I wrestled with this idea for a long time because I thought that I was changing. But in fact, I was just shifting mediums to convey my truth.
Letting go is obviously one of the hardest things that we can do, but at times, stepping into that new kind of freedom is very much worth it.sundaewrites
The year came like anything normal and in so many ways I have underestimated it. Certainly, you’ll never really know where life would take you.
During the first few months, inspiration struck. It triggered me to make small decisions and subtle changes affecting very important aspects of my life.
Letting Go of Stuff
It started with a few clothes, some old, some new, that I’ve never really worn for months. Like most, I’ve held on to those pieces of clothing because I’ve paid for them and I already own them.
I realized later on that possessing or not possessing them didn’t really affect the quality of my life. Nor has it affected the level of my happiness in the long term. Maybe that’s why you and I call this and similar things as stuff because literally, they’re just that. Most things we can live without and some we can only need enough of.
On the other hand though, our stuff can be a piece of gold to someone who really needs them. With that, I gave away clothes to friends, neighbors, relatives and some more things to charity.
I was able to sell some of the stuff too and more will be sold in the comings months. I remember meeting this buyer and our conversation went like this.
Buyer: So how long have you had this?
Me: 6 months
Buyer: how many times did you use it?
Buyer: It’s in superb condition and you’re selling it for half the price. Why did you buy it in the first place?
Me: Well, I thought I needed it and would do me good. Later on, I realized, it’s bulky and cumbersome. I can actually get rid of it and make do of what I already have.
Buyer: Well, this is a gem for me. Sorry, you had to sell it.
Me: Oh no, I’m glad I did! (“and I met you”! – bonus point that I felt he didn’t need to know – insert “grin”).
Letting Go of biases
I think you would agree that we all have our biases when it comes to culture, people of a different race or sometimes people from our own race. I for one am guilty about this. In the past, my generalizations about people have hindered the possibility of me knowing them at a deeper level and understand how they see things.
I’ve come to realize that it was a mistake and a loss on my part. I mean, some of them could have been my close friends. They could have contributed to my growth. Most could have been helpful mentors, teachers, coaches or perhaps role models. I remember a colleague of mine said to me one time. “It’s not you. We’re just not used to saying please and thank you as often as you do. We don’t even say please or thank you to people from our own country”. Another shared, “We look like we’re fighting because we seem to be shouting at each other, but we’re not. This is just a normal conversation”.
When I decided to finally open myself to other cultures and other communities, I felt like my heart expanded and my understanding broadened. I began to see these people the way I see myself and my friends- just human beings with imperfections like we all have, and trying their very best in life as we all do.
Letting Go of Who I thought I was
We are who we are. This belief also limited my success as a person.
I always thought that I’m an introvert and therefore, don’t have the ability to connect with people and actually be energized in the process. I always thought, I could never write, just because I barely passed my first essay in college. My English teacher would always ask me to explain what I’m trying to say. That time I have a knack for tying two words together, not because they mean anything but because they just sounded good. Well, it’s hard when English is not your first language. These are just two of several beliefs which crafted my idea of Me. This same idea pushed me to stay in my comfort zone because venturing out, I assumed, would lead me to failure.
After years, a breakthrough came. I decided I will no longer fear failure. So I started a journey of self-discovery and that meant trying new things and doing things that actually scared me or made me nervous and uneasy. I tell you, when I look at myself now, I like what I’m seeing. Frankly, I still make mistakes but I’m growing and continuously learning.
The good thing about letting go of who I thought I was is that every day I am embracing the opportunity to reinvent myself and expand my horizons. It opens a whole new door of possibilities of what I can still be, and the results usually astound me. What you can or cannot do, is indeed entirely up to you. Henry Ford puts it this way “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”.
My friend, is there something in your life that you need to let go and why, or, why not?