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By Steven Greenberg

Has somebody ever told you to let go? In my journey, I have realized that the most important thing in being free, in being happy, is letting go. That being said it is also the hardest thing to do. We are raised a specific way, and are constantly told to act the way we are supposed to. We place all of these expectations on ourselves and try our best to strive for the ideal. With all of these things, it seems like an impossible task to let go, but it is possible.

There are so many different levels of truly letting go. For example, letting go of the image of who you think you need to be is different than letting go of physical pleasures. But, I want to focus on letting go of who you think you need to be. We all have that image of who we would like to be or even who we think we need to be. However, if you can let go of that image, you can appreciate life so much more. You will be able to enjoy everything to the fullest without needing or expecting anything. Doesn’t that sound nice? But how do we get there? How do we even begin to let go of possession? Well, I wish I had a straight answer for you. The truth is that everyone must find their own way of beginning this transformation. Some days you might find it easier to let go of worry and live in the moment. Other days you might be so incredibly stressed out that you eat 5 chocolate bars because stressed spelled backwards is desserts. But in all seriousness, the important thing is to keep trying. If you can start each day with the intention of letting go of something, then you have already taken the first step and you will be a little lighter.

Now, letting go of external pleasures is a little different. By external pleasures, I mean anything outside of you. This could be drugs and alcohol, it could be sex, or it could be working out. Maybe it’s listening to music. Whatever it is for you, you have to ask yourself, why? Why am I doing this? Maybe you do it because you enjoy it, or maybe you’ll find that you are letting yourself engage in whatever it is to escape. To avoid whatever it is that you are feeling. These are the things you have to be careful of. The problem with avoiding your emotions is that they don’t go away. They will sit there and affect you in every way possible until you decide to confront them. Human’s natural coping mechanism is to avoid. You have to fight against that urge to take the easy way out. Ask yourself; are you engaging in short term pleasure in exchange for long term pain? Are you letting yourself take the easy path, letting yourself grow farther and farther away from your potential. At some point in your life, you will have to confront these emotions and so you might as well start now. Believe in yourself…and you will! You are capable of so much more than you realize.

2 thoughts on “What does it mean to let go?

  1. Tynell

    It has taken me many moons to come to and receive this realization. It is called surrender to me. Everything that I am at this point in my life points toward living this second half of my life HAPPY. I’ve never been loved, happy, or at peace in my entire life and to accomplish all three , I’ve decided to focus on HAPPY for me. I understand giving up external pleasures and feel that I’ve been successful at accomplishing that lately. The only pleasures that I maintain are the love that I have for God, my daughter, and art. With these three , I’ve found that safe place where I experience my peace and happiness. Hopefully, one day in my life, the world will see my heart and not my physical external being and realize that I’m safe to love as well. I have acquired that which I’m desiring of the world because I’ve finally decided to love me and embrace who I am. I’ve made it my mission to maintain health by focusing on every entity that’s keeping me in pain from eliminating gluten, carregenan, and caffeine to exercising my physical, mental, and spiritual self. I have let go and trust God to navigate this second half of my life. I will be HAPPY because I know that He would want that for me. I’m just very pleased to see this wisdom in a person as you being so young and getting it so early. It took me too long, but I finally GOT IT! And boy, what a great feeling it is to be free. Thanks Steven.

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  2. Sandy Peckinpah

    Thank you Steven for the perfect blend of insight, reflection, and a little humor, too. The question “Why am I doing this?” is a great monitor for defining who we are and what we do, whether it’s positive or destructive. Such a great tool! I’m going to share this with my children. Thanks!

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