Letting Go of What Doesn’t Serve You

March 2, 2014

Who do you serve? Perhaps, it’s your family, country, God, community, pets or work. But do you know what truly serves you?

Hope is one of the greatest acts of service to oneself. It reflects a deep belief in good, a passion for positive change and a willingness to take action to shape this world in helpful ways. So, hope serves to enhance your well-being. It gives us something other than static worry or recurring fear on which to focus. Since hope is contagious, it also serves others. Win win.

Hope is nourishment, fearlessness, laughter and so many other things addressed in my book. Therefore, it stands to reason that what serves to uplift you is living a full life crafted around love, giving, optimism and gratitude. In essence, it’s important to know what serves your mind, body and spirit in enriching ways.

To that end, do you fill your life with people and opportunities that serve you? People who cheer you on, challenge you to achieve your dreams, love you unconditionally, open your eyes to new possibilities and stand fast when you need to lean. Opportunities that expand your worldview, lift your spirits, raise your empathy, attune your awareness and leave you feeling lit from within. I ask because it’s important to know when to let go of what doesn’t serve you.

If you are struggling against potential guilt, foggy confusion or rising angst related to people or options in your life, think about where to let go. Let me help:

  1. How does this relationship or opportunity serve you? If you struggle to find redeeming value or feel like it is draining you beyond balance, it’s time to assess.
  2. How eager are you to make time for this person or take this step? If you dread an interaction or keep putting off action, consider what is holding you back.
  3. What words would you use to describe this relationship or opportunity? If you find yourself using negative lexicon or feeling anxious, lean into your feelings to identify the triggers.

The point is not to avoid all challenging people and moments. No. The key is to know that, even while you are forging a new path or overcoming a fear, you feel this person or opportunity serves to make your life better. Likewise, you have to be willing to take action either in mutual support for them or to embrace whatever the opportunity brings into your reality.

Now, there is another version of letting go that is vital to mention. It’s much more intimate, more difficult and more crucial to serving your best interests. Here is a thought cue:

“If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.” – Kahlil Gibran

This is probably one of the most difficult things in life. As a people, we struggle with change, we struggle with rejection, we struggle with comfort and we struggle with the fear of letting go of someone. I was reminded of this truth this week. And here is what I realized:

You can want to know, to support, to serve and to cherish another. However, if that person is holding you at arm’s length and unwilling to invest in the same way . . . the timing isn’t right. Let them go with no ill will, no judgment and no tethers. Let go with a loving heart.

This doesn’t have to be romance alone but involves all interpersonal dynamics. We fear letting go because we often get stuck in a cycle of, “I could have done more . . . maybe if I tried harder . . . if only I say it in a different way . . . or, if I stick it out this may change.” Trust me, dear one, people who honor your mind, body and spirit will be people who reach out to serve you too. Besides:

A true spark never fades but can reignite the candle between you when the time is right for you to share its glow.

So, let go of the anchors of your mind. Let go of whatever doesn’t serve you. For you to be of true service to yourself and others with the brightest light possible, you must be free to welcome the people and opportunities life has waiting just around the corner.

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