The art of letting go
Updated: Jun 9
Holding on will not make you stronger, letting go of things will. To let go you are being brave enough to trust yourself. You are trusting that even if things seem bad, that it will not stay that way. You are trusting that even if you are scared that there is more for you.
If you are reading this, maybe you are someone you know is struggling with a problem. I can sit here and the cliches that go along with the phrase, but what good is telling you something you probably heard millions of times?
I'm not going to say “You should just let go”
People say it as if it was that simple to change your mindset in a blink of an eye.
When people say that, they do mean well. However, it is one of the things that is easier said than done. I am keeping the intro short because letting go of something, like art, takes much practice, and there are so many aspects of why you or someone you know may struggle to let go and how you can help the process.
5 Reasons why you struggle to let go
1.You are not in an environment to heal
“How do you expect me to heal in the same environment that broke me”
This quote can be applied to many situations, but it is so true. When you have to see the same person or people every single day, you have to try to keep your emotions under control for the sake of “keeping the peace” or else you are the one who gets painted in a bad light, and you have no one at your side. In those types of situations, you are in a place that you are consumed by your emotions but have to push them aside. You may also hold things together to get through the day. When you are in that situation, you don’t just see the person, but the hurt that comes along with them. Maybe it is not like that for everyone, but it’s hard to say when you cannot see situations from their perspective. Even if you had a similar experience, how you feel will be completely different.
2.You cannot separate the past from the current situation
Sometimes when you see a person, you aren’t seeing them for who they are but who you knew them as. You see the moments you shared, the positive feelings they used to give you, and acts of kindness. Until you can focus on who they are to you in the present, you will be stuck seeing them as a version of themselves that no longer exist.
3.You are looking for answers
People are naturally curious, so when something is unknown to them, they look for it. Think about it: when people wanted to understand how things happened some turned to religion/spirituality, and others turned to science. It goes the same for everyday life. When there is a fallout, especially a one-sided fallout, you will wonder what you did, maybe blame yourself, and may even question your worth.
4.You are trying to ignore your feelings
“Fake it until you make it” good in theory, but bad when it comes to emotions. Pretending something does not bother you or makes you sad or even angry will not change the reality of the situation. Instead, you’ll feel certain things at the worst possible because they will live rent-free in your subconscious.
5.You are uncertain/ fearful about what will happen next
This is one many people don’t think about often. When you are comfortable, with a person or a situation, you can’t see what else is out there. Sometimes people stay in a situation because they won’t know what to do if they leave. Some are gaslighted to believe that is as good as it can get. In reality, there is so much that can be better.
Take steps to letting go
Thank you to Nina for helping me with this list. Be sure to check out her makeup website and her classwork portfolio if you have an interest in poetry and photography.
1.Let yourself feel what you need to so it doesn’t keep coming back
Denying what you feel; won’t make those emotions go away faster. Deal to heal.
2. Delete or at least crop pictures with them
They don’t deserve to take up storage on your phone.
3.Delete their number
Forget their number, forget them.
4.Block their social media accounts
They don’t deserve access to you.
5. Spend time with yourself
You need time to think about your needs and figure out what is good/healthy for you. Only you can tell you what is best for your next steps.
6. Think of all the short-term future things you have to look forward to
Sometimes it is hard to see so far into the future, so looking for the short-term things will feel a lot more exciting.
7. Write down all the negative emotions you feel about that person and burn the paper (or tear it)
It has to be done on paper so you can physically rid yourself of those bad feelings.
Be appreciative of the little things, and it will shift your focus.
Let go at your own pace
I know letting go can be extremely difficult. I recently learned myself. Over my break, when I wasn’t writing my blog, I started to delete pictures and old messages I had saved on my phone. I still had conversations on my phone from the girls who bullied me over my crush, heated arguments with someone important to me in the past, and even conversations I had with the first boy I ever told the words “I love you” to just to have him betray me and break me.
In my past, I held on to those things because I always felt a need to prove myself. I needed to prove myself because it always felt like my side of the story was inferior to everyone else's. With my first crush in middle school, he was popular, and I was quiet. Of course, people took his word instead of trying to know mine. The same thing with the boy I said the “L-word” to. As a result, I vowed to myself that I will tell my truth someday after them constantly trying to silence me. Then I realized that was holding me back into the past. Because every time I tried to tell those stories, I got deja vu. I was seeing the labels they once put on me, I was feeling the same pain, and I was essentially seeing myself through the distorted lenses they created. So I broke it. I broke their lenses, deleted the pictures, got rid of things they gave me, and deleted all their messages. Not because what I would say wouldn’t have been real, but I no longer feel the need to prove myself over things that are no longer significant. I know what happened, and people who truly know my character, do too. If I have to beg for someone to hear me, they are not worth my time or energy. After everything, I found out more, and while I probably will never know the full version, I am content, and I can put those feelings to bed.
Better things are ahead, and I was not able to see that before. I finally got to the point where I can see it, and my only comment is the people who deserve it will be by my side with me. Positive changes won't come until you release the negative energy around you. You can care about people while you acknowledge that there was a lot wrong and it was unhealthy. You can let go of situations that happened while recognizing that how you felt was valid, but the thing other people said and done doesn't defy you. The day I decided to let go was me saying that only I defy my story. I choose what is defying my character.
I promise one day you will feel that too.
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Until next time,
xoxo Lay 💋