Imagine swimming in a beautiful, crystal clear lake, feeling the cool water wash over you with every stroke. The sun, hanging in the clear blue sky. As you swim along, you take peeks below you, to the rocks and aquatic plants. The occasional fish darts off after being spooked by your presence. Now, imagine as you swim, all of that baggage you have allowed to be continually present in your life represented by weights, each one hanging around your waist, dragging you underwater, leaving you struggling to catch your breath. Would you remove the weight and let it go or would you succumb to your fate? The weight in your life is real and if not dealt with, it will drag you under until you drown.

“Let it go.”

That’s a term we’ve all heard at one point or another in our lives. Usually with an unhealthy, unsolicited or misused meaning. On the surface, it’s just a phrase that means almost nothing in the manner with which it is normally used. . However, upon closer examination, it’s probably the best advice one could ever receive.

Letting go can be an action of self-awareness and self-discovery, when truthfully examining your life. There are so many things that we carry with us in our lives that are unneeded and unhelpful on our journeys. I mean, from birth, you’re exposed to differing spheres of influence and whatever bad habits or personalities that come along with them. There’s even correlation as to how a person’s personality develops based on the style of parenting their parents used. Then you live your life and develop your own sphere of influence based on what you have learned up to that point in your life. All along the way, accumulating things that will drag you down. Hurt, pain, suffering, emotional neglect, underachievement, lack of acceptance and the list goes on and on. And the longer they sit, the heavier they become.

Getting rid of the weight takes work. But the more you put in, the sooner you’ll begin to feel lighter, more joyful and more able to be your true self. Because that’s what it’s really about, right? To live as you were meant to live.

Over the years, I have been in and out of therapy, in one form or the other. I enjoyed therapy because I enjoyed seeing things from an objective, outside perspective. I leaned heavily on it after the death of our child, in particular. The same therapist who helped me through that period of grieving also introduced me to more Eastern methods or beliefs on self-healing. Slowly, I begin attempting meditation. I found that it was so hard to quiet my mind. I had a lot of negative self-talk happening in the background like white noise, a lot of self-degradation or unwanted memories of periods in my life that I would consider less than glorious moments. So I had to develop, with a tad bit of assistance from my therapist, a technique to calm all of the craziness that would happen in my mind when attempting to meditate. To quiet my mind, I address everything that pops into my mind by acknowledging the role I played and then telling myself either, “I’m not addressing that right now,” or “That was me, but is no longer the person I am.” The longer I did this, the more I found that my mind begun stepping out of the way, realizing that I wasn’t going to be stopped.

The longer I practiced, the easier it became to find a spot, sit and quiet my mind. With that accomplished, I was able to analyze and learn from differing moments of my life. I noticed changes in my life after putting in a lot of meditation work. I focused mainly on two things while meditating: Physical and mental healing.

After three years of doing the work, I feel lighter, more joyful and ever present in my own life. I found a path that fits my feet, that brings me happiness and motivates me. I developed a mantra that I tell myself daily: “Yesterday is written in stone. Tomorrow’s story hasn’t begun and today’s story is still being written.” This mantra helps to remind me that I can’t change the past but, at any moment, I can make a decision that changes my future. What helps to release the baggage? Talk about spirituality. Talk about therapy. Talk about tools.

So, “Let it go” isn’t bad advice, just overly misused. In reality, it’s advice that should be followed to achieve clarity and peace. There’s no shame in ever taking care of the mental weight that holds us down and maintaining our mental health. We are human, afterall, and have to deal with a human existence and all of the mental weight that comes along with that. We aren’t meant to live full of anger, depression, fear and anxiety. Living that way is unhealthy physically and mentally. Address those things that weigh you down and find your joy and peace.

Copyright © 2022 Allen Keith  – All Rights Reserved.