Letting Go: What to Do When You’re Clutching, Grasping, Gripping, or Otherwise Holding On

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Like a dog with a bone.

One Real Housewife was calling out another Real Housewife for holding on to a very old and very tired argument (and yes, I watch this questionable form of entertainment). Of course, the Housewives are all about drama, and this woman and her bone really delivered, on and on stirring the pot.

I’m right. You’re wrong. Blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah. Chomp, chomp, chomp.

She. Could. Not. Let. Go.

Just. Like. Me.

I’m a holder-oner. I’ve been known to clutch, grasp, grip, or otherwise hold on to people, places, and things way past their expiration date.

The self-help book says surrender and release. The therapist says detach. Your BFF says do like Elsa in Frozen and let it goooooo…Okayyyyyy…But how?

You Gotta Be Willing.

That’s right. You can think, speak, and intend all you want, but if you’re not willing, then you’re not going to loosen your hold. I want to, I need to, I have to are all well and good; they’re a step in the right direction. But unless you open your hands with a sincere and clear “yes” in your heart, it ain’t gonna happen.

Be willing.

But If you find that you’re not, it may be because…

You Haven’t Accepted What Is.

He lied, she left, they pulled out of the deal, and you don’t like it or accept it. Sometimes, life sucks. Things don’t always work out the way we planned. (And very often what we planned isn’t good for us and that’s a reason to let go.)

No one is saying you have to like what happened. No one is saying you have to swallow what is distasteful and soldier on. And no one is saying people and situations can’t change. But you must accept what is, for the moment, anyway, and maybe forever.

Peace comes with acceptance. Resistance has left the building; there’s no more fight, no more struggle, no need to argue or defend. You exhale, and you accept. Peace will follow, and it will open the door to willingness.

Get Your Nose out of God’s Business.

I have a bracelet that I wear every day, and it says, “What is for you will not pass you.” It takes a tremendous amount of trust for me to believe that, but I do. I trust.

The jobs, the roles, the men, the clients–the ones meant for me have always shown up on time and usually with very little effort on my part. I have learned that no matter how much I want a particular person or situation, if I have to push and pull and turn myself into pretzel woman to keep anything in my world, then it is isn’t mine, and it’s time to say goodbye.

There’s a bigger picture than the one in front of us. We have to trust that when people do what’s best for them, it usually works out to be best for us.

And when it doesn’t, when it’s blatantly cold, cruel and harmful and we don’t understand why, we must consider the possibility that there is something we don’t know, something we can’t see. We may need to forgive or simply understand that there is an element present that’s for our growth.

And sometimes, just like the aforementioned Housewife, we are looking for an admission of guilt, an I’m sorry, I did you wrong, before we can free ourselves and others from the burden of an ongoing disagreement.

But we don’t always get our way, so we must trust that even if we don’t “win,” we will never lose. There’s not always a resolution, a right answer. We have to trust ourselves and the other party enough to say, “Let’s agree to disagree and move forward.”

And so you do, trusting that all will be well, at least temporarily.

But if you’re not willing, and you don’t want to accept, and you trust no one and nothing, then I suggest this approach:

Choose Freedom.

There’s a lot of power in choice. If you consciously choose freedom for yourself and others, letting go is going to be the end result. You’ll stop holding people hostage in your mind. You’ll stop digging in your heels until you can no longer move. You’ll stop lusting after outcomes. Because freedom trumps clutching, grasping, and gripping every time.


Isn’t it time you got some?