Why we need to let go of stuff we can’t control

Have you been asked this question when you complained to someone about certain stressful events from your life?

Let me share this conversation, as an example:

“My dad used to thrash me when I was a kid.”, a person shares with his friend, who replies, “So, what? My dad disowned me!” 

What’s the thought that comes to mind, instantly? Doesn’t it make you shudder, looking at the other person’s situation in his Life?

It’s something I saw in a film, the other day. An exchange between two people, one of whom has carried the trauma of being raped during her childhood, for years. An exchange that makes this woman realize that despite having had such a terrible thing happening with her, she might still be in a better place than the other person, who has gone through something worse.

She also realizes, how futile it has been, carrying this burden with her all her life, ruining the relationship she has with her very loving and caring husband and living with the ghosts of her past.

I know, it’s really not easy letting go of certain memories–events that took place in our lives that shook us to the core, traumatized us and transformed the person we were until then.

We keep holding on to those memories, keeping them alive in our heart for years together, and in the process, hardly finding any peace in our present Life–the one which we have, today.

We hold on to grudges against someone who wronged us, hurt us, tortured us with their behavior; we hold on to stressful incidents that were, at some point, a part of our lives; we keep those wounds afresh, for ages. And, what do we get in return? Nothing, but heartache, and endless pain that makes us blind to the good that is happening today!

And these wounds, they ruin not only our mental health, but also our physical and emotional health, our relationship with others, and, most importantly, our relationship with ourselves.

The severe aches and pains we experience are very much a result of the stressful memories we hold on to, as they are a result of the physical wear and tear our body goes through as we age.

Why don’t we understand one thing that Life is never, ever, going to be smooth-sailing? That, Life is always, always, going to be a bumpy ride, which might, sometimes, offer us a beautiful view, and just as we begin to enjoy that beauty, will shove us in a pothole, the size of a crater, and shake us out of our reverie, turning our world upside down?

That’s LIFE, isn’t it? Ever-changing, never easy, always tough.

But, the one thing that can give us some solace in the game I shared at the beginning of this post. The game of, “So what?”

it’s a game you can play with yourself, too, you know, when you find yourself cursing your misfortune and grumbling about everything going wrong with your Life.

Just think about the situation you are in, that’s unpleasant and stressful, and ask yourself, “So, what?”.

Then, compare it to the time when things were wonderful, or, to how someone else is in a worse situation than you, and how they are tackling it, better than you are.

You will realize how fruitless it is, complaining about your situation, for the simple reason that.

Some day, Life will change, and it will be better, all over again.

The cycle of good times and bad times will go on and on until we leave this world.

It is so necessary that we let go of what happened; let bygones be bygones.

And, learn to live in this moment–this moment that is LIFE!



Try it and let me know how you felt. I know, I am going to play this game, for sure!









Published by shilpagupte

Do you know the secret to living a happy life? Eat. Pray. Love. Or, watch what you eat, wish well for all and fill your heart with love! That's precisely what I try to do through my blogs: 'Metanoia', the wellness blogazine, and 'Fictionista', my blog for fiction and non-fiction. Welcome to my virtual homes!

30 thoughts on “Why we need to let go of stuff we can’t control

  1. That’s a good game to play. I find myself often giving this gyan to the children while forgetting to follow it myself. Your reminder comes at a good time Shilpa. I need to remember this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe..yeah, we find giving gyaan to others a lot easier than giving gyaan to ourselves, Tulika! 😛
      So, this post was, basically, the much-needed gyaan I gave myself! 😀


  2. True that..but have also realised for each of us what we are going through is big and deep and it affects us in many ways . True, someone else might be going through worse but it is our life and we are entitled to feel what we feel… Just go through it and get closure…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course, our wounds are deep and painful, and we do find it impossible to get over. I have done it myself–held on to things that caused me pain for years. But, I realised over a period of time that I wasn’t at peace with myself, that I was getting nightmares and trouble sleeping. It did take me qite some time and a lot of will power to decide that I would not think about it all. It was in the past now and I just wished to concentrate on my present. Closure is what we all seek, but closure is not what we get every time. We just need to face those fears, accept them as part of our lives and get on with our present lives, for the sake of our peace of mind. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Aarti! 🙂


  3. Of the numerous phrases in any languages–“So?” is one of my favorites. Keeps you sane. When I conducted training programs, I encouraged my salespeople to always ask “So?” –it built confidence. We get so attached to the fear of an outcome that we stop ourselves from moving forward.

    Love the post, Shilpa! Mmuah!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. FEAR of the outcome, of what happened in the past, of what might happen….it’s the fear that we need to shut up and this is the best way to do it–asking ourselves, “So?”
      🙂 Thank you so much, Vidya! ❤


    1. Same here, Shinjini. The smaller things and also the larger, more scary things that happened once upon a time. I keep thinking about them and this revisiting of olden days gives me nightmares. And, hence this post. 🙂


  4. I’m in complete agreement with you, Shilpa, that it’s easy to fool our mind, which is the cause of our miseries.

    Our mind does not register any absolute state but only able to detect the difference. When we compare 7 feet rod with 10 feet rod, mind registers it as small and when we compare the same 7 feet rod with 5 feet rod, it registers it as big.

    The same comparison also occurs in the case of good or bad.  We can take advantage of it in enjoying your lives. At the time of problems or miseries, we can imagine of the worst things that could happen in that situation and feel happy that we didn’t hit by them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, Ravish.
      Our mind is the muscle that needs to be worked upon–the strongest muscle that can either make us, or break us. And, asking ourselves, “So what? Doesn’t everyone go through tough times?” is the best way to bring it to its senses! 🙂


  5. Deep and insightful post, its really not an easy task to say “so what?” specially when the incidents of life leave scars but yet we always should try to come out of those coz “life is never ever going to be smooth sailing.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True.If we keep holding on to those past events that troubled us, we are only ruining what we have in the present. Best thing would be to just accept that that’s Life and face our fears and move forward.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My favourite game too Shilpa ! So what ? Life does go on and it is far better to let things go than let them fester and burden you . Eventually we all leave everything behind.. Thanks for reinforcing this positive thought that one tends to overlook in moments of self pity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know how I have held on to some memories for years and suffered badly. That’s the reason why I chose to do this post, Sunita. It will keep reminding me to let go of what happened and accept certain events that left me scarred. Things do go wrong in Life…so what? That’s Life!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Letting go of past hurts helps us live a positive life. We don’t dwell on them, acknowledge and move on. You are right, life is never an even road but a bumpy one. Roll with the punches and move ahead, I believe so too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Asking ‘so what?’ is a game pertinent for a better living. What has happened has happened. Life’s curve balls bring us down every once in a while reminding all the injustices that happened to us, all the lack of choices we were made to deal with but yes, so what? Let’s hold our heads high because we still have something (even a lot of things) which some others might not have and they are pinning for it which we are taking for granted. This is how I am working to deal with the internal voices which whisper reminders of njustices into my ears and mind. I tell them I am going to do alright with my situations and people, no matter if they come as a function of my choices or the lack of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Anu, that’s the best thing you are doing to find peace. it’s what I too have been doing since some time now. Pataa nahi, akal der se hi kyun aati hai! No one said life will be easy! Haven’t we always known how tough things can be? And yet we keep grumbling and crying for all that happened, instead of living in this moment that gives us some happiness?
      Working hard at it– me too! 😛


  9. This one is a timely reminder, Shilpa! There is no other way than to get going in life. Sure, the cycle continues and good days come after the bad ones.
    Though I am usually positive, I’m also a worrier. So that bugs me a little but logically, it’s possible. Thanks for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I, too, am a worrier, Parul. Have been since ages, but slowly and steadily, with the help of Life’s timely lessons, I am learning to just take every moment as it comes. Also, accepting that Life is always going to be full of ups and downs and that it’s wise not getting carried away by the ‘ups’ neither getting shattered by the ‘downs’, helps me stay calm.

      Liked by 1 person

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