“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”– Joseph Campbell
The internet is full of posts about letting go and how somebody can benefit from it. There are also a great number of books out there that cover letting go as one of the secrets to create a life in abundance. Now that is where I got stuck. Because I couldn’t grasp the how of the letting go process or maybe I wasn’t just ready to do so.
After many months, I have worked through this problem and would like to share my top 5 learnings as tips for all those of you who wonder too about the how in the concept of letting go.
These learnings are results of my experience and may or may not work for everybody. However when was looking for a simple way of letting go almost two years ago, I missed the most important point. Only now, I am becoming aware of something that is much simpler than I ever would have thought. Even though you might not agree with those tips below bear in mind neither would have I before.
1. Accept all that is and make peace with it. Whatever your life has had on offer for you, it was meant to be. Every person, every challenge, every crisis and every fortune is part of your life, no matter if you want it or not. It is important to make sure that you accept all events and especially all people in your life as they are. Acceptance is the first step to every change.
I had difficulties to accept my mom as she is. I always knew what she could do better, how her life quality could improve, and of course what she should be doing. We had tough discussions and arguments over simple things. When I have started to listen to myself when we were talking, I figured that I would respond in the same way she does. I indeed acted just like her. I accepted this fact and the way my mom carried on but stopped to engage in those arguments. I started to accept that she thinks differently about many things. Our relationship has improved a big time. I have slowly let go of my need to know what is best for her.
2. Stop listen to everybody. Except you, nobody know what is best for you. You have to take care of your needs and follow your own course in life even if that means that people around you don’t agree with you. This is a hard one and can lead to confusion in times. That’s why the next learning is as important as this one.
Often in my life I have listened to the voices around me and have given them more thought than my original ideas. Because I did change many of my ideas to fit them into the ideas of other people, I haven’t been as successful as I hoped for. I lost faith in myself and had times in which I wanted to hide from the world. When I stopped listen to other people, especially to those I haven’t asked for advice, I gained my strength back and achieved more than I thought possible.
3. Trust yourself. You know what you can do and what you can’t do. If you need to take a break, take it. If you need to take action, do it. Whatever your body tells you is more important than what anybody else tells you. Sometimes you want to take on a challenge. As long as the ultimate outcome is something that you want to achieve by heart, go for it. Is the challenge something that you do only to please somebody or to gain attention in your peer group, be strong and say no.
When I wrote my novel, I always knew it would be a great book. It took me a while to get it edited into the form that I believed would be the final version. I was happy and encouraged to release it into the world. I wrote to about 15 agents. One of them wanted to read the whole script. One Saturday afternoon I received feedback. It was horrible, in only a few minutes my mood has changed. I felt dizzy after one single person told me, that my novel wasn’t good at all. There were some clues of what I should be working on. I trusted myself though and didn’t change anything. I knew this book isn’t like any other and isn’t a book that suits all readers either. Just a year later my book got published - unchanged. It has received many 5 star reviews and great feedback from all sides.
4. Take enough breaks. Life is not a competition even though it seems like one. Everybody has their own time to do all those things they are meant to do. Take time to eat and sleep properly. Schedule time for yourself. The only asset you really can count on is your body and mind. Make sure you keep your personal assets healthy and energised.
I have been always on the go. One goal after another that screamed to be added to my success list. I considered sleeping too long a waste of time. I wanted to make the most out of my life. Even though I crashed without energy in almost depressive moods now and then, I felt awful for not doing something useful. Eventually I changed my perspective and started to listen to my body. I eat when I am hungry, I try to ensure 8 hours sleep at night, and enjoy doing absolutely nothing. I have learnt to be in harmony with myself and to enjoy my own company. I am much more relaxed and if something really needs to be done, it won’t go away.
5. Live your life. Once you have stopped trying to improve the life of others and have started to take care of your own life, you will have so much more time to live your life. Now there is no pressure of other people to do something that you don’t want to do. There is only choice. With choice you own your time, your view, and your life. There is no feeling bad about anything, because you can stand in front of the mirror and say I am having a great time.
When I was busy with taking responsibility for all those people around me and thought I had to do so many things to create a wonderful life, I never really enjoyed myself. I always was busy doing something for a better time in future. Although I realised that is was my choice to make my future brighter I forgot to enjoy the time. Since I started to take myself less seriously and stopped to think too much about the future, I realised I am already living the life that I always wanted and just at the right moment I was ready to save it for my future.
Of course nothing has changed over night. It took me about 10 years to turn my life over. It started with one question that helped me open my eyes: “Why do I get angry about things I have no control over”? It continued with a great journey around the world and an even longer journey deep into my inner world. Even though it took that long to understand the term of letting go, I would not miss one single second within the last decade. It’s been amazing and the only question I am asking today is: “How much better life can really get?”
by Sandy Seeber – Januar, 2014 More articles by Sandy Seeber