The other day I was listening to Beyond Happiness by Ezra Bayda and something in particular made my ears perk up. According to Ezra, we should stop letting things go. I continued to listen with intrigue and was amazed by the truth in what I was hearing. Let me break it down for you and explain my understanding.
It’s no secret that in Western culture, we are very action-oriented. We see actions above words. At some point during adolescence or adulthood (depending on the person) we learn to “let it go”. We feel that we are mature, peaceful, or even zen if we can let things go. However, by doing this, we are still attaching judgement and giving energy to whatever thing we are letting go of. Just think about it. Take a moment and remember something that you let go. If you are completely honest with yourself, that thing probably still makes you feel a certain type of way. We believe that “letting it go” is the best route because it makes us feel as if we are taking action or control. However, this is exactly the problem. Because “letting it go” is active, it takes energy. While expending this energy, we attach our judgments and feelings. Letting go of a balloon does not mean that we except its absence. In fact, children usually cry when they let go, and continue to do so long after it is out of sight.
So, what do we do instead?
Not letting it go does not mean continuing to hold on. We just need to replace this with something passive instead of active. Hold onto your britches people, because this next part is going to knock your socks off: Let it be.
Stop letting things go, and just let them be. The difference is that in letting things be, we do not need to attach judgments and feelings. We just let it be. It does not require energy to do this. It is about acceptance. Instead of watching the balloon float away with regret, we simply let it float away. We might remember the good times that we had; we are not blocking anything out. We are just accepting that that’s the way things are. Next time you have someone in your life who you feel is toxic, do not “let them go”. Instead, try letting them be. Accept that it’s the way that they are. Accept that they’re just not the friend for you, and that’s okay. Instead of making a show of letting them go, just let them be and move on.
How did “letting it be” feel different than “letting it go”? Share your story below!