Releasing Attachments the Freedom of Letting Go

Simplifying Your Life Leads to Greater Freedom and Joy

By Marlene Wagner


We all have something we want to let go of or know we should let go of.

It could be a harmful habit such as smoking, physical items, past relationships, or toxic current relationships.

It could also be thoughts that keep us tied to a time and prevent us from moving on. The reality is that embracing change is hard.

The struggle of letting go and accepting change has much to do with not knowing the future, which can produce fear.

Letting go can help you become flexible and adaptable, whether a change is good or sad. It can help us move forward if we’re still living in the past.


Why We Struggle With Change

Let’s first look into why we’re so resistant to change in the first place.

Resisting change is often the perceived risk or fear associated with it. We’re often fearful of what lies on the side of change.

Though change isn’t always bad, it’s the what-ifs that we focus on.

The fear of letting go and embracing change comes down to not knowing what to expect.

There is a risk of regretting a change, especially if it doesn’t turn out as expected or wanted.


Do Not Dismiss Your Fear

Acknowledge that you don’t want to let certain things go, whether they are tangible items or not.

The more you try to dismiss your feelings and fears, the more likely they will stay with you and affect your decisions.


Setting The Change In Motion

Most changes are implemented by steps that lead to the change itself. Here, I’m going to use a cigarette smoker who wants to quit smoking as an example.

The first step for this smoker is to acknowledge the habit. The smoker realizes they are smoking a lot of cigarettes per day.

It alone is not enough to make them give up cigarettes, but it does get them thinking about it.

Next comes Contemplation. The smoker considers the pros and cons of letting go.

Now comes comparing the benefits of quitting, such as clear lungs and lowering the risk of developing cancer.

Lowering the risk of developing emphysema, a debilitating breathing condition.

The cons are that you do not know how you will relieve stress and fear of what other method you will use to self-soothe or numb the craving.

After weighing the pros and cons, a detailed plan is created. The person chooses the day to quit, prepares with stress relievers, and learns how to combat cravings.

Getting to this point of action is hard, but they go through it.

Maintaining a new lifestyle is even more challenging because everything is outside the person’s comfort zone.

Hard candy is hardly an adequate substitute for something the smoker has enjoyed for many years.

Any setbacks could lead to self-judgment and frustration, making the new change all the more difficult.


What Your Inner Voice Is Telling You

While the chain smoker giving up cigarettes is just one example, another might be an adult child having difficulty discarding their deceased mother’s clothing.

While they do not necessarily need them, they’re scared of getting rid of them because they may one day change their minds.

Letting go of a loved one’s clothes or personal items has nothing to do with the love of the tangible items.

They fear they’ll forget their loved ones if they don’t have a physical memory attached to them.

Fears like this lead to prolonged and unnecessary suffering.

Parents with grown children may also struggle to let go of their child’s bedroom or experience childhood effects.

It can make it hard to welcome their child’s adulthood and the new experiences shared between them.

Acknowledge that getting rid of your mother’s items or your child’s baby clothes is hard.

Then, go ahead and acknowledge your fears about getting rid of them.

Getting rid of baby clothes could signify that the time of your life is over and you’re scared of what comes next.

Regardless of what you’re struggling to let go of, you can welcome change, even if it will be difficult.


Decluttering Craze

Households all over the country have jumped onto the decluttering bandwagon. We’re big fans of buying stuff.

Most of us have spent years buying and filling up spaces to store our belongings wherever we find a closet, garage, or basement.

People increasingly realize that we are hanging on to things that no longer serve us.

Clutter can lead to stress, anxiety, and, in many cases, depression.

Holding onto items that no longer serve you, even if not your style, can keep you in the past and chain you there.

For some, it’s an easy process. For others, it’s more difficult.

The individuals who don’t feel attached to the stuff and no longer use it, out it goes.

For those who find it more difficult, there are different reasons they have trouble letting go of all the stuff they have accumulated over the years.

Let’s take a look at some of them.

One of the biggest reasons is they’ll regret getting rid of things.

It’s especially true if you’re holding onto clutter for sentimental reasons.

Dedicating your home to people or lifestyles from the past can keep you tethered to a painful time in your life.

The difficulty of letting go is a fear of feeling sad, being alone, and moving on.

Another common reason is the clutter is out of control. It’s overwhelming, and they don’t know where or how to begin.

They also fear needing an item one day and need to hold on to it.

When you bring these fears to the surface, they no longer seem so scary, and you can now identify solutions.

Here, I’d recommend using the same steps as the examples used for the smoker.

I’ll reiterate the steps.

Acknowledge the clutter and realize you have too much stuff you no longer need, use, or serve you in a healthy way.

Next comes Contemplation. You consider the pros and cons of letting go.

Compare the benefits. You will no longer feel the stress and weight of it all. You will feel free and free up space in closets, garages, and basements.

You’ll now have room for the cars in the garage, organized closets, and a usable basement.

You can earn money by selling things. What can you do with the extra money you have now available?

The cons! Are there any cons? I can only think of one. You may think of specific items you would use now if you had only kept it.

If that were to happen, you may find a newer and better version of the item, and you will just buy it.

After weighing the pros and cons, a detailed plan is created.

Will you hire a professional service to do it for you? Sell the items with a yard sale or run free ads.

Ask for help from family members or friends who are willing to help.

Start with one room, area, cabinet, and drawer. It’s okay to start small.

Grab a trash bag and find ten items you can throw away, like receipts, chipped mugs, or socks with holes.

With enough practice, you can work your way up from damaged items to those with a mental choke hold on you.


In Conclusion

You’ll know when to get rid of something or someone or move on.

These feelings are usually subtle. One day, you don’t feel the same way about it anymore. When you have that inkling, take notice.

Your inner voice doubles as your voice of reason. However, you may be quick to ignore it or do the opposite.

When that little voice pops up to tell you it’s time to let go, it’s because, deep down, it’s what you know is best for you.

Letting go and embracing change is about the fear of not knowing what lies around the corner.

You can make this change easier by trusting your gut and realizing that change can be scary, but so can staying miserable where you are.


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Until next time, starting today, make yourself a priority and begin living your best life.


But before we go, always remember to


Be true to your magnificent self,
Coach Marlene


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