Why do we stay connected to people that make us feel bad? Why do we hold on to things that trigger a negative response from us? Why do we find it tricky to let it go?


A friend of mine was hosting an amazing party for one of our mutual acquaintances late last year. The invite was ladies only so the afternoon ended up being a gaggle girls eating delicious food and sharing soulful conversations.

She’s flit between us making sure we had enough to eat and would constantly refill our glasses with drinks while simultaneously holding her baby girl on her hip.

I looked at her with admiration and told her what a fantastic job she was doing both as a mummy and as a gracious hostess.

“Yeah but I couldn’t fit into the dress I really wanted to wear today” she said.

I looked at her blankly and she continued. “There’s a whole heap of clothes I have that no longer fit me since I had the baby.”

I was still confused as to why she’d held on to them. So I asked her.

It was then her turn to look perplexed. “Umm. I don’t know. Maybe they’ll fit one day?”

She had just finished telling me that she was getting ready to try for baby number 2. So if those clothes didn’t fit her now, my understanding of babies growing in a belly suggested they weren’t about to fit her in the near future..

And so an expressive heart to heart between us ensued. My advice?

“Throw that shit out!”

Clothes not fitting you any more is one thing. Feeling like crap about it is another. It becomes the difference between you giving power to a trigger that can easily be donated to Vinnies.

What if it fits one day?

OK – but what if it never does? And here’s a kicker, what if it does end up fitting but no longer represents your style?

It’s kind of similar to that friend that no longer fits into your life. Or the work environment that no longer fits with your ethics.

The depths of our friendships and associations are not necessarily measured by the respect and affection we have for each other. They’re usually measured by how flexible we are in terms of being able to fit with each other’s values, much more so when we have differences in opinions.

And letting go of what no longer fits doesn’t always happen elegantly. Sometimes a relationship ends in a flurry of drama with strong accusations that come at you like projectiles.

And while you can’t control another person’s actions, you do have the power to choose your own response. And sometimes it will be elegant, and at other times your anger will have awakened the giant within.

Ultimately, only you can give that trigger power. I say just let it go. Nothing can drag you down if you’re not holding on.



  1. Caitilin de Bérigny

    Thank you! This message came at exactly the right moment in time and space for me.

    Why do we let people that hurt us stay in our lives. It is far better to let them go gracefully and give thanks for the lesson. Rather than re-playing over and over by wanting something to change, we have no control over.

    As you insightfully point out Patty, the only thing we can change is ourselves. The Dalai Lama says it is far better to point out one character defect in ourselves than a thousand in another. Which reminds me of the Serenity Prayer:

    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

    Keep spreading your light beauty and thank you for your divine wisdom!


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