Two years ago, I snapped a picture of this stunning golden tree; standing tall, flaunting its brilliant golden shade of autumn. I would wake up every morning and admire its vibrancy. I knew that within weeks, it wouldn’t look the same; that it was the time of the year where the trees were about to show us the joy and magic of how incredibly freeing it is to let dead things go.
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I don’t know about you, but letting go of something painful never feels like an option. It feels like death by disconnection. And it hurts.
I’ve always found it irritating when someone tells me to let something go. The ultra-sensitive, analytical person in me tends to dissect unpleasant experiences, reliving the story over and over in my brain and analyzing each bit until I get to the bottom of it. This unhealthy rumination, which is different than problem-solving, can go on for months, dragging me down a never-ending road of whys and what-ifs. The pain is often masked by a sense of familiarity that almost paralyzes me from fully moving forward, especially when my mind and my heart are swinging in opposite directions. It’s a sense of familiarity that the nightmare will somehow become the dream.
It’s always during times like these where I revert to the image of that tree and how it evoked feelings of happiness within me and gave me a sense of peace. Just like the falling leaf embraces its ending as if it were a new beginning, I find myself seeking the same contentment.
Letting go is a conscious effort that we have to make. It can be scary and painful.
Letting go frees us of the heaviness that we carry on our shoulders and creates space for fresh and new beginnings.
Letting go is actively releasing what no longer serves us on our journey and accepting the lessons it taught us along the way.
Letting go is realizing that your past mistakes, painful memories, guilt, anger, and regret are likely impacting how you interact with your world in the present moment.
Letting go is accepting that there is nothing you can do to change the past, but you have the power to control your present actions.
This year has been emotionally taxing, leading me to look anywhere and everywhere for signs and answers. In my search, I’ve realized some things are more important than others in the process of letting go; particularly three stages that I’ve found to be pivotal.
Surrender is not about self-sabotage or giving up. It’s a beautiful way of acceptance and trusting that life will unfold as it is meant to. It means to stop fighting, stop controlling, and get out of your own way. Much like Autumn’s vibrant display of trust, the descent of each surrendering leaf is beauty, hope, a lesson. It’s like every falling leaf trusts without a shadow of a doubt that there is pulchritude in new beginnings.
By surrendering yourself, you trust yourself to take the plunge and embrace your new elevated form. That is the only way to make sense of change. Trust yourself, and know that whatever painful scenario in your past does not mean you are a failure. It does not mean that you’re undeserving of living a life that you desire. It does not mean that you won’t grow through it.
Release control back into the universe
Your life is no accident. The entire universe in its divine synchronicity is here to give you a series of experiences. It has your back. So, let it provide. Let it catch you.
The only thing holding you back from surrendering yourself is your ego, which is fed by the desire and constant need to be in the driver’s seat at all times. Whatever is gripping you, let it go. Seek guidance from trusted friends, nature, god, ancestors, guides, spiritual cleanses, whatever feels right to you.
Relinquishing control to something greater and of much higher intelligence allows your inner fears, attachments, and stress to naturally clear up. Energy flows where the attention goes, so, meet the universe halfway by letting your instincts guide you, rather than forcing things. This practice sets you up for exponential growth as you become more aware of how to starve your ego, and nourish your soul instead. You will find that sometimes, by releasing control back into the universe, it will cater to your every whim. It will open the door, but you will still have to walk through.
Get it all out
I’m blessed to be given two mediums that serve as an outlet for me. As a pianist, I can pour out emotions that sometimes I didn’t even know I had, and it’s so cathartic. As a writer, I am constantly uncovering emotions through self-reflection while journaling.
Having the ability to express your feelings in a healthy way is key. Keeping your thoughts and feelings bottled in means that they will stay down until you physically can’t hold on to them anymore. And when the time comes and you burst, it won’t just be that feeling; but everything else that was thrown on top of it since. And when that happens, you’ll do regrettable things. Things that sometimes cause irreversible damage.
You’ll be exhausted trying to play the role of fate.
Every day we have the chance to let go of what no longer contributes to our personal growth and embrace our present. We have a chance to create a peaceful, focused energy. We have a chance to witness a brand new state of flow if we let it.