Author: Elizabeth Wellington
Have you ever told a friend to “just drop it” or “let it go”? We all want to let things go. It’s much easier to live in a flow rather than resisting change. But it doesn’t always feel that easy.
On any given day, I can struggle to let go of a criticism I received, that extra cookie I want to eat, or the fact that I forgot my keys at home. Failing to release each of these hang ups — or the bigger problems that arise — leaves us in a state of anxiety and fear. We end up weighed down rather than lightened by our experiences in the world.
But there is another way. These three steps break down exactly how to let go of something big or small, so you can move through your days with a sense of peace and meaning.
It might feel counterintuitive, but the first step in letting go of anything is to accept where you are right now. Telling yourself, “Oh, I’ll accept myself when I’m 10 pounds lighter” isn’t going to help you release a negative pattern. Acceptance plants a small seed of change by infusing any situation with unconditional love.
Practice self-compassion by honoring your feelings around the issue. What emotions does your stuckness bring up for you? Does your body tense up when you think about it? Experts also recommend that you evaluate any underlying beliefs around a stagnant part of your life. A lot of us don’t realize that we think things like, “Nothing I do is good enough.” While we try to let go of situations or hang ups, we cling to those beliefs, which inhibit us from growing.
One of the most remarkable parts of being human is that we have free will. We create change all the time, even if we don’t realize it. Don’t believe me? Think of the last time you picked up a “bad habit.” Maybe you stopped flossing or decided to watch a few too many episodes of Scandal every night instead of going to bed early. It’s just as easy to let go of these habits as it is to pick them up if you reset your intention.
Write down exactly what you want to let go and what you want to replace it with. Focus on the emotion and physical feelings of what you intend to move toward every day. If you want to let go of self-criticism, bring your attention to the feeling of what will replace it: acceptance, appreciation, and praise.
The next step in letting go is to create a ritual that enables you to symbolically release the issue, opening up the space for healing. There are a few different ways you can put your intention into action. If you have a fireplace and it’s a cool night, consider throwing your written intention into the fire. Or light a candle, hop into a bubble bath and read your intention out loud. If you need some extra support, turn to Claritas Collection. They curated kits that guide you through a soothing ritual that will help you to let go.
Most importantly, practice self-forgiveness in each of these steps. Although miracles happen and some people feel a big shift on the first try, most people need to affirm their acceptance, intention, and fresh start again and again. Recognize that change is inevitable, and if you guide your life in the direction that aligns with your deeper truth, you’ll release whatever is holding you back.