This Is What You Need To Do To Let Go

You Have To 'Hold On' In Order To 'Let Go'

Here's how to rethink "letting go" and "moving forward" in your life.


"It doesn't take a lot of strength to hang on. It takes a lot of strength to let go." - Henry Ford

Think of yourself as anchored in some deep part of the ocean; the weight keeps you held in place or fixated on an event, person, failure, dream, idea, etc. You are chained to this anchor, a crucial part of your mind, and everything revolves around that anchor as you try to navigate the ocean. In order to move forward in life, it is impossible to simply "let go" of that weight and let yourself flounder away with the direction of the waves. You'll have to gain the strength to finally haul up that anchor and ground yourself elsewhere. This is the hardest part: to experience the full force of that weight on yourself so that you can move forward.

For example, you may have experienced a breakup recently and it's hard to get that person off your mind. You think of them all the time: what you could have done differently, the good and bad memories, whether you should contact them, how you can stay in their life, etc. You can try to ignore them and simply "let go," whatever that really means to you, but you're still weighed down and revolving around them. Even if you meet new people it can seem impossible to reach them because you're still stuck in place, that other person is still at the back of your mind.

You'll have to allow yourself to experience the pain, the disappointment, the anger, the confusion - all of the difficult emotions - to become stronger than the weight that tries to keep you down. There has to be a better place you want to arrive at to truly motivate yourself to take the right steps to get there. It's hard to leave the hell you know for whatever other hell may lie in those unknown waters, we want to be able to have some inkling of a better place.

If you want to "let go," you have to "hold onto" the new or the hopeful. You may want to be better at your field of expertise, you may want to focus on deeper connections with people, you may want to go to graduate school, declutter your life, experience more fun, get a new job, etc. Whatever it is, you have to have some idea of where you want to go. Though specific plans for the future seldom turn out how you predict, they're absolutely necessary to move you forward to better and more exciting places in life.

To draw from personal experience, I had always wanted a dog--and I thought about adopting one for a couple of years before I did. After a relationship ended with someone who was important to me, I was able to move forward by fully processing what had happened and what I need in the future: the love and companionship that my golden doodle Masha was able to provide, and I am so grateful that my experiences with him have led me to this point. In a million years I would never have been able to predict that course of events, but that didn't change what I really need to feel happy and well in life. Figuring that out gave me the strength to hold onto the new and propel me into a multitude of other wonderful places where I've ended up.

"Letting go" of ___ and "moving on" from _____ are anchored in the undesirable. Re-anchor yourself in the desirable by, in turn, grabbing hold of the new.

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.


To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.


A third-year nursing student who knows

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.



I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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