Is there something you need to release in order to move forward? In horse herds, one of the jobs of the lead mare is to cut a herd member for the good of the herd. Reasons vary. The horse may be disruptive, not fit in or can no longer keep up with the herd; therefore making it vulnerable to predators. Despite the pain, the leader recognizes the necessary task of doing what is best for the herd, so it can continue to flourish.
Sadness is part of letting go of something we care about. In her book The Message of Emotions, Karla McLaren explains that the message of sadness is that we need to let go of something that no longer serves us. To help us do this, we answer two key questions.
· What must be released?
· What needs to be supported or “rejuvenated?”
Recently I made the hard decision to let go of a previous business relationship. It forced me to face my integrity and use courage I didn’t know I had. It was painful and took longer than it should have, and I did it with as much compassion and dignity as possible. Knowing the message sadness was sending me helped me to move through the process with self-respect and strength.
Ultimately, the initial loss made space for better things, which benefited both of us. We have grown in new directions, in ways that we would not have otherwise. I realized I was holding us both back...until I let go.
The challenges are what shape us. The hard decisions are what define us. The courage to let go is a testament to our strength of conviction, morality, and sense of purpose.
Is there a hard decision you need to make? Once the decision is made, can you implement it with thoughtfulness, compassion and courage? If it is about letting go, honor the sadness that goes with it. Let yourself grieve. Ask what exactly you are letting go of that is no longer serving you, and define what you need to rejuvenate and support yourself into the future.
Ultimately, then, be grateful for the opportunity to more clearly define who you are, then move forward and don’t look back. Your future is waiting.