) to the most vulnerable and exploited in our society. I can only commit to continuing my advocacy to expect leaders to acknowledge and act on this.

    Again, I have the ingredients for a good life. I must (simply?) let go of what does not serve me.

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