Learning to Let Things Go

Anger, hate, regret, envy, disappointment. All can become toxic emotions that eat us up.

None of these emotions are really useful, or get us very far, yet we hold onto them, as if they are fuel.

In my own case, I can, and do, take inspiration from others, but I am aware that if I start to compare too much, envy can follow. I have to watch this.

If I even come close to feeling envy for someone else that I perceive to have more success than me, or be somewhere I want to be, I try to remind myself that I don’t know how these people actually feel.

I don’t know what their story is or how much they have had to sacrifice. I don’t know if they are truly happy, or they’re just masking deep insecurity or self-doubt with lies and a smile. This helps me let go of the desire to compare and simply commit to my own journey.

The same is true of regret. It’s an emotion I have done my best to distance myself from. I’m human and I make mistakes, mistakes I don’t want to repeat. I’ve hurt people close to me that I never want to hurt again with foolish acts or careless words at times. But beating myself up again and again for those mistakes is futile. It’s a wasteof the precious life I am lucky to live.

I’m someone that believes in living life. I have lessons to learn, and can use those to fuel me trying to be a better version of me.

Maybe this outlook and approach to life is all part of the aging and maturing process. Or maybe it’s because I’ve gained a rounder perspective of who I am and how lucky I am, and learned to let go of these emotions. Seeing them for what they are, a waste of my focus.

And to be totally transparent, I am very much still a work in progress. I’m far from Zen-like calm all of the time. I still get frustrated at things I shouldn’t. I can still overreact to situations at times. I can still carry a grudge more than I would like to. I still feel the bitter feeling of disappointment in others at times, even though I know this is more about my own expectations than them. I’m getting better at letting things go but I still have a way to go.

When we truly embrace the fact that our lives are precious, we can choose to leave the negativity behind. We can choose to let go of the things that don’t matter so much, on closer inspection.