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It's Okay to Let Go

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

Hello loves!

It's the beginning of another new week, and for most people it's a time to plan out their next few days. Scheduling meetings, reviewing upcoming deadlines, meal-prepping, etc, most people are ready to leave the old week behind and bring in the chance for a fresh start.

But while it's easy for us to throw out old notes and emails, reorganize our desks and begin a new work project, the same can't be said for our mental "workspace."

Physically restarting is kind of simple. You can see yourself filling up empty space in your schedule, can literally throwaway negative, time-consuming waste and can usually see a tangible sign of the progress you're making. But cleaning out mentally is a bit different.

When we're engaged in a bad habit cycle, have a negative outlook on life, or hold onto grudges, it can be a bit trickier to get rid of these thoughts and start over. The issue is that when we repeatedly dwell on the same thought or thoughts, our brain gets in a rut. The more we keep coming back to that same negative thing, the rut gets deeper and deeper until we find ourselves automatically trapped in this negative mental headspace. The thing we're holding onto can become so habitual to our way of thinking that we stop noticing it.

Which isn't great.

When we allow hopelessness, negativity or bitterness to take over our mental space, it will inevitably invade into our physical space. It can damage our day-to-day enjoyment of life, drive away close friends and strain relationships, and can take away our dreams and motivation for the future.

The way we view and think about the world can impact the things that happen to us. When someone always expects bad, negative things to happen to them, they'll suddenly find only negative bad things happening because that's the thing they're focused on.

It's like how someone can receive a hundred compliments and one critique, and the person only focuses on the one critique. It seems a little ridiculous, but it's something almost everyone has experienced, myself included.

It's the same thing with holding a grudge against somebody or something. We like to tell ourselves that if we hang onto this one slight or insult, then we'll be prepared and protected against any future incidents of harm, along with not letting the person who wronged us get away with it. That can sound fine on paper, but in actuality what usually happens is you let bitterness and anger take over your heart, and the person or persons who hurt you will continue on their day without being impacted. Hanging onto these past incidents won't bring you closure; instead you'll keep hurting yourself over and over without ever really resolving it.

Now I'm not saying let people walk over you or get away with hurting you. Obviously if someone or something does negatively impact you, address it by either speaking with that person or reporting it, but then move on. Don't let yourself get held hostage by your own anger.

Along with that I am not supporting toxic positivity. I think every emotion is experienced for a reason, and it's okay to feel your feelings. But it's not okay to forcibly try to stay in just one. Just like staying in an angry, bitter headspace isn't healthy, neither is forcing yourself to smile and say everything is fine when it clearly isn't. Humans aren't static beings; we change and grow and feel to an intense degree and that's awesome. It's a part of living life.

(KC Green's "This Is Fine" dog )

As always, I am a big supporter of therapy and learning about mental health. I think it's important for everyone to have a safe space and person they can talk to and work through their internal or external issues. Sometimes workbooks, medicine or other forms of care can be helpful too; there's no perfect formula.

Each person is uniquely different and each person is going to have uniquely different mistakes, pasts and hurts. It's good to acknowledge them. It's great to let yourself appropriately respond and feel your feelings about each one.

And it's really, really okay to finally allow yourself to let go of the past and move on.

Love y'all!

Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.- Herman Hesse

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