Learning to let go…

  - October 5th, 2009 by Shalini Nambiar | Posted in life   11 Comments »
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A recent tragedy with a friend of mine that led her into depression encouraged me to pen down some thoughts which one has read so many times, one knows it’s tough but the tragedy of life is ‘that it is the only solution’…

She refuses to talk about it and has created a shell around herself which she feels will protect her… we often find solace in our miseries and thinking about what could not be is just a way of making us more miserable. How many of us are able to let the past go and move forward… I know its  easy to say  but very difficult… but then that’s the only solution to any problem.

How many of you have put off and put off sorting through a closet that you know is over-full with obsolete articles of clothing? And how many of you have agonized over whether or not to give an item of clothing away? Or pulled a garment from the give-away pile at the very last minute? One of the most challenging tasks we face in our wardrobe planning endeavors is the letting go of clothes that are no longer serving us.
Letting go of your past – whether it’s quitting an addictive relationship or grieving a death – can be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Even if it was a painful relationship and you had to let go of your past for your own sanity, you still may struggle with saying good-bye.

Reinterpret your past. Look at an experience you now see as unwise as a single event in a series of events that add up to your life. Then ask yourself what you’ve learned from the decision and enumerate the ways your relationships have changed as a result  Smart or not, your choices have undoubtedly led to new people, passions and insights you wouldn’t have gained otherwise. In short, have no regrets! The fastest way to feel more content with your lot now:  Stop thinking about what might have been-it only fuels discontent. “Look at what you have rather than what you don’t, and your life will begin to take on more depth,”. I made mistakes as part of my learning. I HAD to make those mistakes to see where I can move to next. There is no way I could NOT have made them. Those mistakes are the foundation of new power just as soon as I forgive and release them.

Since more mistakes will always be unavoidable, I will embrace them MORE quickly, forgive MORE easily, so I can more quickly move into POWER.

Forgiving others, and letting them go is good training for forgiving myself. So even if they don’t “deserve” it I will do it for my own sake. I will either get what I want or learn what I need to. Mistakes are just MARKERS, marking out where I can step into new freedom, choice, power and growth.

I may wish I had been born more evolved or perfect, but THIS is my path and I embrace it, I may not always like it, I may slip and grumble, BUT THIS IS MY PATH. I will let my learning’s pull me forward. I will never stop learning until I draw my last breath and in that last breath I will learn what THAT is like as I embrace the source of all learning… right now, today.

Are you bothered by something which has haunted you for a long time? Do you wish things had turned out differently, or feel you could have handled things better? Are you still sore about it?

First and foremost, you got to realize that what’s done is done. It’s over, and unless someone invents a time machine, there’s probably nothing much you can do to change the past. It’s confined to history.

If you allow yourself to be constantly dragged down by it, you will find that you are carrying a very heavy burden. With such a large baggage, it is difficult to live life to the fullest.

If you allow yourself to be greatly affected by it, you might find yourself overcome with anger, bitterness and frustration. These negative emotions are going to lower the quality of your life.

Learn to let go. Let the past be a lesson, an experience to make you stronger. If you can, avoid the same mistakes. But don’t let it become a burden to you

I know before you all tell me… that it’s very easy to advise such things bur extremely difficult to follow… cheers!!!!I am also trying hard… and as I always say… chuck it and move forward…

Shalini Nambiar
Director
Excelsior American School

October 05 2009 08:19 pm | life

11 Responses to “Learning to let go…”

  1. Mandira Says:

    I definitely need help…..what you have written is the best way out but it’s very very difficult when someone you love decides to walk off without an iota of shame ….leaving the other person feeling incapacitated for the rest of his or her life…….

  2. kesh Dubey Says:

    The most useful opportunity I experienced was at the end of my 8 yr old marriage (no kids). Choices were:-
    1. Get drunk, mope, get laid, get drunk, mope and complain;

    2. Make a list of the 50 things I wanted to do before I die; forgive myself (hard); forgive my ex (harder) and GO FOR IT!!

    11 years on..its a new day every day, in a new life with new challenges, lots of love, joys and sorrows…but what a lifesaver taking step 2. has proved to be..so be positive, we have one life..it cannot be held hostage by anyone!

  3. reva Says:

    i totally agree with you and feel that each and every word of yours is perfect and so true.but one of the most difficult tasks that i have come across in my entire life is to let go even if it is for my own sake. i keep those grudges with me as a self defense mechanism to protect myself from being hurt by the same people again and being taken advantage of and then being walked over.
    though i feel that no one in this world is perfect and nor am i and probably i have made the maximum number of mistakes and wrong decisions and choices and still continue to do so but keeping the memories of all the wrongs that have been done to me (if i may say so)alive gives me a kind of strength and motivation to move on. it also gives me a positive inspiration that i am still able to manage my life an d move on in spite of all odds that i have faced and continue to face. i may be wrong but i always feel that by not letting go i acquire a kind of strength and courage which helps me in facing the challenges of life. may be this is because of the kind of person i am —- for i firmly believe that when the going gets tough the tough get going. on the other hand i sometimes feel that the burden of all the baggage that i carry along becomes unbearable at times and starts interfering with my present life. at times it gives the feeling of leading a dual life and also starts affecting you as a person in very subtle ways. but then i guess it is my way of dealing with life and moving on. i believe not letting go always keeps me on the guard though it unnecessarily drains out your precious energy and time.
    although i really want to let go and move on with absolutely no grudges and hard feelings but i guess it is really difficult or probably impossible for me to do so!so i feel i must keep going the way i am till the time i am too tired or till the time i am no longer afraid to let go.

  4. Ashwani Dandona Says:

    Well after reading the beautiful article written by Mrs. Nambiar I can only say that “It is not what we read, but what we remember that makes us learned. It is not what we intend but what we do that makes us useful. And, it is not a few faint wishes but a lifelong struggle that makes us valiant.”

    To this i would also love to share an interesting and a very motivational true story. I am sure most of us have heard this somewhere but then we all should remember it as long as we live.

    There was a rich merchant who had 4 wives. He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to delicacies. He took great care of her and gave her nothing but the best.

    He also loved the 3rd wife very much. He’s very proud of her and always wanted to show off her to his friends. However, the merchant is always in great fear that she might run away with some other men.

    He too, loved his 2nd wife. She is a very considerate person, always patient and in fact is the merchant’s confidante. Whenever the merchant faced some problems, he always turned to his 2nd wife and she would always help him out and tide him through difficult times.

    Now, the merchant’s 1st wife is a very loyal partner and has made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and business as well as taking care of the household. However, the merchant did not love the first wife and although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her.

    One day, the merchant fell ill. Before long, he knew that he was going to die soon. He thought of his luxurious life and told himself, “Now I have 4 wives with me. But when I die, I’ll be alone. How lonely I’ll be!”

    Thus, he asked the 4th wife, “I loved you most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?” “No way!” replied the 4th wife and she walked away without another word.

    The answer cut like a sharp knife right into the merchant’s heart. The sad merchant then asked the 3rd wife, “I have loved you so much for all my life. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?” “No!” replied the 3rd wife. “Life is so good over here! I’m going to remarry when you die!” The merchant’s heart sank and turned cold.

    He then asked the 2nd wife, “I always turned to you for help and you’ve always helped me out. Now I need your help again. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?” “I’m sorry, I can’t help you out this time!” replied the 2nd wife. “At the very most, I can only send you to your grave.” The answer came like a bolt of thunder and the merchant was devastated.

    Then a voice called out : “I’ll leave with you. I’ll follow you no matter where you go.” The merchant looked up and there was his first wife. She was so skinny, almost like she suffered from malnutrition. Greatly grieved, the merchant said, “I should have taken much better care of you while I could have !”

    Actually, we all have 4 wives in our lives

    a. The 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it’ll leave us when we die.

    b. Our 3rd wife ? Our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, they all go to others.

    c. The 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how close they had been there for us when we’re alive, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.

    d. The 1st wife is in fact our soul, often neglected in our pursuit of material, wealth and sensual pleasure.

    Guess what? It is actually the only thing that follows us wherever we go. Perhaps it’s a good idea to cultivate and strengthen it now rather than to wait until we’re on our deathbed to lament

  5. Kriti Says:

    So true……but extremely difficult ….i was going around with this guy for 6 years and suddenly one day since his parents objected as they wanted their choice it was all over in a jiffy…all those feelings , emotions….I just hate men now and can never think of entering into any damn realtionship….is there no life without men …ofcourse there is ….but yes as this article says one should let it go as the emotions in itself becum a baggage and don’t let you live……keep writing!!!

  6. Ravi Matah Says:

    A very well written article and a debatable issue. The comments given by one and all reflect their feelings of what they have gone through and reveal the pin-prick they felt in the core of their hearts – having been hurt by others. Both my parents were doctors and my dad was an extremely helpful person by nature. The tales are innumerable but suffice to say that I acquired some straits of his benevolence. After his departure, the void was hard to fill. Nobody on earth had a heart to help me in the time of need. I was then in class XII. Two friends told me to study, work hard and come up in life which I did and retired honourably from a decent position. I did come across someone who could have helped me – and help was required only once – but all he possessed was lip service, a bundle of lies, cunningness, conceated attitude and an uncompromising behaviour. I could write a six hundred page book on that. If I look back over my losses they are in seven figures not less. Though at times I did help that person in many ways – but it was always a one way traffic. And the ‘sanskars’ my parents had inculcated in me never permitted me to retaliate even mildly. And my present today is what had happened in those 8-9 years, (forty years ago) which were crucial to my life’s launch pad. My mom had taught me to pray and I did. By Almight’s grace today both my kids are professionally qualified and well to do and I have no regrets whatsoever as I had always ensured that my kids should not suffer as I did after my dad’s departure.
    I remember something and I quote here –
    “Doston ki meherbanian is kadar barh gayeen, ki main mashgoor hoon,
    Yeh na poochoo ki kis kis ne dhokhe diye, varna apnoo ke chehre utar jayenge”
    (People have been so considerate towards me that I am thankful, but dont ask me who all have cheated me — otherwise my own one’s will feel embarrassed).

    But Shalini says – let go the past – yes I totally agree with the message in the article. But it is easier said than done. Life is very difficult if u are carrying a 40 years old burden on your shoulders. But the mind is where the heart is. How to let go the past on which my present is standing? Though I fully agree that –
    “The past is gone, the future is an optical illusion – today is the best day of your life.

  7. Frank Says:

    It’s funny – I tried explaining the concept of truly letting go to someone the other day, along with the idea of total acceptance of your circumstances.

    These ideas are backwards to many people, especially those who are in the throws of depression or a personal tragedy, yet they are the very things which can lead to personal renewal and release.

    We give so much credence to intellect, yet it is emotional and spiritual intelligence that we all seem to need more of!

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