Let It Go

By now you’re probably sick of hearing people burst into song when someone innocently advises another person to “let it go.”  Or, if you’re like me, you’re the first person to burst into song ;).  If you’re one of the first group, I respectfully ask you to reconsider.

If you allow yourself to get past the whole Disney-spectacular, movie-musical thing, you’ll find that Elsa actually has some really good advice behind her kick-butt vocals.  Let it go.  I think that’s a lesson we all need to learn in some way, shape, or form; I certainly know I do.  Let it go.

Everyone has something they’re holding onto that they need to truly put to rest before they can move on and be happy: a regret, a grudge, some guilt, or an unfulfilled wish.  These parasites eat away at human happiness, leaving their hosts empty and unsatisfied.  Try to get that unpleasant image out of your head!

So how do we get rid of these “dementors” when we don’t have any chocolate?  Elsa gives us the answer: Let it go!

Regrets.  We all wish we could change the past: do something we didn’t, not do something we did, alter history, make a different decision.  But it isn’t that easy.  Even if you could go back and change the past, there’s no “just changing one thing.”  Because “just changing one thing” changes everything.  You wouldn’t even be the person you are today.  In the famously wise words of Pumbaa, “You got to put your behind in your past.”  Or maybe it’s Timon that says, “You got to put your past behind you.”  Either way, I’m pretty sure it means the same thing, and Elsa sums it up perfectly: The past is in the past.  And since you can’t change the past, what good is it to worry about and dwell on it?  So let your regrets go.  They only tie you down to a past you can’t change.  No regrets.

Grudges.  It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small, isn’t it?  Grudges are even more pointless than regrets; they’re just unnecessary anger pent up inside of you!  Save yourself the ulcer, and forgive.  Just because you forgive someone doesn’t mean you have to forget, but you will feel a weight lift off of your shoulders once you let go of all that tension.  Staying mad at someone for a long time takes a lot of energy that you could be putting into more positive aspects of your life, like building healthy and loving relationships.  Besides, how often do you keep a grudge so long only to get far enough removed from “the terrible thing he or she did” that you can’t even remember what it was in the first place?  Save yourself the ulcer, and let it go.

Guilt.  Guilt may just be the deadliest parasite of them all.  Guilt eats away at everything until you’re left with barely a shadow of your former self.  You cannot let it do this.  When it comes to Guilt, there is a fork in the road.  You can either fix what it is that you feel guilty about, or you can accept that you’re human and you make mistakes and move on.  I recommend coming to this crossroad each time that Guilt threatens to run your life.  Some mistakes you realize too late, and although you feel guilty about them, it is better to leave them be and learn from them.  Others, you can- and should- fix, regardless of how easy it will be.  Sometimes, it’s the effort that counts.  Whatever you choose, you are the boss of Guilt.  You have the power to banish him at any given moment.

Unfulfilled wishes.  Somehow these seem to ruminate within us the worst of them all.  Shattered hopes and dreams always seem to leave the deepest scars.  Some of my other posts have talked about this, but I feel that I can’t say it enough: Everything happens for a reason.  Wishes aren’t fulfilled because they aren’t meant to be.  Something better is coming your way.  And by “something better,” I mean that “something” that is the best thing for you.  Even if you don’t see it right away.  Everything will always turn out the way they’re meant to.  And if you still don’t believe me, read “The Wizard and I.”  That’s all about my unfulfilled wishes.

So, let it go.  I’ve had plenty of regrets, grudges, guilt, and unfulfilled wishes in my eighteen years of life, and I’m sure to have many more.  But one of the most important lessons that I’ve learned is that I need to let it go.  Doing so is one of the keys to happiness.  With all of these things bottled up inside, there’s no room for happiness.  So whether or not you jam out to Elsa, at least take her advice, and let it go.



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