Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Beauty of Letting Go...


“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ~ Lao Tzu

There’s not a person reading this blog right now who hasn't  at one time in their life been faced with having to let go. Whether it’s letting go of a relationship, an unfulfilled dream, or a painful past, letting go is one of the hardest things any of us will ever do. If there’s one commonality that we all share, it’s that each and every one of us wants to be happy. But we make it difficult to achieve happiness by holding onto the past.

We have a habit of attaching our identity to someone else or something else. By doing this, we lose our individuality. Once this attachment is broken or is starting to break, we try harder than ever to maintain that attachment even when we know in our hearts that it’s time to let go.
It’s human nature to want to “hold on”. We’re creatures of habit…we thrive on familiarity. The thought of losing that can be a scary proposition. But we don’t need to be scared. The unfamiliar does not have to be viewed with fear. ..By letting go we can actually let happiness in.
Believe me I know it’s not an easy thing to do, but you may surprise yourself. You may discover an internal fortitude that you never knew you had. Always keep in mind that letting go is the first step in moving forward and living the life you've always imagined :)
Have you found the beauty in letting go? Share your thoughts.

113 comments:

  1. I move forward, always trying to let go. Things may haunt my mind at times but I move. I feel so badly for those that can't. Life it too shor

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  2. There is an opposite thought about this:
    "Wherever I go, there I am", meaning,of course, we have a tendency to take our troubles with us, much like Lil' Abner says, "we have seen the enemy and they are us!" So the real problem is not in letting go of a relationship or anything external, but the reinvention of who we want to be. A letting go of ourselves.

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  3. I hold on to so very much, and I think that is because I am loyal to so very much. I invest so much of myself into things that it's nearly impossible for me to ever "let go." I find that sometimes, I just need to make peace with the extra baggage that I carry and allow it to be lighter...but I can never actually let it go.

    One of the most important lessons I learned in my early 20's was that everyone has a story, and everyone has baggage. None of us have the perfect solution to prancing through life unencumbered by a painful breakup, a misfortunate ending of a job, the death of a loved one, etc. But, we can each choose how we will let the weight of these things play a role in our everyday lives. Some people rely on baggage as an identity, sort of a "woe is me" type, while some people seem to never bring their baggage into any situation, and we may wonder if in quiet moments when they are alone--is their past ALL they can think about?

    I think that maybe it's not the physical act of letting go that can welcome happiness, but maybe the empowerment of deciding-being at the helm of the choice-that past negativity will not play a part in ones present life. Our past will always be our past; but it certainly doesn't have to be part of our present.

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  4. Beautiful piece. I found this piece thought provoking I love hand-mademama's comment she was very wise at 20.
    I tend to let things go as it never makes you happy in the long run and usually ends up keeping you miserable. The past is the past and you nor the person that may have wronged you cannot either and probably does not even know what they did.
    I am learning hard lessons this year dealing with a family member with Alzheimers . In the end none of that"baggage" will matter. B

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  5. letting go is the theme of life you know..something you will face often...i like how you put it, letting go to let in the happiness...holding on will often hold us back, that is for sure...

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  6. In some instances it's just easier to let go than in others, that is for sure, I, the self-proclaimed control freak, know that much :). x

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  7. I'm always grasping for THE PERFECT PLACE TO LIVE. Constantly scouting out new towns and places, wondering, hmmm...is THIS where I would be happy? Perhaps it's my excuse to wander and travel so much! I am fortunate that this is my letting go dilemma right now. Seems trivial. Thanks for this eye opening topic!

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  8. Letting go of the past itself can be a struggle.
    Right now I am trying to decide if I should let go of the writing or not.
    Oh, and new follower.

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  9. I let go of the past. I'm glad I made so...
    Every day is a new chance for changing.
    Of making new choices.
    It is an opportunity to be happy.
    I will be definately, reading your post.

    Greetings from Portugal

    ~ Life

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  10. There's so much that we can learn from our past and also from letting go of it. Unfortunately it's often very difficult to completely sever the past because it has such a great influence on our lives and also such strong hold on our identity.

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  11. Oh I'm not good at letting things go....I try but they keep on coming back. I think my 'remembery' is too good.

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  12. I do often find it hard to let go, particularly when it comes to relationships.
    I think it's probably the child in me being afraid of losing security.
    But on the occasions when I've found the courage to follow my intuition and just let go, my life has greatly improved.
    So, I'd say yes, you are absolutely right! :)

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  13. Sometimes, it is difficult to let go not because you have defined yourself based on some other person, place or thing, but because you have felt safe and happy with the way things are. Feeling safe and happy doesn't equal boring and fearful. However, when the rug is pulled out from under you and there's no option but to pick yourself up, it is best not to be scared of the unknown, just as you mentioned.

    xx
    Lulu
    Breakfast After 10

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  14. It can be rough, but I tend to do it with ease. As why burden yourself with the past, as you can't change it, so learn from it and move on. Although I never forget.

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  15. I'm 75. I've had to learn to let go of many, many things!!! :-)

    And it's an on-going project. Because some things, just don't want to disappear. -chuckle-

    Have you read "The Power Of Now" by Eckhart Tolle? It's heavy, but interesting... Concerning human's fascination with "past" and "future."

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  16. Btw, your blog look is quite calm and lovely... Thank you...

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  17. I have had to let go more times then I can remember. Each time hurt like heck, but I did grow stronger and become I think a better person. It sure hurts to go thru it though. Have a good weekend.

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  18. The commenta are so interesting to read, different experiences from different people.

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  19. There are a lot of things I need to let go of, and it's not the easiest thing in the world to do. There are things I've held on to for years, and still not let go. I know I won't be truly happy again until I do, but I also don't know how to let go. I rarely think about them, but I know they're there.

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  20. Letting go of one is opening of another. Helps to forget
    past's sorrows in letting go to savor a wonderful future. I experienced lots of letting go. But after some time we laugh it off. Nice thoughts, Keith!

    Hank

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  21. I let go of my job and my pension plan after 14 years of work. I find more beauty in my days now. I work from home and balance freelance writing with more time with my kids.

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  22. I think when I was younger I went through times like that which didn't last all that long but now it seems letting go is a bigger part of my reality. It's not all sad and difficult but some of it certainly is.

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  23. Sometimes letting go of something bad is hard, but it is always worth it in the end.

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  24. I have had to let go in the past, it was hard but my life is so so much better for starting over :)
    Beautiful post x

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  25. I think the hardest let go's I've had was accepting the fact that it is kinder to put a loved pet to sleep rather than see him suffer. I failed a year ago August when we just couldn't give up hope until the vet office closed for the weekend. He died at home on a Sunday. :(

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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  26. Not letting go is a form of denial. Think of the sad sight of a butterfly trying to fly while still clinging to it cocoon. To live in the past is to lose today clutching to the ghost of yesterday. Yours was a thought-provoking post. Thank you for visiting my blog today.

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  27. I'm not very good at letting go. It is so hard. Even when my Great Grandma passed away at 92, I was still sad. She had a full life. You'd think I'd be happy about that. Almost celebrating that her life was so good and full. I still was sad. Then my first REAL relationship was hard to let go of to.

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  28. I had to let go of a friend who meant the world to me. We had been just friends and everything in between. But circumstances arose where I needed to let go completely. No contact was necessary and that was the hardest thing to do. So much history, memories, past,thoughts, feelings, etc. I had shared so much of my life with this person but I realized that I couldn't have this person in my life anymore if I were to progress toward certain goals and wants. It took me until recently to let go completely of this friend. But it is for the best.

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  29. I really needed to read this post today!!!! Thank you so much for your wise words.

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  30. There is an art and a process to letting go, isn't there? Great reminder that sometimes even though it's hard to let go, when we do we can be open to receiving something else. Well said here Keith...and encouraging.

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  31. Thank you for sharing this. I'll tell this to myself more often "By letting go we can actually let happiness in." :)

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  32. This is so well written and gives us much to think about. My post kinda blends in with your post. Death is a terminater and we can let go with joy or drive our friends away with sad stories. Last night I talked to my friend, Nona's daughter for hours and we both cried and shared little stories. Her voice sounds so much like her mothers and she asked if she could call me some more because she felt so all alone. It is hard when your mother dies because it feels like you are nobody's child any more. Of course I said, "yes, hoping I can help her through this.
    Than you for your timely post.

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  33. I've either never had cause to let things go, or I'm clinging on to them with my whole subconscious might. I can't decide which.

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  34. Wonderful post, and so thoughtful. I have in my life had very difficult situations to let go of. Some of them have taken me years. But when I finally was able to, I've felt a peace and happiness that has improved my life considerably. Oh it is one of the hardest things we have to do.

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  35. A real thought provoker.
    I did have to let go of someone once. But the thing is once I did, things got better and the someone came back again. I learned a lot about myself and what I was capable of.

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  36. Moving forward is always hard and sometimes we have to let go of overly high expectations and move on to what really awaits us instead of hoping for something that will never happen.

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  37. Sometimes we are forced to let go of something, eg. childhood-whether we want to or not...

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  38. Letting go is like a grieving process. It takes time to heal from the past, from a loss, from a heartbreak. There are many emotions to be felt from sadness to anger, regret, disappointment. We sit with it all for a while, and then when we're truly healed, we stop dwelling on it. Only then, we can really let go and move forward. :)

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  39. I was an Irish Dancer for 10 years. I lived and breathed it. My world revolved around performing, competing and learning how to effectively teach this art. Right before St. Patrick's day I injured my left knee and had to quit altogether. It has been almost three years, and I am still letting go. But I did find the beauty in it. When I finally got through the grief, I found so many beautiful parts of my life that I had altogether forgotten because I was wrapped up in dance. Things like my passion for animals, my love of photography and writing, and my ukulele playing. I am honestly happier now because I let go (I still have my sad days though). Moving forward is hard, but it is the best thing you can do for yourself.

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  40. And in letting go, living in the now, we sometimes have to understand that the questions we ask, will never get an answer. Indeed, sometimes the closure has to come from within.

    In peace from a philosophical dog, Penny the Jack Russell dog and the next Paw Minister of Britain.

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  41. Good thought provoking post, Keith. Yes, letting go is a process, but ultimately when you do feel ready, it is very freeing. I have struggled with letting go of so many things, abusive childhood, dreams, toxic people, but once I came to terms with it, I was free to move on and create new and happier memories. I guess it amounts to choosing whether or not you want to be happy. I choose happiness.

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  42. So difficult to do; requires such a "leap of faith" at times, but can be the first step to healing in many situations.

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  43. Thanks for this. I'm going to think on it a while.

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  44. love that thot, by letting go we can let happiness in, i need to help my son with that after a bad game! and being a better example would be good too!

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  45. What a great post...and photo! I think it is difficult to let go; however, the times that I have been able to I am able to feel a sense of peace and renewal.

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  46. loved reading this. thank you keith

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  47. Quite a post, Keith. Sir Wm. Osler was quoted as advising, "Shut out all your past except that which will help you weather your tomorrows." --which is advice I never give myself or others because there's tears in both directions. Not easy being human.

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  48. Nicely said! I think we as human beings, influenced by our materialistic society, are quick to identify ourselves with the things we like: music, the clothes we wear, the books we read, the people we hang out with, the cars we drive, the jobs we work, the towns we live in, our accents, our families, our physical body... and that's all a mistake, because who we are as each individual person cannot be fully portrayed through the material world. We should stop holding on to our posessions and learn to accept ourselves as we are, not dependent on what we do or do not have. But simply let yourself be.

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  49. Letting go gives you freedom, and freedom is not something easily understood. With freedom comes responsibility. Letting go gives you peace and helps you do the right things.

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  50. This was the hardest thing in life for me to learn. However, it is the best lesson I ever learned.

    I hope you have a marvelous week Kieth!

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  51. The world is changing so rapidly now that letting go seems like a survival skill. Yet, we must not be too quick. There's something to be said for loyalty.

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  52. I have found beauty in the form of peace, peace of mind. One of my biggest challenges is my thought process - worry, confusion, Anxiety. And letting go of the worry or possible outcome scenarios in my mind. When I am able to let go of the negative thoughts, it is definetly a positive step in moving forward, athough so hard for me to do. 

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  53. I try so hard to let go - because I believe all this, but I find in practice it's a bit more difficult then in the theory.

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  54. I truly agree on letting go... and it’s a kind of relief and way to experience what hold really. Instead fearing and taking wrong decision.

    That picture says a lot!

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  55. I'm in the process of letting go of so much: expectations, the wrong mates, unfulfilled hopes. When I consider that making my own personal goals come to fruition is the biggest goal on which I must focus, everything else falls away and the letting go is almost automatic. What a beautiful thing that when you're ready to let go, the things you control let go of you. This is true freedom.

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  56. Yes I have found that beauty. I have let go so many things already and now I am learning to let go my preconceived ideas about how life should be and my expectations. It is an amazingly powerful exercise and since I started I feel more focused, serene and free...

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  57. I can't tell you how close to the bone this one was for me, nor how much it helped. One day I might be able to. For now, thank you so much for the read. It is just what I needed.

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  58. I think I'm good at letting go of possessions, but thoughts, people who have hurt--those things are hard to let go of. But I'm working on it! Wonderful post.

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  59. Where were you 50 years ago? Oh yes, you weren't born yet:)) I recently let go of anger and resentment towards someone that i had carried for years. I finally quit blaming them and realized,I had as big,if not bigger hand in the problem. Wow, is letting go freeing. Wish I had done it much sooner.

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  60. So true Keith. Everytime I have let go ( often with deep reluctance and much pain ) I went on to new growth and happiness. Are you a Buddhist by any chance?

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  61. Listen to this..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG-xk1ZJVPI

    I was listening to this while listening top your post.. so perfect timing..

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  62. So very true. The worst part is that it takes most of us far too long to discover this. I learned a lot about letting go when I went through a divorce.

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  63. "We’re creatures of habit…we thrive on familiarity."
    That is so true! We get so used to routines, and often times don't want to try new things.
    A lot of people could benefit from letting go of the past.
    Great post!

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  64. I don't know about finding beauty when I let go big time four years ago - but I did find inner peace and got my mojo for living back! The road has been bumpy since then but never ever boring so letting go then was a great step for me! Thank you for your wise and wonderful words! Take care
    x

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  65. As you may have read from my blog, I let go of a relationship this past year, and have recently come to terms with myself for doing so. There was no calm before the storm - the entire experience was a whirlwind of emotions and hard times, lonely nights and sad, painful thoughts.
    I thoroughly enjoyed this piece. Thank you for writing something so incredibly universal.

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  66. Letting go frees you. Holding on to something makes us prisoners of our own obsession.

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  67. I liked this very much and it is a reminder...:)

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  68. Wonderful post! It is so hard to let go and get out of our comfort zone, but that is where the real growth takes place. I am a creature of habit so it is especially hard for me.

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  69. I think letting go is a part of life. Nice post. I also enjoyed reading the comments. We need to let go of toxic relationships, inner dialogues that serve no purpose, fears.

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  70. "By letting go we can actually let happiness in."

    Absolutely love this post. :)

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  71. Sometimes letting go is so hard in so many ways. I've been there many times myself but am having a hard time currently. I feel like you've been reading my mind after reading this post. I'm following :)

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  72. Wonderful and wise post, Keith. I am working on "letting go" of a lot of stuff this year, including some feelings of unforgiveness and resentments. Not fun, but necessary.

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  73. I've had to let go of some of my favorite manuscripts. Their time has not come. In my heart, I hope that they aren't lost forever, that I will be able to resurrect them at some point.

    This isn't the same as letting go of old relationships. My old boyfriends are never coming back -- or at least I hope not!!!!

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  74. ...all so true! It is SO CHALLENGING and yet - someitmes quite necessary and worthwhile. I wrote about letting go some time ago. Here is the link if you are interested: http://corinesmiles.blogspot.com/2010/01/opening-windows.html
    Good luck! :)

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  75. I learned and is hard but is true Im learning with my kids:)

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  76. yes, i'v learned that letting go is part of realizing i am not and cannot be in control of every situation. it absolutely is freeing :)

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  77. This happened to me last year. I had a very dear friend who taught me so much and helped me realize a lot of things about my self - and then I had to let her go. You're right, it is very hard and painful. I think it is one of the hardest things a human has to do.

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  78. Let it go. Let it be. Smile that it happened.

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  79. Ihave had in the past, let go...but's it's never a one time only it has to be repeated or else you lose your way again, and letting go is so hard, that If you succeded you must let go every second of every day, and goshI'm trying

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  80. Also I love the image you chose so so perfect

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  81. A thoughtful post and one that was a pleasure to read - thank you for givng me such a positive start to my day.

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  82. Letting go might be one of the more difficult things for a human being to overcome. Maybe it's rooted in our primitive past, not letting go of your prey for fear of going hungry. I'm still learning how to let go of things. It's not easy, but I'm trying. Many thanks for your thoughtful post.

    Greetings from London.

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  83. I will have to agree. Letting go is really hard. I have had a nasty past from when I wasn't even close to being a teenager yet. I had many people die and it broke my heart each time, even when I did let go. As time gone on I became a lot stronger. I have been able to handle more than what my sister, boyfriend, friends, and family could really handle. I am more afraid for when the day comes I might not be that fun loving, slightly hippie me. Very optimistic and see the beauty for all it's worth.

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  84. Hanging onto past relationships, past hurts, or past anything is like fixating on a rear view mirror. Sure, you can see what's behind you, but you miss the beauty all around you, and can't see the road up ahead.

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  85. I've struggled with this ability my whole life. I think that's why I hate Facebook...it's all my baggage I can't seem to truthfully let go.

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  86. Thanks for posting this -- I needed to read this today. Sometimes it feels like it's not possible to let go without also letting go of my sanity. It can be hard to let go of grief without feeling guilty.

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  87. Thanks so much for your comment on my blog. Following you now =)

    http://lepetitplastique.blogspot.com/

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  88. Have I found the beauty in letting go?....Have I haddock! I'm a ridiculous clinger on and really need to change. Losing my twin sister to London 28 years ago still damn well hurts!

    But I have managed to let bad memories not matter as much. I suppose that's a form of letting go.

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  89. Letting go has been so freeing for me! It may sound harsh, but I separated myself from most of my family 2 years ago. It was the best decision I ever made. While it hurt, each day the pain lessens and I can't say I have ever been in a happier place because of it.

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  90. I love this photo with the wind and the butterfly! I enjoy letting go of struggle. . . . of rushing. . . of wanted and unwanted feelings. I put my energy into being very present and not in the past or future. It is a challenge not to become attached or worry what others think but it is so calming and liberating. Here's to freedom for all that is.

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  91. Great food for thought here...
    I don't usually have an issue with this
    but there is one thing in my life
    that i find very hard to let go of...
    it's funny, because i know that i should just let it go
    but it is such a part of me now
    that i have this irrational fear that i
    will lose a small part of myself.
    funny.
    {oh...and in response to your comment re: game of thrones,
    the series is great! but you have to read the books...omg...soooooooo good.}

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  92. I can't add much to what has already been said. Just wanted to tell you, man, i dig the blog.

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  93. I need to let my diet soda habit and writing-craft book obsession go, but I'm not there yet. :D

    Great post. This is why some people can't end a poisonous relationship even when they should.

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  94. There are so many things I need to let go of.
    Good post, food for thought.
    R

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  95. Yes, I have been letting go of things I've been holding onto for too long ... and as I do, I see new things appearing in my life that I never thought I would. Wonderful post. And I'm sure it was not by chance that I read it tonight.

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  96. I really do like ur blog. I'm ur new follower

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  97. I must be a freak. I've never held on anything in life to let go.

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  98. I have let go of many things in my 64 years and it is liberating......I still have a few more things the Lord and I are working on together. :)

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  99. Very cool, very complex topic. I'm great at letting go of people, situations and things that bring me bad energy... However, people, situations and things that make me happy or that I love is a different story. I'm definitely guilty of holding on to relationships and jobs longer than need be. Good food for thought!

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  100. Yes.... it is amazing to let go. Patience, and being able to face our heart-break in whatever form, release, and let go. The heart has to experience this, as it is life, and that is how we stay open to the flow of life... How we stay soft, and able to allow love to permeate our being. Only by seeing the dark, can we experience the light.

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  101. it is hard for me to let go.. I am still learning how to do that now

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  102. I still don't know how to let go. Many songs and poems that are write are about that. But I don't let go because I don't want to. It is because I simply can't :(

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  103. I was going through posts on my phone a few days ago while I was away from the house (and my computer) and I thought the timing was perfect because I had just finished drafting a post titled, "On Letting Go." I plan to have it up in a few days.

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  104. I definitely identify with this one and have written about it many times, hoping each time I write about it or blog about it, it'll get a little easier. One thing I've realized, life truly is fast moving ... and before you know it, you've lost so much of your present moment, your life, to memory, to things that now only exist in your mind. So I'm learning the key is to get outside the mind. And then you find the letting go, has already happened and your life ... your life is right in front of you. It's always right in front of you.

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  105. Lately I've discovered that letting go is often what we need to let in happiness. We can go on for so long, coating ourselves in the comfortable familiarity of the past. But what we are actually doing is suffocating ourselves; binding ourselves down and wrapping it over us like a 'protective' layer. But we need to let go. It's blinding and untrue. This piece of writing, on the other hand, is so true. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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  106. I have found calm and peace in letting go - your posts are so thoughtful.Thanks!

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  107. This is something that I needed to read. Now, if I can just make it stick. Thanks.

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  108. One wonders if there is any point in leaving a comment on this subject after so many others.
    I would love to just type it out loud - I let go of my parents, they couldn't cope with my mental illness and although I am not free (they invade my dreams and cause panic when I go out in case I see them) I am much the better person for having them out of my life. x

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