Why we hold on

We hold on to the things we know aren’t meant for us because although on an unconscious level we know they aren’t really ours, we would still like them to be. We also hold on because we’re scared of letting go and because we’re not great with change.

We spend a lifetime looking for things, trying to prove the things that are not self-evident, because we need them to be. We hold on because those things are what we know, they’re familiar. All things familiar are more comforting and easier than those things non-familiar.

Letting go has everything to do with either accepting that something isn’t going to work, or accepting that something may have already happened and those may become our struggle. We choose to hold on because it’s easier, but holding on in the longer term will always be more challenging, because the transition of letting go will always be harder. It stands to reason that the longer we hold on the longer it will take to finally let go and move on.

When things are meant to be, it takes little mental and emotional effort to keep those things ticking over. Those things are never forced, they will never leave us irritated or stop to question ourselves, because they feel right. Perhaps we hold on because we already know our limitations. We’re scared of the transition and uncertainty, so we hold on. That in itself will inhibit emotional and personal growth.

Unfortunately, we can never prove ourselves by convincing others we’re doing the right thing, but perhaps there’s an element of we really don’t need to, as long as the decision we make is right for us. We’re not here to convince others, but we do need to detach ourselves from the things that don’t serve us and let go. We must be honest with ourselves.

It’s human nature to have an idea of how things are supposed to look in our heads and perhaps that’s why we hold on. When we have the things we’re meant to have, we will stop looking for the external things, whether those are material possessions or people. The sad reality is that we often learn too late. It’s part of the human condition.

There are the things we don’t have to look for, because they’re there, they feel right and we don’t have to think about those. When we have to think about things, perhaps those are the things we must let go of.


31 Oct, 2016

4 thoughts on “Why we hold on

  1. I’ve held on to things, like emotional intimacy that wasn’t really there. I was insincere, pathological or both. Or just afraid of my alternative self; holding onto things that actually held me back.

    But I eventually opened up to things and let some things go; waiting that long was worth it.

    1. Having read your response Tim, I don’t think you were either insincere or pathological. I also don’t think you held yourself back in the way you think you did, so you’re off the hook.

      Although I don’t think you were any of those things, I do think you lived in denial of what was being presented to you. Whether it’s an intimate relationship or family ties, we hold on to what we think we’re entitled to, or we think we should be able to have, because other people have those things, so we should be able to have those things too.

      I’m pleased you have become aware of the things that you knew deep down you probably needed to let go of. Letting go can be cathartic. It allows us to emotionally and spiritually heal.

  2. I’m sorry I haven’t been on for so long. I kind of feel like I’m stuck in my own world here. I wanted to comment on this one, because now it relates to my issues at the moment.

    My friend passed away 2 nights ago and we have family issues going on. in some of these situations it’s so imperative to let go, particularly family members and I am slowly letting go.

    It’s a longer process than I wanted or expected. As far as my friend, I’m in a grieving process so that will definitely take time and healing.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. It’s never easy losing a friend or a loved one; but the ties that bind us together will and can never be broken. The memories you had, the help you gave will all remain in tact and your friend will have passed with the love and support around her. She will know what you did for her.

      She will be around you as you continue to journey through your own life, watching you and willing you to do well. I hope you will be comforted by those thoughts. Family issues are slightly different, they’re always ongoing, they never seem to change, because of the family dynamics.

      Unfortunately, and I believe this to be true, but we can’t help others who don’t see the problem with their actions; we can only make ourselves stronger, wish them well and walk away. If your life were any different with certain family members and you could make your relationship work, I’m sure you’d be making different choices now.

      To live in denial of the facts hurts us more emotionally in the longer term and that will impact your health. We need to let go.

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