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Self Development for Muslim Youth

Is Letting Go Hard for You? Here is What to Do

There is a particular type of peace that comes from letting go. Feeling the tension fall away is an experience that is not easy to forget.

Holding on to things, whether they be physical possessions or emotions, requires energy, sometimes large amounts of energy.

Thus, when we let go, we have the time and the energy to move forward in life. In theory, letting go seems to be easy however the reality is vastly different. Letting go is difficult and sometimes painful but the peace at the end of that road is well worth the effort.

Letting go of toxic relationships or people leaves us vulnerable and alone. And alone is one word that many of us associate with fear and abandonment.

Letting go of a job that is stifling or boring and uninteresting is a big step into an unknown world. Words like bills and mortgages seem like insurmountable brick walls.

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Letting go of bad habits is like letting go of the comfort blanket we held so fiercely as a child. Bad habits are hard to break even though we realize their destructive nature.

How to Let Go?

How is it done? How do we stretch open our hands and metaphorically feel what we are clutching on to slip away?

Motivational coach Brendon Burchard suggests that many of us experience trouble and pain when letting go due to our attachment to the past.

Some people are forever fixated on who was right and who was wrong, or who was to blame for the current undesirable situation. Others are afraid to break out of the comfortable mold they have settled into. It might not be perfect but they know what to expect, they do not have to face an uncertain future.

When we really stop to examine the meaning of those fearful words, “an uncertain future”, we have to admit that the future is uncertain. What is here today could be gone tomorrow and life changes without any regard for comfort or certainty.

Letting Go is to Submit to God

As Muslims, we have a head start on the process of letting go because we know, in theory if not in reality, that letting go means submitting to the Will of God.

Muslims know that God has control over all things. When a leaf falls from a tree it has done so by the permission and the Will of God. When the branch bends into the wind and thus survives a storm, it does so because God has decreed that it will live on.

As believers, we are ever mindful that God has control over all things. For a certain period of time, we might be able to fool ourselves into thinking that we have some sort of control but the sooner we realize that this is not true the easier it will be to let go of the things that are holding us back.

Lessons to Learn

Brendon Burchard tells us that instead of dwelling on the past, we should look to the future and ask ourselves what lesson have we learned from the situation we are struggling to let go.

Look for the lesson, he says, and draw something from it. That is great advice, because looking for the good in all situations is beneficial.

Sometimes when things do not go according to our plan, we can fall into despair rather than seek the lesson and focus on the inherent good in all situations.

Be Positive

Quite a long time ago Prophet Muhammad also advised seeking the good and accepting the realities of life. He said:

Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer. If he has an occasion to feel delighted, he thanks God thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble, shows acceptance and endures it patiently, there is a good for him in it. [1]

No matter what situation we may find ourselves in, we must remember that God has complete control and He knows what is good for us.

We try to assert control and oftentimes prefer to hide from our fears and worries by pretending they do not exist, and we try to hold on to things rather than let them go and face an uncertain future.

If we are struggling to let go, it is time to reflect and ponder the fact that we might hate something that is good for us or desire something that can only lead to ruin and despair.

…and it may be that you dislike a thing that is good for you and that you like a thing that is bad for you. God knows but you do not know. (Quran 2:216)

Motivational speaker Burchard also mentions the difficulty of letting go of something you like or enjoy. He acknowledges that this can be difficult, possibly even more difficult than letting go of the things you realize are destructive or painful.

In these situations, when it is change that we fear not necessarily loss, remembering God and His control over everything will help to ease our path in a new direction.

Turn to God and Trust Him

Prophet Muhammad advised one of his young companions saying:

Young man, uphold the commands of God, and He will protect you in this life and in the next. Uphold the commands of God and He will help you. When you ask for anything, ask it from God, and if you seek help, seek help from God. Know that if people were to unite to do you some benefit, they could benefit you only what God has recorded for you, and if they were to unite to do you some harm, they could harm you only with what God has recorded for you. The pens are withdrawn and the pages are dry. [2]

Whenever we are beset by fear and sadness, whenever we know that we should be letting go and moving forward but are unable to take the first step, we must turn to God.

It is God alone that can ease our troubled souls and it is God alone that can open a way for us to let go of the baggage and fear that is holding us down, or back.

When we want to move forward or even when we want to stop the dizzying merry-go-round we call life, we must turn to God and trust that He knows what is best and will guide us to a better place in this life and in the next.


Letting go means turning to God and submitting to His commandments all the while knowing that He wants what is best for us.


[1] Sahih Muslim

[2] At Tirmidhi

(From Discovering Islam’s archive.)

About Aisha Stacey
Aisha Stacey is the mother of three adult children. She embraced Islam in 2002 and spent the next five years in Doha, Qatar studying Islam and working at the Fanar Cultural Centre. In 2006 Aisha returned to university for a second time and completed at Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Certificate in Writing. Aisha is also a published writer in both internet and print media and in 2009 -10 she was the Queensland editor at a national Australian Islamic newspaper ~ Crescent Times.