Giving Up vs. Letting Go

Garden Buddha ATB

Hello, dear readers. I’ve got some more food for thought for you. This time, I’d like to explore giving up versus letting go.

During a recent conversation, I said aloud that I had “given up” on something (I won’t trouble you with the details). After the words came out of my mouth, I realized that my statement wasn’t accurate.

I hadn’t given up. What I had done, instead, was to let go.

Giving up means that you’ve lost the will to do something.

Letting go means you’ve accepted something for what it is, and you release your desire to control the situation.

In letting go, you release yourself from worry about outcomes and results. You can still strive to do your best, but you can let go of the need for certainty.

We all want certainty in our lives. It makes us feel safe and secure. Some things can be certain without being tangible–who you are and your commitment to your important relationships (including the one with yourself), for example.

But so much else is uncertain. We don’t know what the next moment will bring, whether that moment is the next minute, the next day, the next year, 10 years from now, etc.

All I can advise is: Be steady in yourself, but not still. You don’t ever have to give up doing your best. And if you are steady, you will have the strength to let go when it serves you.

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