I’m sure that like me, you’ve seen a collection of quotes posted by friends and family about letting go, whether it be bad habits, toxic people, a crummy relationship, etc. I think it’s safe to say the majority of us have experienced this to some extent, personally I have had to experience most forms of it so far in my life.

The root of letting go is pretty simple, we have realized that we are worth more than the situation we are currently in. Whether we deserve to be treated better or to treat ourselves better or to not put up with the negativity of a friend, lover or family member, all of it leads to the realization that we don’t need that in our world. I have had family (both biological and not) treat me as less than I deserve and for someone who struggled with self-worth for a long time because of various factors, as I grew into who I am today I eventually realized what letting go would do for my heart and my quality of life. I think it would be amazing if we could all wake up one day and realize our worth to those around us and have faith in our capabilities and who we are as people. Imagine waking up and never needing validation from another person in your life? Appealing isn’t it?

What people struggle to understand is letting go isn’t always coming from a hurtful place, if you choose to stop speaking to a family member because of the way you are treated, you can be criticized for hurting that family member. Funny isn’t it? When someone is on the outside of a situation it’s easy to suggest forgive and forget. If someone you loved was being treated badly wouldn’t you tell them to stand up for themselves because they deserve better? Now why are we so hesitant to do that for ourselves? Realize your worth, don’t settle because you feel like life only throws you rotten lemons, tell the people who deserve it to screw off if needed. The people who love you without boundaries and don’t put conditions on their companionship are looking out for your best interest, hold those people close. Take pride in yourself and don’t pretend to be anyone that you’re not to please people, you are enough.

On the other end of that I think we need to become more comfortable with self evaluation if someone discontinued speaking to us. As humans we are often quick to place the blame on others, spending time thinking could i have been better to this person, can i learn something to fix this? Don’t try to better yourself to win someone back, try to better yourself for your future relationships and acknowledge your faults and then let it go. Don’t hold on to guilt or blaming yourself, respect that people choose their life paths and grow from their experiences. It’s a hard pill to swallow to realize that people might be better off without you, but don’t take that as a hit to your self-esteem. Take it as a lesson in how you approach relationships and how you can treat people better so they will do the same with you. Mutual respect in any kind of relationship with someone isn’t valued enough in my opinion, if it is a parent child relationship just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean that child doesn’t deserve your respect and understanding.

So sure that’s all fine and dandy but why am I bringing it up?

This learning to love yourself process is hard. If you’re on your way or if you’re just starting or wherever you are, it is going to be tough. Realize that in this journey of finding a love for yourself both emotionally and physically, you might lose people. Maybe by choice but maybe it will be out of necessity. If you have toxic people in your lives, evaluate why they are still around for you. The closer they are the harder it gets, maybe your mom pokes fun at your acne or weight? You don’t have to cut her off but have you talked to her about it? Have you spoken to the people who hurt your ability to find joy in who you are as a person? If they ignore your happiness and your emotions it might be time for some evaluation. There isn’t anything wrong from stepping back from the people who aren’t enriching our lives.

The same can be said for habits. Maybe you have a Sunday football tradition that ends up in you eating like garbage once a week or you drink too much and fight with your significant other? There is no shame in working on ourselves, replacing harmful habits and relationships to improve our health and lives. Maybe working out at home you feel great but when you step into the gym on a saturday morning you start to pick yourself apart and go home feeling defeated? Let the gym go if it’s hurting you (do something at home or outdoors!), let go of tracking calories if you’re miserable and miss out on family functions out of fear. Let go of an attachment to the scale or doing your makeup when you don’t want to.

Let go of being so damn hard on yourself. You deserve happiness and health and to enjoy your life while you’re here, so don’t settle for misery or bitterness. Let go of your cellulite or acne scars or silly laugh or crooked teeth, you are beautiful and awesome and life is amazing when you can see it too, don’t let anyone cover your eyes.