How To Let Go Without Giving Up
Letting go can feel like giving up. But it's not. Here are a few ways to understand and live the difference.
As a start, I found the verse from the Bhagvat Gita quite helpful.
To action alone hast thou a right and never at all to its fruits; let not the fruits of action be thy motive; neither let there be in thee any attachment to inaction.
- (Verse 47, Chapter 2, The Bhagavadgita)
The verse above advocates the practice of Nishkam Karma (selfless action). It gets an important place in the Bhagavad Gita, the central text of Mahabharata, where Krishna advocates ‘Nishkam Karma Yoga’ (the Yoga of Selfless Action) as the ideal path to realize the Truth. He preaches that allocated work done without expectations, motives, or thinking about its outcomes tends to purify one’s mind and gradually makes an individual fit to see the value of reason and the benefits of renouncing the work itself.
This advice helps clarifies the difference between letting go and giving up quite well to me. We should let go of attachments to the outcomes of our actions. So said another way, we should act without anxiety.
This is letting go without giving up.
“Love her but leave her wild.”― Atticus
Practicing unconditional love is another way to let go without giving up.
Unconditional love is easy to understand but a revelation to feel. We live so much of our lives loving conditionally. We love to tame. We love to gain. We love to repay. We hold back to love as a game. Love becomes an inflating currency that devalues the more you print.
Unconditional love is wild and free. It is nature’s way of whispering its presence into us. When we feel love unconditionally we surrender. We expect nothing in return. We just let go and never give up believing in its healing power. We feel love like an incense stick- burning to release our fragrance.
The easiest way to feel this emotion is to break open your heart. Being heartbroken is the best time to go searching for this love inside yourself. This is when you realize that you can let go of someone you love but you never give up on love.
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
― Lao Tzu
Letting go creates courage. Giving up dissolves it. Letting go does not mean you were weak but that you had the courage to let go. Letting go of a toxic relationship, job, habit are acts of great courage. When you walk away from them you are choosing to live life on your terms and not at the whims of these external factors. You are choosing to be guided by your values and convictions and not the approval of the oppressor. How courageous is that!
Letting go is your decision to live on your terms. In your unique way.
“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”
― C.G. Jung
Letting go is choosing to love yourself first. Giving up is looking for it outside.
Letting go of your fixed sense of self is a huge relief. It allows you to see yourself as what Sam Harris calls ` a process’. Not a person, but a process of thoughts, sensations, and emotions, and feelings, and actions. A collection of selves in each cell.
If we can accept that we are a caravan of selves that shifts and changes like the dunes of sand and still feel whole and complete because of it; we start to forgive our flaws and marvel at our contradictions. We become curious about our possibilities instead of being critical of our inconsistencies. We have to learn to let go of seeing ourselves as just hard branches of winter. We must never give up on the buds that sprout from the same branch in spring.
As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.- Charlie Chaplin
We have to trust our hearts to know that when we let go we are not giving up. We are letting go of what we think we can’t do without and replacing it with the space to allow what we need.
Our mind is conditioned to solve problems. To resist. To grasp. But if the mind can be trained to float when it wants to try to struggle and swim, we can learn that letting go is as valuable and does not mean we are stopping and giving up.
Letting go is not giving up. It’s giving something up for better things to come your way. It’s losing something small to win something bigger. It’s hurting for a little while so you can heal forever.-Rania Naim
When you let go you give. Letting go is generous. Giving up is selfish.
I have found that the coolest people I know are the most generous with their time and energy. They are not precious about what you said to them or how you treated them. They are more concerned about you and how you are feeling around them. They let go of getting hurt or offended by you. They stay close no matter how far you might go from them. They let go of you but never give up on you. I also know people who hold a grudge that I did not stay in touch. They have given up on you while pretending to hold on.
Those you can forgive and give up on if you want.
Letting go is being like a river. Flowing and trusting that you will grow because you flow. You will meander, you will turn, you will fall…but your destiny is to grow and travel and become wider and wider until you merge back into the ocean you evaporated out of.