Here in the United States, we have a very NEVER GIVE UP! attitude. Work hard, play hard, do it all and BE it all!
It’s difficult at times to say, ‘I can’t,’ or ‘I need help.’ There’s an intrinsic misbelief that if we admit we struggle, we will be seen as a failure – to others AND ourselves. Living in such a fast-paced country (and world), it becomes hard to distinguish between what we KNOW is really best for us vs. giving in to what the ego perceives as a successful and meaningful existence. But what is each of our definitions of success based on?
We are all born with an intuition. Unfortunately I think we begin to lose that insight into what is right for us, little by little, from the mixed messages we receive from advertising, society’s preoccupation with fame and fortune, peer pressure, perhaps our parents’ hopes for us, and in other subconscious ways.
So if you’re like me, you may wake up in a cold sweat one day in your late 30s with a sinking despair.. a feeling of, ‘Nothing feels right anymore!’ Perhaps you begin a meditation practice to explore these feelings further. You dig deeper and deeper, slowly uncovering that intuition that has been hidden deep inside of you. It may take time, but this intuition may cause you to ‘wake up.’ Sometimes that means ending relationships, moving to another part of the country, or deciding to embark on a completely new career (or all of the above!).
So how do you know if you’re giving up or actually just letting go of that which no longer serves you?
I personally believe that letting go is no longer holding on to the concept of how things ‘should’ be and accepting the truth of how things really are. This takes enough clarity to be brutally honest with yourself, which takes time and an upheaval of emotions to sort through.
Letting go is trust in both yourself and the Universe that everything will be, and already is, okay. MORE than okay. Everything will work out exactly how it is supposed to, and everything you need is already within you. Truly. What a relief, huh?
Think about it: new beginnings are often disguised as endings, which is why we feel sad, afraid, angry, defeated. It’s important to honor those feelings, but we must let them go or else they will poison us and hold us back. Sometimes writing your uncomfortable feelings down and having a burning ceremony is helpful. In watching the words drift up and out into the Universe, we can envision our hearts doing the same, as we connect with Source.
Sometimes we have to let people go to find their own way. This doesn’t mean we stop caring; instead, we make a decision to accept things for exactly the way they are instead of how we wish them to be. This is not giving up! It’s an action of Love, for others and yourself. Can you see the difference? When things feel difficult, we practice exhaling attachment, fear and control, and breathe in love. We allow gratitude to wash over us and remember that everything is temporary, whether it’s a relationship, a job, an unrealistic expectation, or the way you have always identified with the world. We and everyone and everything around us is constantly changing, evolving. We close our eyes and envision ourselves no longer resisting, relaxing instead into the flowing waves of life.
We give ourselves permission to move forward without that which no longer serves us. It isn’t that it no longer matters, we just cannot take it with us. And when we let go, we lighten our load so we may run, skip, dance and sing joyously into the beautiful Unknown that awaits us.