We look back with nostalgia for things of the past as though reminiscing and ruminating on what life used to be somehow serves us in the here and now.
The truth is, if we really wanted to get back to what used to be we could, in a way, recreate it. However, the piece of us that doesn’t actively pursue our past, our intuition and higher being, knows better. It knows that the past is the past for a reason and that living in the past doesn’t serve us. It knows that what is here for us right now is here because it is meant for us in some way or another. It also realizes that what will be here for us tomorrow might be different than what is here for us today.
The basic human experience of letting go is evolution in its most basic form. When we cling to people or things for fear of losing them, we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to gain something else. Something better? Potentially, but that depends on one’s perspective. However, the act of clinging is energy exhausted and wasted. Instead of living in a state of stagnation, the higher self simply tells us to be open and move forward.
The process of giving and receiving is a never-ending cycle, and when we try to control that cycle we block the flow of abundance in our lives because we are attempting to exert control over a process that is not only far bigger than ourselves, but one which we could never control because there are too many external factors for one person to truly be in control. Sure, one may take certain actions to reach a goal or make oneself happy, and sure, the outcome in some situations are more certain than others. However, to truly find happiness one must know that anything is possible and that situations are subject to change due to the basic fluidity of the universe and feeble-mindedness of the average (wo)man.
If we really took a moment to think about it, we’d recognize that the very act of holding on with a tight grip means that something is trying to escape, and that chasing means that something is running away. You can’t chase something that is standing still—you’d simply be able to have it, because it is for you.
I say this not to place blame or bring guilt for acting in a very human way to basic human circumstances, but rather to bring conscious thought and awareness to this ill-serving human instinct. It is important to take a moment to consider what one may be clinging to, as this is very telling of who we are at our core and provides a very intimate snapshot of one’s self esteem.
Clinging happens at various stages of our lives, in different places, and in response to different circumstances and stimuli. When we are able to identify the areas in which we may be trying to cling to and control, we are then able to grant ourselves the opportunity to release and grow.
Are you holding onto an old body image of yourself? When you let go of your old body image, you’re able to appreciate and love the body that you have. You’re able to nurture that body and care for it in a way that is healthy, and in the process of loving that body you’ll find that you’re able to transform it and build your overall sense of self love along the way.
Are you holding onto a partner that shows little interest or has expressed disinterest? When you let go of that partner, or the past you had with that partner you allow the present reality to seep in. You’ll notice that that person no longer fits into your life and has no place in your purpose. That doesn’t mean that either of you is a bad person, but it does mean that if you continue to cling you’ll not only continue to be unhappy in that situation, you won’t be able to see clearly what is before your eyes and understand the situation that you are currently in. It also means that you block any chance of a relationship that is truly fulfilling from entering into your life. When you let go of a partner that wants to leave, you’ll make room for one that wants to stay. When you let go of the illusion of a partner that is already gone, you’ll be able to see the beauty of the others around you, and more importantly, yourself.
Are you holding onto ideas of what your career should be? Rather than thinking about what mistakes you made in the past or missed opportunities that have passed you by, think about what you are doing now, and what you need to do to get to where you want to be. Thinking about missed opportunities will only make you miss future opportunities, but being present enables you to realize the opportunities you can take in the present moment. Recognizing and seizing present opportunities is what will get you to a place of success.
Are you holding onto anger from someone that did you wrong? When you hold onto anger or resentment you allow that person to continue to hurt you. By forgiving we are able to live freely without negative ties to the past. While this doesn’t mean that you have to forget what someone has done and allow them to continue to have the same access to you, it does mean that you wish them well so that you may be well in the present moment and enjoy all of the goodness that currently exists in your life.
Are you holding onto false labels—things that you or others have said that you are or should be? By holding onto labels and forcing ourselves to fit into boxes that we have outgrown or simply no longer desire to be placed in, we stunt our ability to grow and find a purpose and meaning that speaks to our true being. When we cling to others’ assignments of our lives we deprive ourselves of abundance and a life well-lived, trading it in for the ever-changing dream of someone else. Instead, we can take these labels off and live free to define our own path.
When you let go of the past and the illusions you have created to force the past to exist in the present, you are able to take full advantage of the gift that is the present.
You are able to appreciate life.
You are able to live without worrying.
You are able to release regret.
You are able to love yourself.
You are able to think with clarity.
You are able to act with discernment.
You are able to grow in confidence.