I read a fascinating sentence from a man named Stephen C. Paul. It’s pretty simple: “Every time you let go of something limiting, you create space for something better.” I love the sentence for a couple of reasons. First of all, I’ve spent a lot of time and effort in my life holding on to fears and things like anger and resentment. This strategy, believe it or not, never has helped me to improve my life or to be any happier. And second, as life goes on and I get older I’m starting to realize the amazing importance of letting go of things that serve no real purpose for me or for anyone else, whether I’m letting go of anger or blame or expectations. Learning to let go of things has been one of the most freeing strategies I’ve ever encountered, and I’m very grateful that I’ve been exposed to the concept.
But I never had seen the results of letting go as a displacement. Something better comes into my life when I let go of something negative. When I’m not angry, I can think of peaceful thoughts. When I have no artificial expectations, I can appreciate what I see and hear without judgment. When I let go of someone’s unfair criticism of me, I then have room in my thoughts for hearing a beautiful song or writing a nice little poem.
There are better things in the world than the things we hold on to. But when we occupy our minds with the negative things, we don’t leave much room for the positive things, do we? So it’s up to us to take charge of our lives and allow ourselves to let go of the things that are taking up precious room in our minds and thoughts. It may feel somehow gratifying to see ourselves as martyrs and obsess about someone’s unfair judgment of us, but just what does that get us other than a false gratification? Absolutely nothing, you may say, and you’re right!
We seem to assume that anything that’s supposed to come into our lives can do so, just because. But how often do we consider the possibility that we’re keeping out some of the best things by occupying ourselves with some of the worst? After all, if I spend the next ten minutes being angry at someone, just how much of those ten minutes are going to be spent thinking about positive, hopeful things?
I want to make room. I want to leave room for anything new that’s positive, anything positive that’s new. And I don’t want that space to be filled with the negative stuff that we tend to call “baggage,” that stuff that by its very nature keeps us down when we wish to move up. And it’s up to me to make that space by letting go, isn’t it?
We must learn to let go, to give up, to make room
for the things we have prayed for and desired.