Are you at the crossroad of letting go or holding on? Letting go is never easy and holding on holds us back from all the possibilities available. I know this to my core, but I realized it is okay not to let go. Well, not to let go too soon.
I read a book a few months ago called “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom. It is an incredible book, and it is worth the read. However, a line in the book has caused a shift in the way I look at letting go.
Morrie told Mitch, “Don’t let go too soon, but don’t hang on too long.”
Reading those words spoke to me most profoundly. And now, instead of just letting go, I appreciate the art of holding on. Of course, I have held on too long in many situations, with clients, projects, and relationships. And I am sure that even with what I now know, I will sometimes hold on for a little longer than I should. Or, in some cases, I will let go too soon. But I figured it out. Instead of letting go as quickly as I may want to, I now practice first holding on.
How does letting go and holding on affect our lives?
Rumi said, “Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.” And that is true. I have realized that in our lives, our choices come down to one of two things: to let go or hold on. It may not always be as neat and tidy as to let go or to hold on. But when we are in seasons of challenges, we become confused. We are often faced with decisions such as—should we hold on to a relationship or should we let go, should we find a new job or stay where we are, and the list goes on. But the fact is we are faced with should I let go. Or should I hold on?
We are sometimes at the juncture of letting go and refusing to hold on, or we hold on too tightly, incapable of letting go. However, I understand that letting go and holding on are connected actions we must practice in harmony.
How do we know when to hold on [but not for too long] and when to let go [but not too soon]?
Sometimes we will let go too soon, while other times, we will hold on for dear life. And in both situations, we will question our decisions. Letting go too soon often forces us to question our choices, and we might find ourselves battling with the “what ifs.” On the other hand, hanging on for dear life is destructive and keeps us stuck in bad situations, which is emotionally and mentally draining. But to get to a place of knowing which we MUST choose, we MUST look within and without.
Letting go is unnatural for most of us. It takes courage to have a conscious awareness to concede that we are holding on to something that is no longer serving us. Letting go is hard. A part of it is that many of us feel we have failed or have lost something meaningful. It is also possible that we have worked so hard that letting go feels like we are losing. There is also the aspect of convenience and the possibility that the thing we should let go of serves a different purpose. It is comfortable for us, and it fulfills a need within us.
Look within and without.
The best way I have found that gets me to a place where I know I should let go or hold on is to tune in. I believe the answers are always within, but we often neglect to look or tune in. So many times, I held on for dear life, but it was because I was too afraid to let go. Whether consciously or unconsciously, the essence is I was scared to let go. And we are all there at some point in our lives.
From my experience, I urge you to examine yourself objectively and consciously. It is the only way to know what is true for you in every decision. For example, when I look at a situation closely, if I am comfortable and in a state of peacefulness, I know that I can hold on a little longer. I see the problem has earned more time. But when I am in a state where I feel uncomfortable, anxious, and Depleted. A place where I am drained and unable to function. Then I know that holding on is causing me pain, and it is time that I let go.
When we look inward, we must also investigate the outward situation. What does it look like? Has it become toxic? Is it stagnant? Have we given the situation or the person[s] involved several chances?
It is often apparent when a situation or relationship dies, but we try to revive it in vain. It is valuable to hang on when there is space left for hanging on. However, if the situation has reached its limits, and we feel we are repeating destructive patterns, it is time to let go.
So where are you? Are you in your season of holding on or letting go? Comment below.