Letting go can be a big risk in our life. Often we hold on to emotions (like anger, hurt), toxic environments (abusive jobs for one) and other harmful things. I am an advocating of letting go. Releasing the harmful in life to let in new, positive energy into our lives.
I know that in my own life I have let go of a toxic job, even though it paid the bills well enough, but I was so anger and miserable all the time that it wasn’t worth it. I currently am happy in the work that I do. Just yesterday I had some powerful angry emotions swarming through me, and I was so upset with myself. I do not hold on to anger for more than a few minutes at the most, and this lasted a few hours (writing did calm me down) until I released them during my meditation before bed. Anger is a traveling contagion, at least within my family, so I have to be aware to let it go.
When letting go of safety, I know that it can be difficult, because we are taught from a young age to be safe, to do the “safe” thing. But I must ask if your job is “safe” for you when it make you miserable. I would say no. Caveat: this is not advice to led you to quit your job today; make sure you have enough funds set aside to help you through transitions that will be bumpy (more than likely) and if you have dependents or a spouse, housemate, etc, speak to them (in a positive, non-angry manner) about your desire to let go of that job.
In that light, let us turn to emotions. Anger for one can be a safety emotion for some, as it means not confronting other, more powerful (and therefore more painful) emotions. Letting go of the emotions will release the toxicity in your mind and body and allow healing to begin. Eventually the goal is peace and happiness. Often, peace comes first, and with that a realization that happiness is a choice to be made not a state to be made by such an such object/person/status.
Now, I’ll go out on a limb and say to let go of the positive emotions that you have as well. Do not hold on tight to the good in life. Let it go as well. Like it is said in cliché, the positive will come back, maybe not the same as before, but it will. Enjoy the happiness, the peace, the good things, and then let go. Like saved food, it can rot and turn to something else; instead savor the moment and remember but do not cling as to a life raft.
Last, I’ll discuss possessions. Letting go of objects, items, things can be as powerful as any other thing I mentioned. Have a yard sale, find something to donate to charity. There is one give away challenge that I will eventually try myself (as now I have accumulated too much again, as poor as I am) of giving away 100 things. Check it out here. Moving a lot several years ago I know the value of giving away, selling, and throwing things away. I think this lyric from Katie Melua’s “The Flood” is apt: “What we own becomes our prison.”
For writers: take a look at your favorite passages in your work. Sometimes we as writers need to let go of our favorite phrases, our favorite scenes, and even our favorite stories in order to improve our craft. This is important. Serve the story with your skills, do not make the story serve you.
I hope this helps in anyones quest to lessen their own burdens. Let me know things you have let go and if it improved your life or not.