How letting go can improve your relationships

During my yoga classes, I often talk about letting go. Usually, what I mean by letting go is that you should try to relax your body into each pose while focusing on your breath. The more tension you have the more difficult it will be to get into the pose. This process is analogous to trying to hold water with your hands. The harder you hold the water the more it runs away from your hand. Similarly, when you hold on too tight to your connections you won’t be able to improve your relationships and interactions with others.

Most people are unable to let go in some form or another; they get stuck on something and are not able to move forward. Though it sounds easy to let go, it actually is quite challenging. Identifying exactly what we are holding on to and how exactly to let it go can take some practice and patience. This is similar to yoga practice, as it also takes time and practice to let go of your body and become relaxed in each pose.

Letting go can be difficult

Letting go can be especially hard when dealing with difficult individuals. This is particularly true if they are being rude or belligerent. However, the fact that you cannot let go makes you susceptible to the manipulation of others. This is because you react to what they say instead of acting upon what they say. When you are able to act upon what people say, then you will have finally been able to let go; this is the way to improve your relationships.

The reason people react instead of acting is that they have not cultivated the habit of accepting and rejecting thoughts, while also holding on to some attachment. The most common attachments that keep you from improving your relations are the following:

Holding On To Fear

I often think to myself of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s words; “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. When we fear what others might do we hinder our actions because we are in a reactionary state of mind. Whether you fear how others might react to you or you fear how you might react to others the result is the same; your actions are hindered. Remember, fear is just an illusion, and once you let you will become more sincere in your actions.

Holding On To Judgment

Holding on to judgement is another difficult attachment to let go of. Your preconceived notions about others do you no good. This reminds me of the saying “Do not judge a book by its cover”. Though we are all aware of this we rarely practice it. Moreover, we also judge ourselves, and oftentimes we are our toughest judges. Let go of your judgement, forgive others and forgive yourself.  Once you achieve this, you will be able to become kinder and more understanding of everybody; including yourself.

Holding On To Anger

Anger may have its necessities, and when used creatively can really help us move forward. However, anger can also become an attachment if we cannot let go of it. You may even know some people that are still angry about things that happened a long time ago. Holding on to anger can even affect your health, so it is important to learn to let it go. Also, do not be angry towards yourself. As I have said before you need to also forgive yourself.

Letting go is a practice that takes time and patience. However, once you make it into a habit you will have much better relationships with yourself and with others. This is the essence of what it means to improve your relationships because when you improve the relationship with yourself you also improve your relationships with others. Finally, I want to leave you with one of my favourite quotes;

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be