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"Letting Go: The Challenge of Releasing What No Longer Serves Us"

As Humans we travel through at least 4 significant life phases,

  • Childhood

  • Adolescence/early adulthood

  • Settled adulthood

  • Aging-death.

Humans are creators of habit, lovers of the familiar and we fall into complacency. 

So why, as an evolved species, do we hold onto what no longer moves us forward?

People change and life changes and the things that make up life change too:

-        Internal stuff: beliefs, values, goals, duties, obligations

-        Behavioural stuff: habits, hobbies, pursuits, commitments

-        Physical stuff: possessions, ownership

-        People stuff: relationships, roles, groups, connections

What does this mean?

It no longer helps you move forward in the direction you currently want to go!

Some reasons something may no longer serve you:-

  • You’ve adopted beliefs and habits

  • Goals and roles because they feel familiar or because you grew up with them

  • You may have lifelong goals you are chasing somehow and your circumstances have changed

  • A whole set of fears and defense mechanisms that may have been relevant at one time but are they still?

  • Something served you once, but you have changed focus, new direction

  • You may have thought you wanted or needed it but once you’ve got it, it wasn’t all you thought it would be

  • Maybe it was a limited-time item. You enjoyed it, benefited from it but now it’s old, rotten and no longer enjoyable or healthy

Perfect example:  Did you eat something when you were young, take a nice big juicy mouthful because it looked delicious and spat it out faster than it went in (Mine was olives).  You vowed never to eat that food again.  Later in life you’ve returned to this thing and it is absolutely delicious because your palette has evolved and you’ve thought, what a dill – all these years I could have been enjoying this but I stuck to my beliefs.

  • It’s okay to let things go.

  • It’s okay to admit that something used to work and now it doesn’t

  • It’s okay to change and it’s okay to require change

Recognising and releasing what you don’t need anymore could come in the following ways.

Think of your phases in life and in the comments tell me, what were the points of change, what lead you into the new part of your life phase?  I’ll give you some prompts.

  1. How did they lead you into the new/distinct life?

  2. What was the big theme or lesson from each of your separate lives

  3. Do you understand it?  Have you let it change you? Are you conscious of the lesson?

Robert Tew quoted – “Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.”

Here is an exercise for you to do, in your own time, to assist you in moving forward.

The Aim

Write it down.  Look it over. Think about it.  Let it sink in.  Now let it go, Burn it/Bury it/Shred it - whichever makes it final!

  • Write letters to the significant people in your past. (either present or deceased)

    • Maybe you need to explain yourself or forgive someone or say thanks

    • You can do this by thinking of the 1-3 most significant people from each stage of life.

Part 1:

Write a letter to each one.  You’ll start with an idea of what you want to say; don’t hold back.  Go for honesty, be real.  You may find all sorts of things you didn’t know you wanted to say.  Say it.  (Have a box of tissues ready)

Part 2:

Now read the letter over.  Will you send it?  Maybe.  That’s up to you.  Or do you need to say it and release it?

Part 3:        

Write a forgiveness letter to yourself using your non-dominant writing had so it looks like a child has written it, this is representing your inner child and is releasing you from whatever is holding you back and no longer serving you.

A couple more areas you could consider.

Compare desire to duty: 

Start looking at every activity in your life and asking if you do it from Desire or Duty.

Write out your internal monologue.  When your head is busy (as it always it especially at 3:00am in the morning), stop and write out what’s going on in there. 

What is going on in there?  If you follow the direction of this internal monologue, what will your life be like?

If your answer is anything less than joyful, time to rewrite the monologue.

Take inventory: 

Make a list of physical possession, beliefs, values, obligations, habits, hobbies, goals, relationships, connections, commitments. 

What do you keep, what do you let go of?

Choose not to succeed at anything you don’t love! 

Success at something you don’t love is not success, it is failure wearing a different outfit.

Get your weeds out of your garden. 

Life is a garden.  You plant the seeds and you nurture the plants and you reap the harvest.  A weed is a plant growing where you don’t want it.  A weed is any plant producing a harvest you don’t like.

Think about enjoyment versus value. 

So enjoy eating salt and vinegar chips, but you don’t value it.  You value a relationship with your kids but you don’t always enjoy watching kids shows with them.

What keeps you from enjoying the things you truly value?  Or ask yourself why you do enjoy the things you don’t value.


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