“Let today be the day you learn the grace of letting go and the power of moving on.” Steve Maraboli
I teach a course in Stress Management, and one of my favorite topics is the power of acceptance and the ability to let go of that which we cannot change. Acceptance frees us from the emotional chains that bind us to situations, events, and losses in our lives over which we have no control. Whether it’s the loss of a job, a relationship, a valuable possession, an unrealized dream, or one’s health, with acceptance comes the ability to let go of unresolved emotions that hold our heart hostage. Acceptance allows us to make peace with our situation, without resentment, hostility, or even pity; and to move forward with hope for a brighter future.
Acceptance isn’t something that happens overnight. Depending on the situation or loss, it may take days, weeks, or even years to realize. But acceptance can be nurtured and we can learn to make peace with our past. Here a few tips:
1. Practice the Art of Courage. First, realize that acceptance isn’t about giving up or surrendering. Acceptance is about recognizing that sometimes it takes more strength to let go of a situation, person, or past event than it does to hold on. Acceptance is about courage, our ability to move forward through the uncertainty of change, and our strength to adapt to what lies ahead.
2. Practice the Art of Forgiveness. Acceptance and forgiveness go hand in hand. Sometimes we have to let go of mistakes and realize that we did the best we could with what we knew at the time. Sometimes we need to let go of transgressions that others commit against us and refuse to take refuge in our pain. Forgiveness is critical to learn from our past. It frees us from emotional debts that hold us back, and it empowers us to move forward.
3. Practice the Art of Perspective. Acceptance is a choice. We can choose to accept or choose to resist, but either way change will take place. When we accept, we choose to embrace the change with a new attitude. This attitude gives us perspective. No matter what the loss or hardship we experience in life, chances are we come away with more insight, compassion, and confidence in our ability to rebound. As psychiatrist Victor Frankl once said, “If there’s meaning in life, there must be meaning in suffering.”
Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. Unknown.
Here’s to Letting Go