Updated November 2022
Some years ago, after an agonizing heartbreaking experience, I understood I was no longer living a life; I was simply enduring it, and if I was to totally let go and take life to the next level, I had to learn to live it again.
Why do we cling so tightly to the past? Why is it so difficult to let go of experiences that not only caused us pain in the past but continue to cause pain and suffering in the present? A prime reason is that experiences with strong emotions attached to them make an indelible impression on our consciousness.
But the cost of our inability to let go is too great to continue, and there comes a time in life when for different reasons, it’s absolutely necessary to let things go. If only because they become heavier and heavier to carry around.
We stop experiencing life as a beautiful, joyful experience.
So how do we loosen the grip that pain and suffering have on us and move forward in the healthiest, happiest way? Here are some of the ways that got me started and some extra I learned along the way.
18 ways to let go and take life to the next level.
- Don’t take mistakes personally; use them as a guide. Each new day brings an opportunity for something different to unfold; you don’t need to carry your mistakes with you. Remember, you are not your mistakes.
- Life will give you mighty rewards along with the problems it brings. How you deal with those problems determines the reward.
- As you connect with others, take the time to remind them of their brilliance, their strength, and their value to the world. Maybe they’ll take the time to do the same for someone else. And you’ll have enriched at least one life, if not more. And that feels ridiculously good.
- Be honest. Are your actions and habits in sync with the vision you have for your life? Don’t wait for years before acknowledging you need a change in habit. Being in sync with what you want is the only way to have it.
- Don’t let anyone or anything take away your peace. Some people are a tremendous drain on your energy, and some issues take a while to be resolved. Avoid those who drain you and manage the problematic events always in faith that both issues can be converted into a better reality. Take charge of your feelings.
- The sustained concentration of thought and action is usually the magical key to success. Maybe, just maybe, all you need to do to experience greater fulfillment and joy in life is to keep your thoughts more focused on what you want. Focusing on anything draws more of the same to you; make sure it’s the thing you want.
- You can’t change everything at once. Don’t waste your time and energy. Choose one thing at a time to give your attention to, and meanwhile, cherish the life you’re living. Occupying the state of gratitude will bring great rewards.
- Don’t try and climb the mountain before you reach it. Focus on where you are right now while you prepare yourself. No mountain is conquered without support. Be willing to ask for help when you need it.
- Resisting feelings that feel bad won’t make them go away. You won’t change bad feelings by waging war on them; simply allow them to flow through you and out to the other side. Then you have room to replace them with something that feels better, something that feels more like love than fear.
- If your relationships aren’t so hot right now, look for things you can love and appreciate in others. Love is an incredible force; it can dissolve difficulties, challenges, and negativity. And who couldn’t use more of that?
- Recognize why you want to do something. This gives you a clue as to how to do it. Knowing why brings greater clarity on how you’re going to get it done. And if you get stuck, go back to your original purpose. The why never leads you astray, but the how often does.
- Silence isn’t always golden. People need to know you care; speak up. People need to know when something doesn’t feel good to you, speak up. Don’t let silence turn into resentment or illness.
- You can’t hire someone to go to the gym for you and tone your muscles. You can’t get someone else to meditate on your behalf so you can become enlightened. Some things in life require your participation. Choose the things that really matter and do them.
- They say we always hurt the ones we love. Don’t take your loved ones for granted. Never be too busy to give them the aspects of love that matter: appreciation, acceptance, and attention. Add kindness and consideration to love, and you have a recipe for happy, healthy relationships.
- Don’t make choices and then spend the rest of the time complaining. If the choice you made doesn’t work. Choose again. Sometimes it’s a choice between two things, neither of which is perfect. The time you waste complaining today isn’t going to make tomorrow any better.
- Every now and then, make a decision that’s far beyond your current capacity to reach. You’ll often find it comes to pass without you ever understanding how.
- It’s no surprise that we don’t get what we want when the number of ‘no I can’ts’ outnumbers our ‘yes, I can do it, a thousand to one. Repetition is a convincing argument. It’s time to remind yourself on a daily basis of what you can accomplish. You are always becoming the living result of your inner speech.
- Stop settling for life being a little bit better. You’ve been put on this planet to live your most extraordinary life and be your most fearless self. Live on purpose, not by default.
As you move towards a desire to live more and endure less sometimes, it helps to find motives that transcend your pain and heartache, fear, or worry. No matter how broken you might be feeling, you still have much to share with others. Even if it’s something as simple as a smile or a shoulder to lean on.
I volunteered at a hospice for a long time. Whatever speaks to you needs to be your path. Your life still matters, and as you find ways to give and focus on the need of someone else, you’ll no doubt discover, as I did, that it’s an extraordinarily empowering way to feel that your life has reason and motivation to step forward into your new future. In other words, take your life to the next level.
Encourage one another.