Tiny Wisdom: On When to Hold and When to Fold

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” -Havelock Ellis

Sometimes it’s difficult to know when to keep plowing ahead and when to accept that it’s time to move on.

You don’t want to give up on someone you love if you can make a positive difference in their life; but sometimes you need to let go and let them learn their own lessons.

You don’t want to give up on a dream when you’ve put your heart and soul into it; but sometimes you need to let go of the outcome you’ve been fantasizing about to open yourself up to something even better.

I’ve been in both of these places, and similar ones, many times before. I’ve wondered what a strong person would do. Or what a brave person would do. Or what a determined person would do. Because that’s what it always came down to–what I thought I should do, and what might increase my chances of getting something I wanted.

What I’ve realized is that there is no should. There is no simple answer. And there aren’t any guarantees. You can never know for certain if the day after you stop trying could have been the day everything came together. You can never be sure that if you keep going, you’ll eventually get what you’re shooting for.

All you can do is know your true intentions, listen to your instincts, and then make the best choice based on what you feel is right. They key is to listen to your instincts. Not what you think you should do, or what you think other people would do, or what you think looks good. But what you know in the still, quiet place within.

Today if you feel conflicted about whether you should hold on or let go, ask yourself: If you cleared away your fears and self-judgments, what choice would you make?

Photo by Frames-of-Mind

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She started the site after struggling with depression, bulimia, c-PTSD, and toxic shame so she could recycle her former pain into something useful and inspire others do the same. She recently created the Breaking Barriers to Self-Care eCourse to help people overcome internal blocks to meeting their needs—so they can feel their best, be their best, and live their best possible life. If you’re ready to start thriving instead of merely surviving, you can learn more and get instant access here.

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