2019 in Review: Learning to Let Go

The year 2019 was an amazing year. It happened to be a major turning point in the story of my life. The year moved so fast and within the 365 days, so many things happened.

I had had way different plans for 2019 and bam unexpectedly something happened that would change everything for me. My new life, from around the second week of 2019 became a clear departure from anything I had planned. What was even more amazing was having something I had dreamed of in 2017 coming to reality in April. With that occurrence, I came to the realization that I’m where I’m supposed to be this time and this moment.

As always, while life is full of so many teachers and lessons, sometimes you will be the teacher, and other times you will be forced to learn a hard lesson. 2019 found me in the role of the student on so many occasions: pushing and encouraging me to let go of old narratives and painful pasts. 

I did make many mistakes sometimes reacted in ways I didn’t expect, sometimes I did stuff I didn’t expect and other times I said things I didn’t expect. However, what kept me going each time I felt I’ve veered off track from what I think I was supposed to do, I focused on making the next day better.

2019 inspired me to work harder at letting go of unrealistic expectations and timelines,  self-loathing, new insecurities, some people, and obsessively worrying about things far beyond my control. Instead of obsessively worrying about what I can’t control, I chose to focus on what I can control. 

I’m glad the year ended in true self re-discovery and the ability to forgive myself and move on. This was something that seemed very difficult to accomplish but at the end of the day when I least expected I felt liberated and had moved on.

Lessons from 2019 that moved the Needle the Most

I learned to forgive myself of my mistakes and move on

I had done something I wouldn’t normally do. At first I kept beating myself up and kept asking why would I do this? I felt confused and ashamed of myself. Kept telling myself why would you sink so low? “You are an author”, “you call yourself a mentor”, “this is despicable” these voices kept playing in my head then one day I accepted the situation for what it was and decided to live with it. From that day on I took it one day at a time and somehow I was able to let go of the shame I felt within at the time.

Confusion?

Even after accepting what I thought was a mistake, I still felt confused. Things didn’t go as I had wished and expected. After the acceptance stage, I began to process what really happened. I still could not find the answers. The more I tried to understand, the more confused I got. Then one day, I tried not to understand anymore and just go with the flow. Somehow the confusion eased.

It was only after acceptance and letting go of trying to understand what happened did I begin to find some beauty in my perceived mistake. My focus was then on making the future better.

Unrealistic Expectations

Hmm, this was the funny one. In working to make the future better, I still didn’t let go of hoping the story of the future could be re-written to have a happy ending. Hoping that what I sought would come to me. But it never did. I found myself in the same cycle again. I looked inwards and realized this was history repeating itself as I’ve been in a similar uncontrollable situation that I tried to control the outcome between 2016 and 2018. I have felt exactly the same way only this time worse and I knew if I didn’t learn the lesson it was going to reappear in my future and it was going to hurt even more.

So I surrendered, I lived in the pain and relinquished every power to control the outcome I desired. I dropped every desire and the way I felt changed. The hurt I felt reduced drastically. That was when I realized in trying to hold on to certain expectations, I caused myself harm and unbearable pain. 

You know that saying “he that is down needs fear no fall”, that’s super true and by surrendering I got my power back. When you leave your options open and try not to control outcomes far beyond your reach, or accept your losses, rejections, denials and disappointments, you hurt much less, sometimes you wouldn’t even feel any pain.

Even though you are the purest of souls people will still hate you.

This year I interacted more closely with way more people than any other year in all the years I’ve lived on earth. This meant meeting more people that are different from me and trying to understand different personality types that I’ve not interacted with before.

Some people would be nice and others, sometimes you wonder what exactly you’ve done to them to make them oppose you every minute. Sometimes you go out of your way to be extra kind and they still have it out for you. 

You sit sometimes and you are wondering why? I came to the conclusion that people will still hate you even if you are the purest of souls and have the purest of intentions. 

It doesn’t matter what you do. So I learned to focus on the goal of every interaction always and forget about how anyone feels about me or how I feel about them. At the same time, some people go out of their way to be super nice to you irrespective of how you treat them. However, when  focus is on the goal, the feelings matter less.

The most recurring lesson in 2019

Holding on to expectations! Towards the end of the year, the lesson of surrendering and letting go came back to me in the form of material acquisition. I had seen something I loved, I wanted it so much but it was above my budget and the owner wouldn’t come down on his price. I felt heartbroken and it hurt a lot. He wouldn’t even pick my calls and when I had the cash and accepted the offer he texted me back that he was out of the country. Somehow that day I let go and decided to keep looking. The relief I felt and the peace that came to me I realized it was a class all along. I faced more disappointments within this same period and having learned to let go helped me in handling them better. So somehow I am grateful for the process as everything has led to me becoming a better me. This is what transformation is all about.

Let go and create space for new beginnings

Every day we can decide to keep holding on just a little bit longer or make up our minds that this hour, this very moment is the moment we finally let go of anything holding us back. We also have to decide to let go of any expectations of how long we would grieve disappointments as well as situations we are holding on to and try to focus on the positive lessons and blessings from the experiences.

It’s best to release anything that disrupts our happiness and progress in life; anything that doesn’t serve us anymore. This includes anger and getting mad at people who hurt us. Sometimes you so mad at someone you tend to overreact and when you stop being mad at them, you get so mad at yourself.

In essence, we have to deliberately learn to no longer dwell on things that are out of our control, and to focus on outcomes that we can as well as move past what doesn’t serve us anymore.  Forget what happened yesterday, and allow new opportunities and experiences to find you today.

Enakeno Victoria Oju

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2 months ago