Letting go of the stuff that's holding you back
Letting go is hard.
A dear friend told me the other day how she tried ziplining with her kids for the first time. Not being very keen on heights, she let her kids go first, and when it came time for her turn, she paused. She was frozen. Fear had set in. After a few minutes (and asking the zip line worker how she’d get down if she didn’t want to go through with it) she decided to let go.
As she told me the story, I could see how glad and proud she was to have let go. For her, the literal “letting go” felt metaphorical. She had gone through a rough divorce in recent years and is now a single mom with three kids. Her choice to let go allowed her to experience something new instead of keeping herself trapped in the past.
Letting go can be extraordinarily difficult for all of us.
For Jay and I, moving from a 1,100 sq foot house to a 180 sq foot trailer means we have a lot of physical stuff we have to let go of. Even things we thought we’d never get rid of!
Take for instance this now broken Djembe. I brought it back from West Africa 10 years ago and it took an entire sleeping bag, a lot of duct tape and some light arguing with the border agent to get it into the US.
If I kept the drum, it would need to be fixed and I knew I wouldn’t really play it enough to make it worth it. I was holding onto it for sentimental reasons. After I re-evaluated the weight and space it had in my life, I realized that it was the experience and the joy I had when I played it that mattered. It’s time for me to let go, and let someone else find joy in it.
Letting go physical things can be pretty challenging, but truthfully, it’s the emotional things that have been the hardest to let go.
For Jay and I, it’s the fear and sadness we feel when thinking about leaving our family and friends here in the Northeast. We know these feelings are natural, and we mustn’t dwell on them or let them consume us because:
1. Our friends and family are only a phone call away and it’s up to us to make an effort
2. Social media can help us share/receive updates
3. We can return to the Northeast anytime and literally park ourselves in our family/friend’s driveways and bother them for an entire month (or as long as they can tolerate us!)
4. Like my friend I mentioned earlier, letting go will allow us to experience something new. We want to pursue this lifestyle for reasons explained here. And if we hold ourselves back, we’ll never know what could have been.
What are you struggling to let go of?
We’re all human. We all struggle to let go. So what’s holding you back? Is it fear, anger or resentment? Is it physical stuff? Whatever it is, ask yourself why it’s hard to let go and try to imagine what would happen if you did. If you’re willing to share, tell us in the comments below!