Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How And Why To Let Go

Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own. Bruce Lee  

Today in many parts of the world nature is letting go of the old to prepare for the new to blossom in the spring. Trees lose their leaves, animals look for places to hibernate, perennials seem to die off until spring when it's time to bloom anew. We could take a lesson from nature. Our lives are heavy with old ideas, beliefs and behaviors that no longer serve us, or never served us in the first place.

All of life moves in cycles. There's a time for holding back, and a time for producing, a time for growing, and a time for resting, a time for letting go of the old and a time for embracing the new. But we humans resist the normal changes our bodies, minds and hearts are meant to experience. You've heard the saying, "It was good enough for my Daddy, and it's good enough for me."

During World War 2, we saved aluminum foil and tin cans to recycle for the war effort. I no longer save aluminum foil and tin cans. Sometimes I could only take sponge baths, because we shared a bathroom with 3 other apartments. Now I bathe whenever I want. I was taught I could never have more than bare necessities, I could never be a journalist, and my only goal in life was to be a wife and mother. I held onto those beliefs for a long time.  

Last year I did a thorough housecleaning and found mounds of "stuff" I haven't used in years, and would never use again. Boxes went to the Salvation Army. Then I did some inner housecleaning and found some old ideas and beliefs that were just cluttering up my brain. So I began cleaning out those that no longer apply to my life or serve me now. I've done this housecleaning several times in my life, but I've grown to realize this needs to be done each year when trees lose their leaves. What a great reminder.

What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself. Abraham Maslow 

I think nature knows things we adults have forgotten about living a purposeful life. Maybe we forget because we rarely listen to what our all-knowing inner voice tells us. Think about what ideas, beliefs and behaviors are no longer true or useful for you. If you hang onto old stuff, you can keep yourself stuck where you are now. Or you can clean out what needs to go, and grow into what will move you forward to new wondrous experiences. Nothing in nature stands still. Why should you?

Work on shedding your old leaves and look forward to blossoming in the spring. You are a beautiful part of nature.



  1. A wonderful post. I agree that doing some inner housekeeping is important to do regularly. Even though it can be difficult, we should always be in a constant state of growth.

  2. M, This is right in line with my letting go stories. You always hit the proverbial nail on the head. Good stuff.

  3. You write beautifully. Thank you for blogging. Look forward to more posts.

    ( hope to connect!

  4. This post is such a great read, Marilyn.

    I look forward to seeing more of your work.

    ( -- My blog, if you'd like to connect! We write about a lot of the sames topics.

    Thanks for your beautiful words.