We’ve all heard the following phrases at some point or another: “let go and let God,” “detach with love,” and “attachment is the cause of suffering.”

Why is that we hold onto things so tightly and have trouble letting go?

How many times has someone wronged you in some way, and you suddenly become consumed with getting that person back. Your mind becomes clouded, rational thought flies out the window as you have one purpose. That purpose is to exact revenge in some fashion.

When we’re in this state of attachment, we are unable to think clearly and see the reality of the situation. We end up telling ourselves a story about what happened which may be completely off base. And the reality is the person who slighted you may have done it by accident and was unaware of their action. Or if it was done purposefully, we may not fully understand the problems that individual is dealing with which caused their negative behavior.

Staying focused on returning their misdeed only serves to exacerbate the situation by keeping you mired in negativity.

How about the instances in our lives when there is something that we really desire and want to have, such as a job for which we’ve applied, or the affection of someone we find attractive?

Many times, we end up obsessively fixating on the object of our desire, and subconsciously, we are causing what we want to slip further away from our grasp. By staying attached, we end up pushing things away. This is the opposite of what we want to happen.

However, letting go doesn’t mean not caring anymore, being a doormat or being nonchalant about everything. Letting go simply means you’re allowing doors of opportunity to open, you’re allowing the energy of creation to flow, and you’re allowing the energy of forgiveness to heal a situation.

The reason we hold on to things so tightly is our ego. Our ego is afraid of losing its control, as ego thrives on negativity, conflict, strife, and obsession. These unhealthy states of being give ego its power. And when we’re in a state of peace, calm, understanding, and forgiveness, the ego melts away as it no longer has purpose.

Of course, letting go is easier said than done. And as with all disciplines, it takes practice. And the good news is that there are plenty of opportunities out there in our day to day lives which give us the opportunity to exercise our natural ability to let go.