Young man sitting and pondering

Let Go By Being Fully Present

The final entry on the list of areas of life where we must learn to let go has to do with the covetousness of our hearts. This trait is a common result of the lack of contentment couple with the belief that more of this or that will bring more fulfillment. God’s word teaches us that the only way to find a life of inner peace and fulfillment is to let go by being fully present in the life He has given us.

10. Let go of the belief that you need something you don’t yet have

We don’t always need more — we need appreciation. Because we often take for granted the very things that most deserve our attention and gratitude. How often do you pause to appreciate your life just the way it is? Look around right now, and be thankful… for your health, your family, your work, your comforts, your home. Nothing lasts forever. 

How To Practice Letting Go

Reflecting on the reminders above can be incredibly grounding, but what can you actively do to let go when the immediate tension inside you is spiraling?

Acknowledge the tension inside you

If you notice yourself getting angry and flustered, it’s a sign that you need to pause, take a deep breath, and practice the remaining steps.

Resist the urge to immediately react

The greatest harm comes whenever you act out of anger — actions that might include giving up too soon, consuming unhealthy substances, or even attacking someone else. So whenever you notice anger building up inside you, try not to take any form of destructive action. Instead, turn inward and mindfully assess whatever it is that’s arising.

Sit with your feelings, and give them space

Turn directly towards the tension you feel, and just be a witness. See it as something that’s passing through you, but is NOT YOU. It’s a feeling, a dark cloud passing across a vast sky, not a permanent fixture. Treat it that way. Instead of obsessing yourself with the dark cloud’s presence, try to broaden your perspective. Give it the space it needs to pass. Sometimes you need a little distance to see things clearly again.

Be okay with not knowing

Now that you’ve given yourself some necessary space, tell yourself, “I don’t know why things are this way.” And be OK with this unknowing. Give yourself full permission to not have concrete answers in this moment. What would it be like to allow this moment to unfold without knowing? Could you face not know what’s going on in the hearts and minds of others? What is it like to not know how to respond to life’s chaos? What is it like to be here right now, without jumping to conclusions?

We Can Choose How We Experience Life’s Chaos

The bottom line is that when life dishes you a harsh dose of reality, the best first steps involve sitting silently and witnessing the thoughts passing through you. Just witnessing at first, not interfering and not even judging, because by judging too rapidly you have lost the pure witness. The moment you rush to say, “this is absolutely terrible” or “things should be different,” you have already jumped head first into the chaos.

It takes practice to create a gap between the witnessing of thoughts and your response to them.

Once the gap is there though, you are in for a great surprise — it becomes evident that you are not the thoughts themselves, nor the tension and chaos influencing them. Learn to breathe deep, to be present, and to remind yourself that every day is a series of a million tiny miracles. 

Contentment Is A Learned Attitude

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