Remember the blankey you had when you were a toddler? The one you took everywhere with you, dragging it around on the floor, and couldn’t close your eyes to count sheep if you didn’t have it clutched between your little fingers?
And remember the day mommy put it in the wash one last time and decided you might have to move on from its tattered and stained remnants? *cue Air Supply’s ‘Without You’*
It’s hard to forget, isn’t it?
Letting go is a challenge that only seems to get more difficult with every obstacle we face (or create) in life. But moving on from the past, and letting go of fears and expectations, is essential for creating peace of mind and embracing what’s to come.
So whether you lost your wallet, feel that you were wronged, or can’t shake off a mistake you made yesterday or ten years ago… The only way to move forward is to go with the flow, roll with the punches and focus on what you can do in the present. After all, looking back won’t get you anywhere.
“You only lose what you cling to.” – Buddha
If you’re wallowing and clinging and sobbing and confused, I hope this little guide helps to make parting with your blankey a little easier:
Practice Forgiveness: It can be hard to forgive others, and even harder to forgive yourself. The practice of forgiveness is challenging yet liberating and is an essential first step to letting go. Release that tension, and remember that in the end, we’re all just trying our best.
Silence Negative Voices: We all have inner demons, those doubts and fears that tell you that you messed up, that life is so unfair, and that you aren’t good enough. Don’t listen to them – swat them away like flies. Practicing meditation regularly can help make you a better demon-swatting ninja. If you ever feel overwhelmed and distraught, try to imagine what you might say to a friend who is feeling the same way.
Focus on the Present: It can be easy to dwell on the past, including all the decisions you’ve made and all the things that went ‘wrong’. But the past doesn’t exist anymore unless you give it the power to. If you replay it over and over again, you’re essentially stuck. It doesn’t matter what happened. The only thing that matters is right now. That’s where your energy should be.
Make an Action Plan: When you’re stuck in a rut, setting goals can help a great deal. Write down short-term and long-term goals, and don’t be afraid to dream big. Things don’t change overnight, and there will likely be plenty of detours, but it’s great to have something new to strive towards. In any case, doing something > overthinking. Always.
“Attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them.” – Eckhart Tolle
© 2015 Reef Magazine