“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide. This quote has been one that resonated with me for a long time. It made me realize that in order to see more and do more, you need to learn how to let go.
She stood by the ocean’s edge, whispering sweet nothings into the salty, sea air. Watching silently as the waves rose and crashed, as if they were breathing. Tranquility rushed into her as she stood, rooted into the sand, her feet buried underneath – hidden, safe. The cool water washed over her ankles, then left her soon after, carrying her worries away into the ocean. Closing her eyes, she walked forward, one bare foot in front of the other leaving a trail of her imprint. She peered forward. Rooted once more, she let the waves crash against her legs. As the breeze rushed through her hair, she finally let go. And for once, she felt free.
Letting go is such a broad term, don’t you think? It can mean letting go of the past, letting go of feelings, and just letting go physically. So which one am I referring to? All of them.
Growing up, I have been an incessant overthinker. It is in my nature to think of endless possibilities, to wonder, and to analyze. In some ways, this is good. My brain is always actively engaged, which is great for problem solving, vivid imagination, and insight. But it’s the worst trait to have when it comes down to nitty gritty things like the past, feelings, and physical objects.
I wouldn’t say that I necessarily hold grudges. It’s more of a forgive, but never forget kind of thing. Boy have I dwelled on the past plenty of times…and what I mean here is thinking of how things could have been done or handled differently. It’s that nagging thought of “what if…” that really gets me and once I start, I go spiraling down.
What about feelings, you say? Ah, this one is tricky because it’s something you can’t technically control. Emotions just happen and evolve on its own without your permission. It’s funny because I’m an extremely emotional person, though I try not to have myself conveyed as so. For the longest time, I thought emotions equaled weakness, so it was better to contain and conceal (wow I sound like Elsa). But seriously, when someone is so in tune with their emotions, it makes it harder to think straight. Feelings tend to sway your thoughts and so emotions + overthinking = beautiful disaster. And trust, I’ve been through plenty of those.
Objects, keepsakes, and anything that holds sentimental value is of course hard to let go of. And the most common physical thing that people can’t seem to let go of are people. The biggest fear is loss, whether it’s a death, a broken relationship, broken friendship, or whatever the case may be. The loss can be big or small, varying on a magnitude of hanging out with another person other than yourself or physically leaving you in some way, shape, or form. And this is the messiest one of all because it’s attached with the lovely cobwebs of feelings and thoughts. Even more so, it connects actual objects, memories, and reminders.
Alright so how does one let go? It sounds way easier than it is.
Things like this are never easy. They take a lot of patience, time and effort. I could slip in so many sayings that go along with this idea, like, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” We all get it. But knowing and doing are two different things.
When thinking about things of the past, all you really have to remember is that it’s in the past. If you spend your time dwelling on things you can’t change, you’ll be stuck in one place while everything else moves on. Don’t be stuck. There’s no use in thinking of what if this or what if that, because you can’t go back. Things happen for a reason, so all you need to do is make the most of what you have and work on making things better. Smile at all the memories and opportunities you had. Maybe because of that event, something amazing came out of it.
Just keep moving forward!
I can’t control my feelings, they just happen. I feel you, literally. I’ve been blessed (or cursed) with an empathetic soul. So I’m that girl who bawls from watching something sad, even if it was just a directed script and nothing really happened. The best solution I’ve found is to accept how you feel and pinpoint why. There’s no use in layering on more to the pile, because it will send you spiraling down. Find a medium of expression. Turn your feelings into energy and use it. Write. Draw. Sing. Dance. Rock out to music. Scream into a pillow. Go for a run. Just do something.
Let it go.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene. Another quote? Jeez. Sorry about inserting them, they’re just so relevant. Again, just make the best of the situation. Don’t push away your feelings, don’t dismiss your thoughts. Embrace everything and learn how to handle it. Pushing away your issues is basically running from them. It might give you a temporary relief, but the problem doesn’t go away. It’s still there. So push to resolve them and once you do that, you can let it all go.
It’s all about looking at the glass half full (another one…LOL). Don’t live everyday in fear that you’ll lose something because all you’re doing is hurting yourself and the other person (if it is) by suffocating them. This could just push them away inevitably. Just be, enjoy the moment and live. Things will always play out how they’re meant to. And if you’re dealing with a loss already, remember the good. Every obstacle, person, and action plays a part in your story. They make you who you are and contribute to your growth. Don’t look back at things in a negative way. Smile and be glad that they happened.
I don’t go to the beach often, for several reasons, but when I do, the thing I love most about it is the sea. The calming nature of the ocean, the waves softly crashing along the shore, the salty air – all of that is just so soothing to me. Plus, sea air literally knocks me out. It is the best sleep ever. In any event, this environment is the best place to have time to yourself to just let your mind wander, think about whatever you need to, and just let it go.
Alright, I’ve burned let it go into this post so many times that I actually found myself singing it and it is forever stuck in my head again. The thing to take away from this lengthy, rant-ish post is to learn how to let go of some things that irrelevant. There is no use pondering what could have been and what would have happened. No use in diving off the cliff into a sea of emotions and an overthinking downward spiral. Take a deep breath, assess the situation, work on resolution, and hold onto the stuff that matters.