Letting go can be hard because we’re creatures of habit. Most of us like things and people that are familiar and consistent. We find security in knowing our surroundings and having routines. As you enter midlife, there will be parts of your life that have to shift to make space for what needs to emerge. This article explores the grace in letting go, and how to gently do so.

In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.

guatama buddha

What are the things you need to let go of in Midlife?

A poor habit, a relationship, or a job you’ve outgrown, to a social group or role that no longer fits. They’ve served their purpose in your journey and holding on for the wrong reasons is not honouring you, the other person or the people involved. In gently releasing things that reached the end of their season, you make room for what comes next. 

The challenges of letting go

It can be difficult to let go of elements of our lives that have become stagnant. These can become toxic crutches that no longer support our well-being and growth.

Bronnie Ware, in Top Five Regrets of the Dying, writes that discovering your own potential takes immense courage and commitment. I agree. Answering the call of our dreams requires us to step out of our comfort zones, and gently push our edges. This enables us to expand and make room for those dreams to come forth.

The first regret on Bronnie’s list holds particular interest for me in my midlife journey.

‘I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.’


In this blog, I passionately promote crafting a life that fully honours who you’re innately created to be. Living with such personal truth requires releasing things that no longer align with who you’re becoming.

Misunderstanding what it means to ‘let go’

Letting go doesn’t mean discarding people or things callously. Particularly if, you’re an introvert like me who treasures meaningful relationships. And if you believe that people and situations that impact your life are not random.

Some people enter your life long-term, while others come alongside you only for a while. You are constantly evolving and growing from one life stage to the next. As you do so, your needs and the ways you serve others shift, too.

Letting go also doesn’t mean cutting yourself off from someone entirely. Instead, it can mean shifting the relationship in a new direction. For example, have you been a member of a specific group for some time, and sense a need for change? The next step could be to establish a new role in the group. Or it may be time to branch off in a different direction.

What does it mean to let go of something or someone?

Compliance and conformity take on a deeper significance in midlife. Particularly, if complying and conforming to others’ expectations comes at the expense of your inner peace and continuous growth. In this sense, letting go can mean having to establish stronger boundaries that better work for a relationship to thrive.

What Are Seasonal Relationships?

In the book, Boundaries, Henry Cloud and John Townsend contend that setting healthy boundaries is a way to honour yourself and those in your circle of influence.

Holding onto people or support structures for longer than it was intended may sour, or even harm, relationships that were only meant to last for a season.

The kindest thing to do for you and the other person is to acknowledge and express gratitude and appreciation for the valuable ways you contributed to one another’s lives. These are lasting impacts that you can hold onto forever. But, at some point, it may become necessary for you to release them gracefully and bravely. This allows you all to continue your journeys towards becoming.

How do you let go of people and things no longer meant for you?

To help you let go of people, John Townsend in the book, Beyond Boundaries lists six components for grieving a lost relationship. For a full description of each, you can access the book here.

  1. Acknowledge the attachment
  2. Accept that you cannot control the loss
  3. Name specific things you valued about the person
  4. Surround yourself with people who are comforting
  5. Allow the sadness
  6. Give yourself the gift of time

Townsend emphasises that as you mature, you start to realise that what others have done for you, you’re now able to do for yourself. You grow from a position of deprivation and emptiness to filling your own ’emotional tank’. You become ‘rooted and established in love’. With such a firm foundation, you can enter relationships from a healthy stance. Also, you prevent yourself from seeking unsafe relationships. You don’t allow others to control you. And you don’t become overly dependent on another person for things you should be able to provide for yourself. Finally, for relationships that need to end, scripture reminds us that God is not a God of deprivation or emptiness, but a God of replacement.

God will send people into your life that will enrich and support you in healthy ways. If you’d like to explore ways to cultivate healthy relationships, see a related post here.

Surrender to Ageing

A third area where you need to let go in midlife is to gently release your fading youth. While you’ll still take care of your physical self, you are more focused on cultivating the inner self, as the 1 Peter 3:4 scripture encourages. You cultivate the deeper things of life, such as pursuing peaceful relationships, deeper empathy and understanding, compassion, forgiveness, and kindness.

Loosen Your Grip

Growing a deeper self-awareness and uncovering your true self is not a quick process.  It is often buried beneath layers of experiences, culture, inherited beliefs, and roles accumulated throughout your life. Re-evaluating these elements, as you mature and grow, can cause you to live a life that pleases others and cause you to lose the motivation to pursue a life of abundance or wholehearted living.

This can mean releasing your tight grip on your expectations of others, and the need to live up to others’ expectations of you. You worry less about what people may think of you. Also, you feel more at peace with your choices, values, and ways of showing up in the world. Finally, you embrace the things that deeply matter to you, even if it doesn’t, please or impress others.

In midlife, you are more drawn to people, groups or elements that increase your inner peace and joy.

What are some things or one thing you know deep inside you need to let go of to live a more peaceful life in harmony with yourself, and others?

Related Posts