Is letting go & giving up the same? Long answer short. No. Then how come we sometimes feel like giving up & yet we are almost always unable to let go? The answer lies deep down in our subconscious mind, where we know the difference between the two. Have you ever heard the expression: “Letting go without giving up?” and then asking yourself: Is that accomplishable?… are those around me aware of the difference?… will I be held as a coward or a hero if I carry out such task? First we have to understand the underlying concepts between these seemingly similar states of mind.
Giving up is somewhere along the lines of quitting & letting go is somewhere along the lines of accepting. Now the interesting question is why is it easier for us to quit than to accept? the answer lies in our ever shameful & almost always abiding law of minimum effort a.k.a idleness. It takes effort not to quit, as well as to accept whatever results of our effort.
“When we stop holding on & clinging to anything in this world, we then realize we have everything we need. For in reality, we really own nothing…not even ourselves”- Unknown
Giving up can make us feel uneasy because we know we can do more to accomplish or feel happy about a specific task or dream, etc., yet we feel tired, unwilling, unable & unhappy to carry on. We trick ourselves into believing that we´ve done everything & anything that can be done & nothing works, we simply don´t see the results we want, ergo we feel stuck in a rut. Whereas letting go can make us feel at ease, free, because we consciously know we´ve spared no effort & yet we find ourselves willing to accept whatever the outcome.
We often find ourselves unable to let go of the memories of loved ones who have passed, in an attempt to make them ever so present in our lives; to reassure ourselves & the world that they will never be forgotten. I know it´s next to impossible to forget such beings, therefore I consider a waste of energy to try to do so. What I´ve learned is not to allow those memories stifle our current existence.
“Letting go doesn’t mean we don’t care. Letting go doesn’t mean we shut down. Letting go means we stop trying to force outcomes & make people behave like we want to. It means we give up resistance to the way things are, for the moment. It means we stop trying to do the impossible – controlling that which we cannot – and instead, focus on what is possible…”- Melody Beattie
The major difference between the two is basically whether we are willing to accept the outcome of our efforts, or not. In the former state of mind we work hard towards a specific goal (the one we want) & when we are not able to meet it we feel our task is not fully accomplished & we feel tired to move on. In the latter we work hard & are willing to accept whatever the outcome (which takes a bit more effort in the sense that we have to let go of our limiting beliefs) knowing that it will be for the best – easier said than done
My personal take on letting go is to do my very best & let God take care of the rest. Knowing that whatever comes is best. It´s not always easy to do this – I am a work in progress – but oh so rewarding when done. Letting Him take control & trust His judgement. Always knowing He has my best interest at heart, whether the outcome of my effort is the one I expected or not.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”- Proverbs 3:5,6
Let us learn to let go of our limiting beliefs & sad memories without giving up who we are at heart…