“Learning to let go of old habits, ideas, people who are not serving your best interests….

“Learning to let go of old habits, ideas, people who are not serving your best interests, and much more is not an easy task for anyone. The main reason is one must leave one’s comfort zone or familiar situations, habits and thinking patterns. This is stressful, often in the extreme. Therefore, most people simply do not do it. They make excuse after excuse as to why they should not change, rather than embrace change. This is the main block in most people’s way when it comes to letting go of anything in one’s life.

Letting go can be as simple as recycling or giving away old clothing. It can be as radical as leaving a long-standing marriage or friendship and changing one’s entire lifestyle. Whichever it is, it is always going to be somewhat painful. I mention this because the feeling of loss that accompanies any type of letting go is perfectly normal, and should not be confused. If one expects no pain, then when the pain of separation and letting go and abandonment hit, many people turn away rather than move forward boldly. This is the main reason that most people do not make the most of their lives.

Letting go is also frightening for other reasons. One is that the future is always unknown. The past, miserable as it might have been, is known and thus one can more easily navigate through it, knowing at least what to expect, even if it is not great. The future, however, is completely unknown and this is very unnerving for most people. This is the second important stumbling block that prevents most people from moving forward in their lives.

The third block is that the future is unpredictable. This is related to the second block, but is somewhat different. It means that no matter how well you plan ahead, the future is inherently difficult to prepare for, unlike past attitudes, relationships and habits with which one is more familiar. This, also, stops some people from moving on because they don’t even know what they need to prepare for their futures.

The fourth block is that few people realize that when one truly lets go and forges ahead, one will have few if any reference points to evaluate their next move. This may seem trite, but is extremely important. Because of this fact, a wonderful counselor I once spoke with told me that if an opportunity that arose for me seemed comfortable, then it probably was not truly my future. Whereas, if an opportunity arose that seemed quite nebulous, with few reference points, it was actually more likely to be related to my true future.

This may seem counter intuitive, but the counselor explained that it is an important reason why most people have difficulty really letting go of their past and embracing their future. He called this process “movement”.

Another block to movement or moving on in your life is thinking you will lose some essential part of your identify, personality, friendships, family relations or other parts of yourself that you value. This was a stumbling block for me as well. Know that if you truly embrace your future, this will not occur. In fact, when you move ahead and let go of your past, more, not less of your personality and gifts will manifest. I can only tell you this from experience, and everyone experiences this fear that they will lose their identity, talents, friendships and so on. You may seem to lose some, but if you do then anything you lose was not really you. This may seem harsh, but many of us do not really know our deepest self, our deepest identity, and even who our real friends our. Please consider this statement carefully.”

~ Lawrence Wilson, MD ♥

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To become a butterfly, you must be willing to give up being a caterpillar.