Let It Go, Sis
Written by Tawana Bain | Photo by Dick Arnspiger
Is it a cliche to say that a new year should bring a new beginning? Maybe so, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Studies have shown that 91% of new year’s resolutions don’t stick, but if everyone in America made one, that would still be over 301 million that did work. And not just work, but work out, lose weight, save money, quit smoking, and spend more time with family since those are the top resolutions.
And if those statistics continued to hold true, half of those people with resolutions they kept would be women. That’s 150 million of them living their best lives through mindfulness, starting with New Year’s Day.
Every year that passes reminds us that time keeps slipping on by, but that’s also true down to the day, the hour, the minute, and the second. By the time you finish thinking about the present, it’s already the past. It’s easy to feel sad about that, but what if, instead, we leaned into every new moment as a new beginning? I believe that’s a beautiful way to look at it. I also think the key to that outlook is knowing how to let go of the things that hold you back and leave them in the past.
It sounds so easy, but it can be so hard. The things we hang on to, both in the literal and figurative sense, they can keep us where we are when we really should be getting along on our journey. There’s a kind of comfort there. We should never forget, however, that the word “nostalgia” translates into “Pain from an old wound.”
Today, psychologists classify hoarding as its own disorder, defined by the Mayo Clinic as “a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them.” They go on to state that “a person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.” Research into the matter tells us that this kind of compulsive hoarding affects one out of every 50 people; many believe the impact is more like one in twenty. But realistically? It feels so common for so many.
Think hard, pray if you pray, and be mindful of what the universe might have to tell you. Are these people you need in your world? Do they deserve to be?
But it’s not just the material things that keep us weighed down. The trouble may be in your romantic life. Maybe it’s in some of the people you think of as friends. Are they there for you when you really need them, like you are for them? Sometimes, it’s so easy to be blind to what our relationships are about in the now because we’re so caught up in what they used to be that we can’t see how toxic they might have become. “Love is a word that comes and goes,” just like Kirk Franklin’s Nu Nation said. Think hard, pray if you pray, and be mindful of what the universe might have to tell you. Are these people you need in your world? Do they deserve to be?
We all know about the rules of inertia versus momentum. Once begun, most tasks become much easier than we believed before, and once the habit is formed to make progress on your home, your relationships with others, your relationship with yourself, your life- you’ve finished the hard part.
The key thing to keep in mind is that you are not alone.
As hard as letting go can be, there’s also comfort in seeing how universal that difficulty is for all of us. It’s OK to feel discouraged and intimidated by the size of our obstacles. All that is just the first step in overcoming our challenges. We make progress together.
So in this annual season where there’s always conjecture about new beginnings, let’s not just talk about it but be about it. Let’s take time to remind our sisters that we’re into moving forward this year. Because I believe in my heart that the best is yet to come.