The Art of Letting Go

Learn to let go of things in life, even the things you love.

My first impression to that statement is fear and refusal. It doesn’t make any sense. At least, it doesn’t feel like a natural thing to do, as if you almost have to learn the skill. We’re even encouraged in a way, to hold onto the things we have, and that shows me how backwards things are. Material things say nothing about a person. I could be brilliant and poor as a peasant (Mozart for example, didn’t know how to handle his money).

Victorian Mansion - Idlewild

Does a house, even one as gorgeous as this one, really say that much about a person. Does it say anything at all?(Photo credit: blmiers2)

The whole concept of letting go, in fact, is scary. It is to me, at least. When you work hard for something, or you rely on something for support or comfort, you ordinarily wouldn’t want to get rid of it quickly. When that something goes away, you have to break out of your routine, and step out of bubble you were living in. You have to adjust. We center our lives around certain things, and when you hate your life, the few things you hold onto become so much more vital, so much more crucial to stay grounded. They go so far as to remind you of who you are. Or so you think.

Maybe holding on to those things, things in general really, is what holds one back. Maybe the attachments actually get in the way of living. You can’t stop worrying about that muffin top you recently developed. Perhaps your new shirt can never be worn because it looks so nice. Maybe those things take away from the experience of life. Is that a ridiculous thing to think? I know that when I have forced things to happen in the past, the natural flow is shoved aside, and everything turns sour. Part of acceptance is letting things be. Part of living in the moment is letting things happen.

I think the biggest thing about holding onto things that holds one back is that it keeps one attached to material things, earthly objects. If I become too attached to my computer, my clothes, my phone, my books, my furniture, even things like my reputation, I remain living at a shallow level, a level that is held in place by my wants for material pleasure. One may find comfort in objects, but it’s not true comfort. Furthermore, one’s true self really is so much more than a collection of ‘things.’

Everything Must Go - Movie Poster

Everything Must Go – Movie Cover (Photo credit: Brian Sahagun)

As was rather nicely shown in the movie Everything Must Go, the protagonist had to let go of all of his things to move forward in life, to move beyond on all the problems that plagued his life. I think Will Farrell does a fantastic job in that movie in showing that there is so much more out there if you can move beyond the sentimental attachments that we create. If you want to change your life, one of the first steps is to let go of the things you have, which change’s one’s view on objects in general.

Nobody said letting go was easy, and I’m certain not about to say otherwise. I haven’t let go of many things yet myself. I think more than anything, I hold onto my image. It really isn’t anything at all, just an idea I have of myself, but I value it highly and find that I struggle in just shrugging it off. It matters to me, but I must learn to let it go, because image really shouldn’t be where all my attention is put, and let’s not forget that the human body is really only a vehicle for my true self, my soul.

Letting go is an art, something we must discover, something that does not come from a

Let go

Let go (Photo credit: Brandon Doran)

thinking, heady place, but rather a feeling place. Feeling life and going with the flow of the energies around you doesn’t mean giving up investing your enthusiasm and love into living, nor does it mean giving up the things you love in life. Because when you let go, you don’t have to forget and move on, and I believe that when you make a strong connection with something, it doesn’t ever truly die away or leave you. It becomes a part of you. Remember, those things (people, aspects of yourself, experiences) do not solely exist at the material plane. They transcend that level.

And it should be said that you don’t have to hold onto something to have it be a part of your life. The things you love won’t just leave. You may think they will, but they won’t.

Letting go requires a certain level of acceptance and openness towards life. I truly believe we must learn to let go of the many things in life, even things we think we love. If that aspect of your life is meant to be in your life, it’ll stay.

A great question of life is how to live. Must you always do, perform and accomplish, or are you content simply to be?



46 thoughts on “The Art of Letting Go

  1. With age (and I think that is important somehow) it seems that I have only just begun to understand that: all we really have is this moment… now this moment,,, and now this moment. And how we accept this moment, how we behave in this moment is all that truly matters.
    Suppose the (physical) body that you or have is like a beautiful sleek sailboat gliding upon the sea of life… all those ‘things’ you mention (excepting of course the most basic necessities) begin to look as anchors.. I cannot sail lightly or gracefully upon this sea until all the anchors have been raised (or gotten rid of)… I need only one anchor just as I need only one compass.

  2. I think one should know what to let go of and what not. Your image might be something you can let go, but part of that is how you feel, how healthy you are. You shouldn´t let go of your health, of fitness and become a fat couch potato, is what I mean.

    Or one shouldn´t get rid of his-hers values. You should be flexible, but stick to your values, as that´s who you are, believe in yourself.

    Letting go for me applies mainly to material things, or unnecessary comforts, or some fears embedded in our brains.

    Best thing I did in the last year was letting go of a very good job, material things and a secure future and packed my life into a backpack:)

      • I changed my life, because the life I was living was no longer making me happy. Career and a playstation with a big TV was no longer a priority, seeing the world, learning and growing mentally was what was calling me, so I followed it 🙂

      • forgot to mention, relating this back to my previous comment, my values were lying with learning and exploring the world, contributing to making it a better place, not with making money for a big retailer that doesn´t make this world a better place.

      • Wow, that’s amazing, I think that was a great decision. It’ll change your life completely, and it’ll hopefully help the world out. I wish you the best on your journey.

  3. If you hold tight to your things your things become you… If you can let go without a tragic event to do it for you… you will be okay in a tragic event. If you are consumed with things and cry over the loss of things you are living through your things and not living through your heart. When you can be alone with just your thoughts and be happy you are doing well.

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  5. I have never experienced that, which I am grateful for. But there will be a time. Honestly dude, I’m scared! Its seems easy reading this, but you know what they say… Okay I kind of forgot but still 😀 I’m not really a serious person though. Have you experienced this? I mean the forgetting people you love…

  6. I am amazed at the turns life takes. I have been struggling with this very concept for some time now. I have things that belonged to my late husband and I am not sure if I can part with them. The house that I live in we decorated together but I have been longing for a change and I am finding it difficult. You are right, things are just things. The problem arises when we put our emotions into those things. I feel better after reading your post on this topic. Perhaps it is not the things that I am holding onto but the emotions that I have invested into those things. I think it is time to keep the love but let go of the things. Thank you for insight. Sometimes it easier to find your way when you see the light that others have left for you to follow.

    • I’m really, really glad you connected with this piece. Those things really are just things, and letting them go does not mean you are forgetting about your husband. You will feel free when you begin to move on. 🙂 Good luck.

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  8. There are realy amazing sentences in here!:)
    Before 7 month we moved to a new country.It wasn’t a smoth moving, becouse the old country is at war.A lot of my stuff are still back there.And I had to share a room with three people at my grandma for a couple of month, till we found a house.
    This Experience has tought me to live this moment, without knowing wha’ts going to happen tommorow.And my stuff! Well they have lost their value(not all of it, of course 😉 ).
    As always you dazzled me!

  9. This post touched my heart in a admirable way! I love the part when you wrote, that letting go something that I love, doesn’t necessarily leave me – like my loved ones who no longer dwell on the material plane. That was an Aha! moment for me and put a lot into perspective.

    I’ll define letting go as trusting life to happen. I usually have a hard time letting go when I mistrust that life will happen in my favor. If I let go, I’ll loose out. If I let go, I’ll miss the opportunity. A couple of thoughts that roam through my head. But the truth is… as you eloquently stated, if it is meant to stay, it will. And I don’t have to hold on tight for it to be so.

    Thank you for the post! 🙂

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