I Finally Found My Happiness In Letting Go

I wish there were a manual or a guide for how to move forward and let go. I wish there were an app where you could express all of your trauma and it would tell you how long it would take for you to heal. I wish there were a particular book that unlocked all of the answers to living a meaningful and joyful life.

Sometimes I wish we could feel our emotions and let them go forever. I wish we could look at a father and a daughter and not instantly feel our heart hurt. I wish we could look at a happy couple and not instantly feel sadness. I wish we could look at a happy family and not instantly feel envy and anger.

I wish I could tell you that everything will be okay tomorrow or even next year, but I can’t. But I can tell you that everything will be okay eventually. It took me 26 years to fully understand what it means to let go. It took me 26 years to fully understand that the moment you surrender is the moment you start to really live your life. It took me 26 years to fully understand that letting go is single-handedly the most important thing we can do in order to reach our full potential and feel pure joy.

But what happens when we struggle to let go? What happens when we stay in the past and it paralyzes our future with fear? We won’t be able to enjoy the present and we’ll struggle to live freely and joyfully. We become so saddened by our past and so fearful of our future that we self-sabotage our present. We read books, write lists, and obsess over routine because we believe if we have all of the answers and knowledge, we’ll never experience heartache again.

My mom’s boyfriend once told me that even Albert Einstein didn’t have all the answers, so what makes me think I’ll find them? That really spoke to me. No one has all of the answers, and to be quite honest, I don’t want all of the answers.

I always believed that if I obsessed over perfection and having everything figured out, then I would never be blindsided and I would never feel pain again.

For the last five years, I have obsessed over all the things that my past has taken from me instead of feeling grateful for all the things my past and present has given me.

For the last five years, I have been so obsessed with guarding my heart and protecting myself from more pain that I have forgotten to live. I have forgotten to enjoy the most beautiful and simple moments. I have forgotten to embrace love because I was so deeply afraid to lose it.

I have nourished my body and mind with meditation, healthy foods, and structure. But I’ve forgotten to nourish my body and my mind with love, acceptance, and freedom.

For my entire life, I wanted to get it right so badly that I always got it wrong.

Every day, I would wake up and wait for this extravagant moment to happen. I would wait for the universe to somehow tell me I was fully healed and ready to live a happy life. I waited to receive the call that I received the job of my dreams, and therefore I would finally find joy and happiness.

You don’t find happiness in things. You find happiness in letting go. You find happiness in your heart and soul. You find happiness when you appreciate your life for everything that it is, even the pain, trauma, and heartache. You find happiness in the quiet moments by yourself. You find happiness the day you look into the mirror and you’re blown away by the person looking back at you. Without hesitation, you tell yourself you’re beautiful and you’re loved.

We need to remind ourselves that letting go doesn’t mean we bury our pain and we never think about it again. Letting go doesn’t mean we forget.

Healing isn’t linear, and our trauma will always be there and bring us sadness, but we can no longer let it steal our self-love and our joy.

I always thought surrendering made you weak. I always believed that when you surrendered, you were giving into your past and letting your demons and trauma steal your joy. It’s quite the opposite. The moment you surrender is the moment your life truly begins.

We can’t go back and change our past. We can’t unbreak our hearts. We can’t change how we reacted. But today, we can change how we allow it to affect our future. Today is the day we let go of fear and we welcome gratitude. Today, I’m surrendering to all the things I can no longer control or change. Today, I’m surrendering in the most beautiful way.

About the author
Words heal me. Love strengthens me. Be unapologetically yourself. Follow Kiley on Instagram or read more articles from Kiley on Thought Catalog.

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