I ran across this post, 30 Things to Let Go of in 2016 earlier this year. The article resonated with me because I often think and talk about letting go. As my feet gain traction in midlife, I circle around the non-negotiables in my life, but also work toward identifying those things that I must actively let go. This particular post pushed me to quantify what letting go looks like in my life. Here are ten things I am actively trying to release my life:
- I am letting go of the word, “later.” If it is important, the optimal word is now. I’ve learned waiting on what you want to do means sometimes shelving it permanently. This only leads to regrets.
- I am letting go of always taking the blame. In the past, I’ve leaped to take accountability for a conflict, but in the last few years I’ve accepted I am not always the cause of an undesirable outcome.
- I am letting go of worrying about what others thinks of me. It’s an antiquated way of thinking, speculating on the speculation of others. The truth is, for the first time in midlife, I am more concerned about whether I like an individual instead of wondering if he or she likes me. This concept is empowering.
- I am letting go of always saying yes. I am a firm believer that saying yes to a person or event means saying no to something else. Understand what you’re sacrificing for your yes. Time is finite – it is imperative what you say yes to is important to you.
- I am letting go of wanting the perfect anything. One of my favorite quotes is by Leonard Cohen: Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering, There is a crack in everything, That’s how the light gets in. I am learning to embrace the cracks, sometimes the pain of them and acknowledging those are the places I find myself feeling the most alive.
- I am letting go of noise. The silence can make you feel uncomfortable, but this is where most work is done. Sitting with yourself, in the light and dark, learning to embrace being alone, is ultimately how you rise up and claim this life.
- I am letting go of the script. I spent so much of my twenties planning my life, with the naïve belief, that I am in control. The uncertainty is here to stay.
- I am letting go of the notion I can sacrifice the non-negotiables in my life. For me to live well, I need to sleep, exercise, eat healthy, write, embrace solitude and spend my time with the people who matter most to me. Otherwise, I am an unhappy person.
- I am letting go of my need to talk. I’ve repeated this statement so many times in the last few years – The more I live, the less I know. I have so much to learn. It’s refreshing to approach midlife like a student again, the eagerness to learn – a comfort.
- I am letting go of ignoring red flags. When people show you who they are, believe them.
What are you letting go?
So beautiful and very much needed at this time of my life. Thanks Rudri. Many of the things you are letting it go will be win my list too.
I am glad it comforted you, Vani. Thanks for letting me know. xo
It’s a form of power (self-empowerment) to be able to let go of these things, isn’t it? I love, especially, ” It’s refreshing to approach mid-life as a student again.” Yes, yes, yes!
I’ve enjoyed accepting there are things I don’t know. . . it allows me recapture the same wonder a child has when he or she discovers something for the first time.
I love this post, and the piece you link inspired me too. Every one of your observations resonates with me, but perhaps #6 most of all. ox
Silencing the noise is crucial. It helps me move closer to contentment. xo
You are my favorite armchair philosopher. I’m letting go of sweating the small stuff. Focusing on the bigger picture helps.
Thanks, Estelle! Yes, to the bigger picture. . . always helps ease the angst.
This is proof it is sometimes better to let go than to hold on.
I am learning this everyday – and it isn’t always easy, but holding on is riddled with conflict – releasing that energy is becoming more of my default.
What you have written resonates with me. I love the Leonard Cohen quote. One of the things I am letting go of is perfectionism, which is all tied up with what people think of me. There is a Deepak Chopra quote that says something like – what other people think of me is none of my business. And I am letting go of the illusion of control and outcomes. Life is much simpler and happier when I remember to let go of things that really aren’t important.
Thanks for sharing that Deepak Chopra quote. Speculation is a dangerous game and I’ve learned that it is easier to work on myself than to worry about how others perceive me.
What’s funny is that I’ve been letting go of saying no, out of fear. Although not saying yes is also pretty incredible.
And I’m letting go of the word “someday.” Maybe “now” is better.
Now is such an active word – it pushes me to execute tasks and make decisions. Embracing this philosophy has actually helped with some of my procrastinating.
I simply love this! You are embracing the wisdom that you have learned along the way.
Thanks, Ayala. Appreciate your lovely words. xo
I’m letting go people who are negative that don’t bring anything positive into my life or others. I feel so free and I enjoy my life even more. Thank you for writing
Pushing out toxic people is so liberating. It allows us to focus on the uplifting parts of our life. I am grateful this post resonated with you. Thanks for letting me know.
Given that my word for this year is “release”, I could not love this any more than I do. Great list. Many of them are on mine too.
I adore the word, release, and I cannot wait to hear how it has influenced your 2016. xo
Fantastic list, much of which resonates deeply with me. As for me, I’m letting go of the idea that I can get as much done while raising a toddler and a preschooler as I did in my pre-kid days. There will be years ahead when I’ll have more time, but this year isn’t it. Which means, like you, I need to be ever more mindful of what I’m saying yes and no to, and to really prioritize the pieces (and people) that matter most.
Thanks, Michele. I remember those preschool years and how my time felt scattered. It is so important to be gentle with yourself during this time. I do agree that acknowledging that you have limited pockets of freedom to do tasks and interact helps you become more mindful of where you are spending your time. xo
I just wrote a journal entry about this very topic. Good for you! Letting go is a good thing. In the past few years, I have thought a lot about a yoga book that talks about times in our lives we have to push and times we have to yield. That balance is the one I’m working on.
I love the juxtaposition of pushing and yielding. I am still learning how to tilt my perspective accordingly. xo
Love this. Simple yet raw. Thank you for this.
Glad it resonated with you, Allison. Thanks for letting me know. xo