Optimistic outlooks

Learn from not being able to let things go–and let it go

We all have those “things” that we can’t let go because we hold onto the hope that they will change. A year goes by and we start to realize it’s not going to change, then 2 years go by and we don’t think of them as often but when we think of them we still wish they were different. Then 3 or 4 or maybe even 10 years pass by and when we think of these things it hurts so much more because we know it’s not going to change. Then there may be a glimmer of hope that somehow, someway it’s going to get less painful or that it is no longer important to us, or that if it is a fixable situation that it may be close to being fixed—and then we find out it’s false hope. It’s ripped away from us just as quickly as it came. Why? Because we live in a world where everything seems fixable, replaceable, unbreakable, permanent, and ever lasting. We take things for granted. We assume the people in our lives will always be there–they won’t. People come in to our lives for a reason and leave our lives for a reason. We assume the opportunities will always be there–they won’t. Go after what you want now, why wait?  We assume things will never change–change is inevitable, everything changes, everyone changes, nothing ever stays the same. We assume if we loose something we can get a new one. Sadly this is not always true, the thing we don’t realize is that only tangible items can be replaced. The reason we can not let certain things go is because they are emotianally charged events or situations.

Feelings and emotions last forever. These may be the only things that last forever. This is why when you hurt someone or someone hurts you forgiveness may not be an option, this is why how you feel at any given moment is more powerful than you can imagine, this is why the things in life that we can not let go of are the things that have hurt us the most. Emotions, in my opinion, are the most powerful weapon in the world because you can control how another person feels just by being their friend or not, by saying hello or not saying hello, by saying something nice to them or saying something mean to them, by loving them or hating them, by taking them for granted or making them feel valued, by responding when they need help or by ignoring them when they are struggling.

Sometimes it is impossible not to care about things, particularly things that have hurt us very deeply. I’m not talking about majorly life changing things though. I’m referring to small little things that disrupt your whole world. For example, a fight with a friend that has never been resolved resulting in the loss of a friendship, someone you care about forgetting to wish you happy birthday or not being there when you need them to be–this hurts and can’t be taken back, having to skip an event that was very important to you because you were told it was “the right thing to do”, not following your heart or chasing your dreams because of something another person said to make you feel badly about what you want to do, ect. Everyone has at least one scenario that falls into the category of “it’s a not a big deal, but it is a big deal to me or it’s not the end of the world but it has disrupted my world.” 

We all have these things we can’t let go of and we have all been on both ends. We have been the person to cause another person emotional pain and we have been the person to feel the emotional pain. This is just part of life, part of growing up, part of being a person. We can’t let these things go until we are willing to deal with why they hurt us so much. It could be rejection, failure, dishonesty, lack of loyalty, growing apart, even a misunderstanding. Whenever I find myself holding onto something that has hurt me in the past I try to understand why–I figure out why it hurts me so badly and then I decide two things. First, I decide if the situation is fixable or if it is a lost cause and then I decide (if it is fixable) if it is worth the effort to try to fix it. There are some situations that are not worth attempting to fix because the risk of getting hurt again is just too high. Usually, I decide to move on. This isn’t really as hard as you may think and it is so worth it in the end.

Letting go of something is very difficult, BUT I have learned to do it with ease. Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I am a very emotional person. When I am mad I am mad, when I am happy I am happy, when I am upset you can see in my face that I am visibly upset, you have probably also seen my cry, throw something across the room, slam a door, or run around singing silly songs because I am so excited about whatever has just happened. Even though I have a tendency to express how I feel I have also learned how to suppress my emotions when necessary and to just simply let things go. I have been able to do this for several reasons. 

1. I have learned in my 27 years of life that people will hurt me, I have learned that I will hurt other people, I have also learned that the majority of the time this is not intentional. I have learned that no one is perfect and that we all deserve forgiveness.

2. I have realized that just because something upsets me or hurts me that it does not hurt someone else and vs. versa.  Everyone has a different perception of things. I’ve learned to look at situations from all angles.

3. I started to believe in fate, the concept that everything truly does happen for a reason, and that sometimes things are just not meant to be. Some people aren’t meant to be in your life, sometimes you are meant to make mistakes, you are supposed to miss opportunities to make room for far better opportunities, you may have to be disrespected and under appreciated in order to learn how you truly deserve to be treated, you might not have followed the path you set out to follow and you may have taken a long winding road to get where you are but eventually you still got there.

4. I found that when I stopped caring I was happier. Living with regret is not fun, it wears you down and it becomes a huge burden. I stopped caring about things that I couldn’t control. I couldn’t do anything to change them so why waste energy worrying now?

5. I started only focusing on the positive things in my life—believe it or not that list could go on forever. There are so many more positive things in my life than negative things. I became grateful.

6. Once you let one thing go it becomes easier to never carry around regrets and burdens again.

7. I started to live in the moment, not the past, not the future, but the present moment. There is no time like the present.

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