Recently, I have become very aware of some of my bad habits -- not so much aware, as in I didn't know what they were before, but aware in the sense that I notice the underlying mechanism behind them. What I mean by that is this - say, for example, that my bad habit is making a snide comment at someone who I perceive to have treated me rudely. That's the action, but the underlying mechanism which I subconsciously use to justify that action is my sense of entitlement and conviction that I am the one in the right and they are the one in the wrong. This thought process happens extremely fast - so fast sometimes that I haven't even realized the fallacy of reasoning. And, thus, the bad habit persists.
However, now I am becoming more mindful of these mechanisms, and that's where the change must occur. One must first change their thought before they can change an action. So, the next epiphany that comes after making this type of discovery is one of regret. "I could have kept silent there" or "I should have shown more kindness to that guy even though he was being annoying" or anything! It's like, realizing that you have faults reminds you of all the faulty things of the past. Be it big or small, it doesn't matter.
It can be an overwhelming realization.
However, this is where letting it go comes into play. There are some people who naturally let things roll off their back, and others who find it extremely difficult not to analyze the details of nearly every interaction. I'll admit that I often fall in the latter category. So, how does someone like me (and maybe many of you, or at least someone you know) let things go?
The answer is surprisingly simple -- you just do it.
The first step to learning how to let things go, is to do just that action without analyzing the possible consequences or benefits of letting it go. You just realize something, decide to change accordingly, and go about your life - living in the present moment - not becoming preoccupied with past scenarios.
|A picture that, to me, embodies the motion of letting things go!|
Granted, there are some things worth re-examining in order to rectify the situation. But, even then, once the examination is complete and the resolve to change is made, that situation is no more. That scenario, that moment, the actions you did therein -- gone! Poof! Never to be seen again. The only thing to do is strive to not make the mistake again and to float on from there.
It's an art that takes patience and persistence to perfect. And, bear in mind that any type of artists never fully perfects their craft, but rather they practice it almost daily in order to get a little better each time. So, no pressure, just practice. Let it go.