Learn to let go of what no longer serves you

Anolene Thangavelu Pillay is a Psychology Advisor. Picture: Supplied

Anolene Thangavelu Pillay is a Psychology Advisor. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 22, 2024


On the surface, defining the concept of “letting go” may seem effortless. Upon closer scrutiny, it becomes evident that the two words have a powerful and transformative ability that can alter our entire emotional landscape.

The act of letting go of what no longer serves us should be seen as a daily practice in life, not a one-time event. By digesting this idea, we can overcome the emotions associated with a traumatic experience.

The purpose of these insights is to guide us in releasing past hurts and focus on seeing beyond the fog of the present moment.

For the most part, humans are at odds with the mechanics of life which often leaves us questioning our long-held beliefs. Even with our best efforts, living with emotional debt daily remains a challenge in this fast-moving world.

Regrets, mistakes and missed opportunities become a part of our lives. We become imprisoned in a repetitive pattern of longing for a different outcome, replaying past experiences in our minds and wishing our decisions had turned out differently.

Regardless of our wish, we cannot alter what has happened. By accepting the past’s unchanging nature, we free ourselves from the responsibility of trying to rewrite history.

This approach involves analysing a situation objectively just like analysing an entire chessboard instead of just the piece we are holding.

Through in-depth reflection, we can move beyond traumatic experiences, question: Does thinking about these emotions drains, depresses or frighten you? Does it hold you back from moving forward? Or what steps are needed to move forward? The millennium philosophy advises that we take a deliberate step back, not a rash one but one that reflects wisdom.

It may seem counter-intuitive, yet detachment and taking a step back are essential to gain clarity. When we think about letting go, we fear the uncertainty of a new life, emotions or identity that may emerge. Be willing to let go of our past assumptions, attachments or need for revenge.

Without realising it, you release the narrative of self-pity, self-blame, non-acceptance or what could have been. This shift in perspective transforms how we interact with the past, allowing us to let go of what no longer serves us.

The act clears a path for positive emotions to come through. We have the ability to create a path to unlimited possibilities that await us. As we release ourselves from an emotional prison, we gain control of our lives. The deliberate consistency to leave behind emotional baggage is a testament to our resilience and commitment to growth.

Having new emotional stability is similar to undergoing an emotional detox where we cleanse ourselves of negativity and open space for positivity, growth and resilience. To unlock our untold potential become captivated in the principle, “what you focus on expands”.

To welcome abundance into your life, focus on your personal and professional aspirations and channel your energy accordingly. Acquire the ability to flow with circumstances, as if we are navigating a turbulent river, constantly altering our course as the currents lead us.

Our human nature is to remember bad experiences. To avoid them, letting them go or forgiving goes against our instincts. When resentments or grudges are keeping you trapped, forgiveness is a transformative process that frees us from past hurts.

Being accountable for the impact on others and the world around us requires us to take responsibility for our actions and choices. Instead of deflecting blame, we must reflect on our mistakes. The approach helps identify patterns, behaviours and the underlying causes behind our choices and actions.

In moments of quietude, look at the less travelled paths of letting go to uncover psychological practices and perspectives that seem contradictory but essential for mental health. Finding closure involves honest conversations and time that may not follow a linear path.

Past events cannot be reversed but with intention and patience, it is possible to come to terms with them.

Appreciate the beauty of impermanence. We see beyond the limitations of our thinking when we recognise that nothing in life stays the same. It teaches us to appreciate the richness of past experiences that have shaped our present selves.

Our sense of detail heightens, enabling us to savour small moments of happiness amid uncertainties, finding contentment and gratitude in the simplest things.

Without diminishing the gravity of your hurt experiences, find meaning in what has happened to you. When we find meaning in our misfortunes, we reframe the situation and refresh the narrative of how it will affect us, allowing us to come to terms with acceptance. Reconnect with yourself.

Recommit to your hobbies and interests. Allow yourself time to heal. If you were given a blank slate today, what would it mean for you?

Anolene Thangavelu Pillay is a psychology adviser.

Daily News