How To Let Go Of The “Shoulds”

by | Mar 7, 2020

“At some point, you have to let go of what you think should be happening and live in what is happening.” elephant journal

People are always saying that either they have to let go or telling you that you need to let go. Letting go is a big thing these days, yet the truth is that most of us have no idea how to go about doing that or what it actually means to let go of what happens when you do let go. Still, we try. We tell ourselves that the past is the past, that we can’t cry over spilt milk, what is done is done. We distract ourselves by doing things like throwing ourselves into work or escape by watching too much Netflix or having a deep relationship with choc chip cookies or worse. Sometimes we stay angry, so we don’t have to feel our pain, or we go numb. Maybe it’s about the roads not taken or about the dreams that didn’t work out the way we thought it would. It’s as though we think that by going over what should have happened, we can somehow change the outcome.

Instead, the truth is we need to change, and we are afraid of change.

I’ve been saying for years that as humans, we love change as long as everything stays the same. We want that outcome, but we’re afraid of the journey, and we end up feeling that life is living us, not our living being. What letting go really means is that we must accept what has happened, feel whatever it is we need to explore and allow ourselves to grieve what is no longer valid in our lives. Letting go is ultimately about surrender. Admitting defeat. Relinquishing the struggle. Acceptance.

The thing is, surrender does not come from the mind, no matter how hard you try.

The mind is part of our personality, and the personality takes its cue from the ego, some would say that personality is our ego. Ego would prefer to be in the driver’s seat 24 hours a day. Driving the bus of your life with you, the real you, in the passenger seat. The problem is it doesn’t know how to drive, can’t actually reach the peddles or even see over the steering wheel. It has its own self-interests at its core. It sees nothing beyond its own existence.

Surrender, on the other hand, comes from the heart. Surrender is one of the many gifts from our soul or our authentic self. If surrender is going to sit in the driver’s seat, it requires the ego to pry its grubby little hands off that steering wheel and move over. I think we can see why it’s so hard to let go, I mean it asks us to trust the part that is not in the direct control of the ego. It asks us to live in uncertainty. This is not easy. No wonder we have such troubles letting go and why it’s often useless to tell each other to “let go”.

However, all is not lost, time for some good news. The truth is that in the end, we don’t have to be the one to let go. When the time is right, whatever it is we are holding onto will eventually let go of us. It happens when we have exhausted ourselves. When we have pushed that river so far that it’s only a trickle of tepid water evaporating into all that hot air we’ve been blowing around. It happens when we just can’t do it anymore, we’re done. Or, sometimes it happens because we discover that we want something far more than whatever kind of life it is we think we should be living. In can happen in an instant, all those should’s will disappear like they were never there in the first place.

Still, what if we aren’t quite in a place to find that sweet spot of surrender? More good news, it is possible to bypass the gatekeeper of ego and slide right into position to allow change to happen.

This is how to do it and from personal experience, it works like a charm. Start by saying to yourself, “I am willing to be willing to be willing” or ” I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but won’t it be great when…” It doesn’t sound like much I know, but it works. It’s simple and powerful. You give yourself permission to change. It’s a clever way of inviting in change without alerting the ego police. It takes practice, it may not happen overnight, but It will change your life if you want. Give it a go and see what happens.

As for what comes after you have surrendered?

The weight of the clumsy past dragging behind you will be gone. You will move freely again unencumbered. The sun will peep out from behind the clouds, the air is fresh and clean now. Your heart and your mind are pals. It will be a brand new day. Anything is possible on the other side of surrender. You will feel it in your bones.

Hi, my name is Elizabeth Adams

There is so much I have to share, it is my fervant desire that you will find someting in my work that might ease your path, enlighten your day.