Letting go of things is a practice that requires self awareness, discipline and stamina. It’s a combination of obsessing, ruminating, and regretting.
Whether it’s a poor relationship, or a bad experience that turns into an ongoing memory that creeps in every now and again, the process of letting go is challenging to say the least. It’s a self challenge that only you can work toward and attempt to implement. And knowing when it’s time to let go, versus how to let go, are two different things altogether.
It was about six months ago that I sat down and counted all the times I let a person that was toxic in my life cross my mind. When would they pop up? Why would they pop up? How did that effect my mood and my personal progress. It turned out to be a lot on a daily basis. Knowing that it had become harmful to me moving forward in life, I decided I needed to cultivate a mantra to replace times when I would dwell on such thoughts, and it became very simple:
Let go, or be dragged
Five words of wisdom that are not so easy to abide by, but after months of repeating this mantra in my head, it has helped to diminish toxic thoughts, or toxic people from my life, and it’s life saving.
When I found myself beating myself up for not being “strong” cause let’s face it, you can’t control your thoughts, but you can acknowledge them when they present themselves and do your best to redirect your brain. Like exercise or mediation, it’s a practice that doesn’t produce big improvements overnight but, if you stick to the work that goes into managing your thoughts, you’ll slowly replace those dark spots in your brain with positive reinforcement.
Am I 100% there? No.
But it is a start. Next time I sit down to track how often obsessing, ruminating, or regretful thoughts have crossed my mind, I’ll make a note. I bet the frequency will be cut in half, and in some months (hopefully) down the line, there will be nothing left but not obsessing, ruminating, or holding regrets.
I will not be dragged.