Making Space: Replacing “Let it go” with “Let it be”

Creating space is different from “letting things go.” When we believe that we must let go of a feeling, a personality trait, or any other part of ourselves that we believe is “unattractive” or “non-beneficial,” we are reinforcing the perception that we must constantly be in the cyclical process of eliminating those aspects of Self that we don’t necessarily like.  

Although letting go can be a beautiful catalyst for Self-growth, it can sometimes feel as if a little war is going on inside when we are not accepting what cannot be changed: we must practice accepting every part of ourselves that make up the wholeness of ourselves. The truth is, we are all a walking summary of our life experiences—everything we’ve taken in, good and bad. Like a snake shedding its skin, we cannot force the process of shedding that of which we don’t like. Rather, holding space for what is and who we are invites those aspects to just be.

So, instead of trying to “let things go,” invite yourself to just “let things be.” This is the attitude from which we can make space. Rather than pushing parts of us away, we are instead creating an environment that allows us to simply loosen our grip. We don’t have to fix everything or anything at all about ourselves. What can be tremendously healing is to bring a tender, nonjudgmental attention to our bodies, minds, and hearts, and make room for whatever is living there. This is how the process of sustainable change begins.

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Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.

—Pema Chödrön