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The Art of Letting Go

The Art of Letting Go
Close up image of cell phone by Martin Martz on Unsplash.

Do you remember the last time you power washed something and watched layers of dirt peel away as a result of the sheer force of water? This metaphor aptly describes the times when layers of our lives need a good cleansing so that vibrancy and color can shine through again. Careers coming to an abrupt ending, toxic bosses, disappointments in chosen paths and dreams lost due to missed opportunities or poor timing add layers that, over time, dull the original essence of who we are.

Psychologist Daniel Gilbert in his book “Stumbling on Happiness” writes, “Negative events do affect us but they generally don’t affect us as much or for as long as we expect them to.“ Being in the heat of the moment often amplifies the intensity of the experience. Oftentimes, the underlying source of angst or fear that we feel about letting go lies in our assumptions that we will feel a sense of loss, sadness, grief afterwards.

  • Much like the act of power washing, will you really miss all the old layers that come clean? Or will you feel cathartic release from letting go? To help you decide, consider asking yourself these questions:

  • How important will this seem to me in six months or two years? Is there a more joyful way I can invest my time and energy right now?

Happy power washing.


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