Tran Huynh Nam

If You Want Peace In Your Life, You Must Learn To Let Go

If you want peace in your life, you must learn to let go. 

If you want peace in your life, you must learn to let go of other people’s expectations. You must learn to focus on the values that matter most. Otherwise, you’ll become a shell of the person you once were. People will make demands on everything they think you should be—how you should dress, speak and behave—until you don’t recognize yourself. You must learn to let go because people are constantly projecting their ways of thinking onto your life instead of living their own. 

If you want peace in your life, you must learn to let go of trying to prove your worth by obsessively helping others. Give to others because of principle. Give to others because you want. Giving to others doesn’t mean they’ll automatically like or accept you. They might start to resent you for helping them, for trying to uplift them. Sometimes trying to build people up reminds them of how much they hate themselves, and in turn, they start to hate you. It’s not your fault. It’s not about you but has to do with everything with them. The truth is, we’re all looking for ways to find our worth. We’re all looking for ways to heal from the wounds of our past. We’re all struggling to forget the painful words that were said to us. We must learn to let go.

If you want peace in your life, you must learn to let go of constantly replaying how your life should have been. You cannot change the past. You can only shape your future by the choices you make today. Sometimes we stay stuck in the past because we won’t allow ourselves to grieve. Instead, we deny our pain. We ruminate about our heartbreak.

We relive our pain because it also means we relive the good memories. Sometimes holding on is the only hope we have left. Letting go means we don’t know what to do with ourselves. We’re afraid we might plunge into a never-ending spiral of depression or, worse yet, have to live with our current circumstances. 

If you want peace in your life, you must learn to let go of obsessing about what your life will be like. There’s a difference between making decisions now that best direct your future and working up nervous energy trying to control the outcome of your future. We don’t know what tomorrow holds. We can plan for the future but must live life day by day. 

How do you know the difference between worrying about your future and planning for it? Ask yourself, “Do I have a realistic goal?” “Am I taking practical steps to achieve it?” “Do I recognize and acknowledge when steps towards my goal aren’t working and I need to readjust?” “Am I giving myself grace and compassion along the way?” “What will I accomplish when I reach my goal? What am I really searching for?” Planning for your future is taking practical steps towards a set goal. Worrying about your future is having thoughts about what might happen without taking any steps to get there. 

If you want peace in your life, you must learn to let go of unhealthy relationships. You know, the relationships that are one-sided. The relationships that are full of manipulation, the relationships that lack consistency, respect, and have minimal communication. Let go of the relationships where you’re invalidated, physically and emotionally abused, and your needs are consistently neglected. Let go of the relationships where you’re walking on eggshells and being controlled. The relationships you’re holding on to but secretly dread being around. 

How do you really know when it’s time to let go of your relationship? When you’ve had conversations about issues and there’s no change or resolution. When you’re in threat of danger. When your vision, life goals, values, and habits no longer align. When the relationship starts to take a negative toll on your mental health, leading to depression or thoughts of suicide.

Letting go of one life chapter allows you to say yes to the next. I know you can’t see it now, but letting go of the things you can’t control is a gift. Letting go doesn’t mean you’ve abandoned the memory of someone you love or your positive experiences. Letting go is not a form of betrayal. Letting go is not a loss. Letting go doesn’t mean that you’re weak. Letting go is not giving up.

On the contrary, letting go is the ultimate surrender. Letting go is an act of courage. Letting go is accepting what already is. Letting go is making room for more. Letting go allows you to grieve fully, with support, and not isolate yourself in your pain. Letting go is allowing people to be where they want to be. Letting go is making room for new possibilities. Letting go recognizes that you can remember the memories of the person you love yet move towards healing.

How do you let go?

1. Acknowledge the loss. Allow yourself to sit in the confusion of the belief and disbelief that loss has happened to you. Allow your brain to adjust to your loss being real and tangible.

 2. Allow yourself to grieve. Allow yourself to grieve, be angry at the world, be sad, take comfort in your pain for a period of time, and tumble through your emotions.

 3. Allow yourself to be okay with not knowing what’s next. It’s okay to feel numb. It’s okay to feel afraid about the future. It’s okay to ask yourself the questions, “Will I ever get over this?” “Will I make it?” “How will I make it?” “Will I ever feel happy again?” You’ll have many thoughts, some even disturbing, but do not believe them. Challenge them, and when you don’t know all the answers hold on to hope. 

 4. Give yourself time to heal. Healing is a process; the more significant the loss, the longer you will take to heal. There is no time limit or blueprint on what your healing should look like. Give yourself time to recover because you need it.

 5. Be compassionate with yourself. This is the time to be gentle with yourself. Speak kind words, and use a soft tone. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Do not blame yourself or ruminate about everything you should have done. This is a time to allow more ease and self-care. 

If you want more peace in your life, you must learn to let go. Letting go is not giving up. Letting go is not a failure or dishonoring the memory of what was. Letting go is about you. Letting go is about surrendering and allowing more peace in your life.