Letting Go Consciously

By Deborah Ooten

Letting go is difficult. Whether we are talking about a season, an old habit or even a relationship, letting go is hard to do. Yet there comes a time in our lives when we know that something must be released for us to continue on the journey to wholeness.

Think of the habits, or situations in your life that are calling you to let go. Be present to the fact that the habit is causing you pain, sorrow or sadness in some area of your life. Habits of mind cause us suffering in our mind. Habits of heart or feeling generally cause suffering in our heart, emotions, or feelings. The habits of our body can cause us great suffering in our physical well being if they are habits that are destructive to our health. Are there habits of mind, heart or body that you need to release? If so, what are they? List these habits and begin to become intimately acquainted with why they were placed into being initially. Were these habits of the heart, body or mind there to protect you? Protect you from whom or what? Are these habits beneficial to you now or are they antiquated?  Now ask yourself if these habits are really necessary in your life.

Remember that most habits keep us stuck on automatic and do not allow for a true experience in the present moment. To truly be present in the moment we must find a way to respond to everything from a new perspective. We can not rely on our habits to dictate how we will respond/react in any given situation.

 To let go consciously we must first identify those habits that are getting in our way of having a fully expressed life. Once we have identified those habits we must ask ourselves if we are ready for change. We then must set our intention upon the letting go of that which is no longer serving us in the present moment. Often we are attached to the past or future that the habit will help us soothe in some way. We tend to use our habits to avoid feeling the pain of the moment, or taking responsibility for fully creating our lives in a rich and satisfying way. We will allow our habits to stay in place so that we do not have to confront ourselves or others, even when the habit is no longer serving a positive purpose in our lives.

Sometimes we may find that we need to let go of an old friend in order to grow. How we let go is very important! We must not let go in anger. We need to let go of that old friend from a position of love for their higher good as well as for our higher good. Too often we let go of something in anger and it is never fully resolved. We may even find ourselves returning to the charge that we still have inside of us when that person shows up in our life in any way. Letting go is not an immediate thing for most of us. It takes time to allow the feelings that are present to subside and fade into the background. While this is happening we can be present to ourselves and the feelings that the “letting go” is bringing to the fore front. Be compassionate with yourself in this process.

Letting go of a physical habit can often be excruciating. Recently, several of my friends have tried or succeeded in quitting smoking! Wow! This is not an easy task. I remind them that the physical addiction is released in about 14-21 days….but it is the emotional addiction/habit that is still in need of being released to be truly successful for a total letting go. As with all things that need to be released, compassion for self is a very important element to success.

Awareness of mindfulness is a large part of being ready and able to change the habits that are operating in your life.  Again, ask yourself: is my body, mind and heart fully aligned with my higher purpose? If not, then is it time to look at “letting go” of something in your life?  Only you can guide your choices …you are ultimately fully responsible for the choices that you make. Choose wisely between what stays in your life and what is to be released.

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