Ready to dive into the GLOW Method again? We talked about Gratitude and now it's time to explore the "L" for let go.
As I was going through my journey, I had set ideas about how things should be, how they should go, what I should do. I had concrete ideas about what exactly I needed to be happy. The reality is, life doesn’t always cooperate with concrete ideas. When it doesn’t, we end up setting ourselves up for disappointment and dissatisfaction.
Who are you the boss of? Whose thoughts, actions, and feelings can you control? Ten years ago, I would have told you I was the boss of a lot of people. I would have told you I was the boss of people at work, I would have felt like I was the boss of some of the people in my personal life, I was the boss of me, and I would have been partly right.
The truth is, whether we like it or not, we are only the boss of one person, and that person is ourselves. We cannot control what any other person thinks, does, or feels. We can try to influence it, we can try to manipulate it, I don’t recommend that, but you can. At the end of the day, they are the boss of themselves. And so, they're going to decide what they think, feel and do. The more that you stay attached to this idea that you really can control them, the more you are setting yourself up for stress. It's a losing proposition.
At its most basic level, letting go is about letting go of all of those things which you cannot control. And what can you not control? You can’t control other people. Because we can’t control other people, we usually cannot control circumstances and events because it involves other people. They’re going to have their own ideas about how things should go.
Oftentimes, we become attached to things and people. We think, "I am no one without this person in my life. I cannot be happy without this friend.” I'm here to tell you that you don’t have to let them go. However, if you want a different life, which may include greater happiness, more balance, more excitement or adventure then, yes, you probably do need to let go of some of these things and people that you are attached to.
The final part of letting go that takes huge dividend is forgiveness. Letting go of our grudges, letting go of our anger, letting go of our disappointment. Sometimes people hurt us so bad that we're not sure how we can pick ourselves up and go on. But go on we must, right?
Oftentimes, we view forgiveness as something we are giving to someone else. Like, "Lucky you. I'm going to forgive you," or "I'm so benevolent. I am choosing to give you the gift of forgiveness." When the truth is, forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves. When we forgive someone else, we're not saying that what they did was right or that it was okay. In fact, we may never speak to that person again because that's the boundary we need to set.
All we are saying when we forgive another person is: I choose not to carry this around with me. I am choosing to move forward. I'm going to learn from this. I'm going to try and protect myself from it in the future. I choose to let go.
And so, that is why letting go is such a key component of the GLOW method and the workbooks. Because it is that powerful. That is the L in GLOW.