Thought Catalog

This Is The Strength In Letting Go

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Brooke Cagle

We attach so much beauty to the idea of holding on tightly, while we simultaneously allot so much pain to letting go. Even when we are in unhealthy situations, or situations that do not help us grow, we tell ourselves that letting go is comparable to giving up or giving in. In situations of uncertainty, we convince ourselves that letting go is the weaker option, and we have to try our very hardest to make whatever it is work.

In our hearts we worry that letting go will be too painful. We run away from goodbyes because we truly believe that the pain of heartbreak will last forever, and that we will not be met with new hellos.

We are fearful of letting go of anything that is precious or valuable to us, because we think it is a part of us; a part of us that we can’t release. We don’t want to let go of what we think makes up our identity. It’s easy to associate letting go with fear and heartbreak; and it’s easy to convince ourselves that letting go means loss, and that loss is negative. But when you fall so deeply into this belief, when you cling too tightly to something, you might find that you are holding on to all of the wrong things.

No matter how good or bad the person or experience may be for you, you still might cling on tightly without noticing that you have nothing left to cling on to. You will not notice how everything you’ve wanted has already slipped between your fingers like sand. Everything you’ve wanted has already come and gone. You have had it, and you are now fulfilled. Even then you can hold on with all of your might, out of comfort or of fear, but you may still be oblivious to the truth; that what you are holding onto is no longer serving you.

We desperately avoid letting go because we become comfortable with what we have and feel safe with what we know. We don’t want to risk losing something okay in case what we find next is worse. But sometimes we romanticize what we have even when it no longer brings us the peace of mind we deserve. Sometimes we become so absorbed in our own way of doing things that we don’t take the time to notice if they are still serving us or filling us.

We are transforming every second of every day. Our needs change. Our minds change. Our hopes and dreams change. What used to bring us joy and fulfillment might no longer revive us. What used to lift us up might not have the ability to raise us any higher.

Letting go is never a sign of weakness. Letting go is strength
. Letting go means that you are in touch with yourself, and that you can acknowledge when it is time to move on. Letting go means that you are strong enough to understand that even though someone or something has played a truly valuable and beautiful role in your life, their role may simply be over.

Above all, letting go means you are strong enough to be honest with yourself about when it is time to let go of something that is no longer nourishing your mind or heart, no matter how much beauty it once brought to you.

Sometimes the chapter comes to an end and you have to turn the page. You might not want to turn the page. You might not want to let go of what is happening right now in this moment, or what was happening just a few moments ago. But you have to in order to keep telling your story. Moving forward doesn’t erase the chapter. It doesn’t negate what happened. It doesn’t change your past. Turning the page and leaving behind the known just opens your world up to new experiences. To new chapters. To new beauty. There’s no reason for you to keep re-reading the same chapter. There’s no reason to stay stuck in it just because you feel comfortable. The rest of the story is waiting for you.

It can be terrifying to let go of something that is and was so important to you. And it takes brutal honesty to accept that there is something better out there, waiting for you.

But we have to let go now so that we have space for something better soon. We have to let go so we can lose the burden of the load on our shoulders and finally be free. Even through tears, we have to let go of the mediocre in order to get to the wonderful that is ahead.

Letting go of people can be especially troubling and mentally confusing. Sometimes hellos last for years, and sometimes they last just for minutes. Occasionally hellos last forever, when people come and stay and become your life. But sometimes they come and go. However, they still change your life.

Sometimes it is time to let go of a relationship simply because the relationship has already worked its magic. The person has already touched you in the most meaningful way possible. The person has served their purpose; the relationship has blossomed and now it is time to release it. Maybe this person shaped you or changed you. Maybe this person broke you or healed you, and from it you gained strength. This relationship has already served you to its fullest, and now you can move on. It’s hard to let go of people. It’s hard to say goodbye. But not all people aren’t meant to be in our lives forever. They come and go, each serving us in a special way for a number of days or years.

The hardest times we must let go are the times when we know something is not bettering us, but we still hope for it to work.
We know it is no longer enlightening us, but we still have hope. In these moments we have to let go of what we have and also what we had hoped for the future. We have to let go of our before and our after. And in these moments, we have to let ourselves grow. We have to do what’s best for us, despite what we might crave or desire. It takes guts to let go of a person who has played such a vital role in your life when you know, deep down, that they are no longer a part of your story. It’s the hardest when you still want them to be.

Letting go means releasing what you have and making beautiful, freeing space for what is to come. It’s both terrifying and beautiful to know that you are saying goodbye to the good with the hopes of saying hello to the great.

We have to accept that some relationships are fleeting. We have to acknowledge that some people are fleeting. You see, people, moments, and experiences don’t have to last forever to be meaningful. There is a time for everything, and this time does not always happen to be forever Like the beautiful words of Ecclesiastes 3, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

You can be grateful for all of the experiences and people that entered your life for a season. You can be thankful for the way in which they delicately made their way into your heart. But you don’t need to hold onto them. They came into your life to show you the glimmer of hope of spring, or they came and to teach you what you needed to learn to be able to be okay.

Sometimes even little moments are only supposed to last so long. Sometimes it’s just one encounter, one tiny piece of infinity, that makes its mark on your heart and then bursts away into the night. It is still powerful and still beautiful. It is still a piece of you. But you don’t need to cling to it. Instead, be thankful for every single once in a lifetime encounter that challenged you or changed you; that nurtured you or fulfilled you.

And then let each one go. Just like that. TC mark

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