The Unstoppable Power of Letting Go | Jill Sherer Murray | TEDxWilmingtonWomen


Translator: Phuong Cao
Reviewer: Peter van de Ven Letting go can make you unstoppable. I know because I let go
of a relationship and reclaimed my life. And I know that letting go
can create the best of change for each and everyone of you. Let me tell you a story. When I was 41, the death of a relationship
showed me how to truly let go of what wasn’t working. See, up until that time,
I didn’t really think about the future. I kind of lived my life like a dog – moment to moment. I chased balls, I ate
whatever I could find on the ground. (Laughter) And life was good. I had a great job, great friends,
a great apartment, a great actual dog, and a great boyfriend. Well, sort of. See, Hector didn’t have any skin
in the game, and I felt that. He danced around
the very idea of marriage, and after 12 years,
we didn’t even live together. Still, he gave me hope. Well, sometimes. More like living in a situation
that had no hope just felt normal. Don’t get me wrong. I stayed because Hector was a good looking, smart,
reliable, and sensitive guy who cared, and while our relationship
wasn’t perfect, it worked in theory. Until a wake-up call from a friend
changed everything. So my realtor friend called
to tell me about a condo coming up for sale
in my Chicago neighborhood. She knew that I was looking
for Hector to commit and thought, ”Well, maybe this could inspire
a little forward motion.” Still, my first inclination was to say,
“We’re not ready. Not yet.” Haha, “Not yet.” That was Hector’s favorite catchphrase. I would say, ”I want to get married.” He’d say, ”Not yet.” I’d say, ”Let’s live together.” “Not yet.” ”Not yet” was a hair
I couldn’t get out of my eye and a bad song
I couldn’t get out of my head. So you could imagine my surprise
when he said “Sure” to meeting me at the condo at noon. Now, I arrived early and eager. But Hector? Haha, well that was another story. 12:15 came. 12:30. 12:45. 1:00 pm. No Hector. Eventually, he called,
something had come up. So we agreed to reconvene at three,
but Hector was a no-show again. It was in that moment that I decided, after 12 years, it was time to let go. See, I had to let go of Hector
and of the idea of marrying him or anybody because at 41, my options were scary. I could either stay with a man
who couldn’t commit, but was great on
all the holidays and birthdays, or I could break up with him and be alone. Not that letting go of a good man
I truly loved was easy. No, no. I had to survive
the consequences of my epiphany, and that’s when the pain stage kicked in. “You and Hector
won’t be together forever. You won’t be his person. In fact, he’ll probably
meet somebody else fast, marry her, and she’ll be his person. And then you’re going to have to live
with the fact that you made a mistake.” I ugly cried, ate a lot of pizza,
listened to a lot of Joni Mitchell. (Laughter) And then, when I couldn’t rub
my eyes anymore without hitting bone or imagine Hector in a wedding photo
with another woman, probably in a size-6 dress, I brushed myself off. See, I let go of the fear
that I would grow old and die alone, that my friends would use me
as a cautionary tale, that it was too late for me. No, no. In that moment, I had to finally admit
what I really wanted, which was more. You see, Hector not showing up, that was a gift, and that it gave me freedom
because let’s face it, I’d been chasing that ball for 12 years. No, no. It was time to move on,
even if I risked rejection. So I made a plan, one that got clearer with every step. Of course, Hector had an excuse
for his no-show. But by then, it didn’t matter. I told him it was over. I quit my job, I hugged my friends, I sold my beautiful condo
in the same neighborhood that delivered me
that life-changing epiphany. I let go of everything to start a whole
new life in New Hope, Pennsylvania. To which he said,
”Don’t go, we’ll get married.” To which I said, ”You had twelve years.” To which he said, ”I’ll come visit.” To which I said, ”Not yet.” (Laughter) Was it hard? Ha ha, you bet. Was it worth it? Within a year of leaving,
I met my husband Dan online. (Laughter) I knew when he showed up
for our first date, in the most wrinkled shirt
I have ever seen, (Laughter) with a rain hat to keep me dry
walking from the restaurant to the car, that this was my guy. (Laughter) You see, umbrellas were for people
who wanted distance. Too heavy a wind, you know,
turned them inside out, and even the best of them
only lasted so long. But a rain hat, you know, the kind with a string,
and you tie it under your chin, (Laughter) Now, that’s personal. And after four dates, it turned to love. Finally, I understood
why I had to wait so long. Dan was handsome and wise
and soulful and kind, and he made me feel
like I could do and be anything. We could. And we got married a year later. (Sigh) When I turned 50, Hector died of cancer. And as you can imagine,
I grieved for a very long time. But his death reaffirmed for me the promise I made
to myself when I was 41: that I would never
take time for granted again. Instead, I would use it
to let go, to create space for the things I really wanted
and for what mattered most. Here are five ways
to let go I know work because I still use them every single day. One. Let go of taking things personally. I spent a lot of time wondering why Hector
didn’t love me enough to marry me until I realized that his inability
to commit had less to do with me and more to do
with his duty to his family. Now, I’m not saying that was not
a hard pill to swallow, but there was a lot of peace in knowing that it was his issue
and not some defect in me. If people aren’t giving you what you want,
or if they’re just behaving badly, most times, that’s their problem, not yours. Two. Let go of what other people think. So after my husband and I
dated for a couple of months, I took him home to meet my parents. (Laughter) ”He’s very good-looking,”
my mother said. ”You know, Ted Bundy
is very good looking.” (Laughter) Now, I could’ve let this
influence my actions, (Laughter) could have let my imagination run wild with thoughts of my new beau
stabbing me while I slept. (Laughter) But instead, I just
chalked it up to my mother. There is a rule in business that states: Whenever you are putting
something out there, 10% of people will hate it, 80% will be indifferent, and 10% will be your raving fans. And raving fans are awesome, but if somebody’s not a raving fan,
let that be okay too. Three. Let go of trying
to be something you’re not. Now, I have this crazy big personality
that I actually call “the Big.” Some people really like the Big. (Laughter) Some people are fascinated by it, kind of the way they are
fascinated by jugglers. (Laughter) And others just run away. But it’s who I am. I have tried to turn down
the current on the Big, but hard as I try, there it is. There are some things
we just can’t change about ourselves, and that’s a good thing. Four. Let go of the need to be perfect. Many years ago, I wrote
a column for Shape Magazine, and I got a lot of mail from readers, including a very sad letter
from this teenage girl asking for my advice
on how to improve herself after her absolutely horrid boyfriend
had her strip down so he could critique her body. This is a true story. I said, ”Dump him immediately, and never let anybody
make you feel bad about yourself again.” But we all know that feeling
the need for perfection is not just about our weight. It’s also about keeping the house clean
and the dogs groomed and the kids healthy
and the bosses happy and all the balls in the air. It’s even about keeping our youth intact. And yet, who wants to be friends
with someone who’s perfect? Think about that. And lastly, five – my favorite! Let go of ”Not yet.” You know, when I left Chicago,
my life was pretty good, it just wasn’t good enough. If there is something you want to do,
make a plan and act, but don’t wait. I still grieve for Hector, you know,
it just comes in waves now. But it’s the phone call I can’t make that reminds me to make every day count. And I encourage you all to do the same. Whatever that is, I say,
”Let go for it.” Thank you. (Applause)


100 Responses

  1. Alex Mester

    September 20, 2019 2:35 am

    Jesus Fkin Christ I'm "Hector" 🙁 I was the one that ruined everything and also had the nerve to feel hartbroken when she left..after 10 years dancing around the bush

  2. K. Compton

    September 22, 2019 4:07 pm

    Ex's and current relationship problems brought me here like most I assume. It's damn hard but I'm sure it's worth it. I'm not there "yet" but damn am I close.

  3. Jeroen van poeijer

    September 24, 2019 6:15 pm

    But why did she break my heart, letting go is one thing, but letting go for a boy she doesn't really know is from a whole new level.

  4. Kozmnavt

    October 1, 2019 4:05 am

    I had been in a relationship with this amazing woman last year but she had to move back to Russia and I was upset about it and for a whole year I couldn’t let go even when she had moved on and gotten into a new relationship. I eventually met another amazing woman from Kazakhstan who helped me move on from the Russian girl but now we recently broke up because she told me she wasn’t ready for a serious relationship and now I’m heartbroken again unable to let her go especially since she gave me some of the most pleasant memories I’ve ever experienced in my life. I don’t want to be the kind of person who requires new relationships in order to move on from the old ones but it just seems like that’s me at the moment.

  5. Nancy Solari

    October 2, 2019 12:23 am

    Thank you for you inspiring advice! Many women and men have been in your exact position but are too afraid to leave! Hearing your story and believing in your own beliefs and following your dream set you in the right path and helped you live your life full out! Hopefully others can too!

  6. JocelynEF2011

    October 2, 2019 10:00 pm

    I’m going threw a marriage separation after 8years. Letting go it hard. But seriously this sounds similar to my situation but difference I have 2 little ones. And they r my number 1 world.

  7. Manish Mahanti

    October 3, 2019 2:00 am

    I think 90% of people who have commented are waiting for a miracle for their relationship to improve. Just like this speaker says, a moment of enlightenment/realization. If that is the case then you are equally to be blamed. Talk to your partner and try to work it out. If it fails then just move on.

  8. Don Dressel

    October 6, 2019 10:18 am

    I just texted this video to my fiancé’s daughter
    She’s been with this guy for four years and yet he always changes the subject when she brings up marriage
    He’s a workaholic and she wants to get married and have kids
    She’s thirty and I told her he’s a great guy but he’s just not the marrying kind

  9. Wa Wi

    October 7, 2019 7:28 am

    I'm skeptical.
    If he is in a relationship with you for 12 years, doesn't that also a serious commitment?
    Maybe not all couples need to get married and move in together like expected by societal standards and then needn't to feel bad.

    If that's a must for you though, you can communicate that of course

    edit : okay she says that she was afraid to say what she really wanted, wasn't there yet

  10. Chrisangie Perez

    October 8, 2019 8:02 am

    Within a year of leaving I met my husband Dan… online -audience felt uncomfortable with that lmaooo

  11. Crimson Lotus1122

    October 13, 2019 4:46 pm

    That's interesting about her x. He had his reasons for not being fully present in the relationship. Maybe I'm super spiritual but I believe her choice to walk away was divinely inspired. It would've hurt more for her to have hung on to an uncommitted person and loose him to cancer than had she faced her fear and moved on.
    I can only imagine the grief, the regret and resentment I'd feel if I were her and she stayed with someone who she ultimately ended up out living. Smh…Gods ways are not our own. Kudos to her friend that put the notion in her head to want more in the first place.

  12. Billy Bonza

    October 14, 2019 9:36 pm

    Alright, check this out… one observation I have made in life is that the real answers to many of the important things we try to understand and philosophise over, are counter-intuitive. Simply, the correct answers to the hardest questions seem to often be the opposite to our instincts. With that in mind, my theory is this: The present doesn't really exist. Anyone attempting to block out the past as though it never happened like it doesn't exist as well as anyone deliberately ignoring or refusing to voluntarily and positively engage the reality of their future; anyone doing these things are just cowards, living in a self induced delusion because they are afraid. These people are scared because they know how weak they are that they would resort to this sort of child's-like coping mechanism to deal with their lives. There is no "now'. What is "now" or the present? It doesn't exist because it is over before it's begun, every second of time that goes by. All that in fact exists is the past, last second, and then future which is actually this exact second you are in, and then next. Both the past and the future are being manifest, made and created by all of us every single second, but there is nothing in between. We are sitting on the crest of the wave of time as it rolls in, crashing into the shore. Who you are is the past. Without your past you have no identity. With no identity, you have no purpose, then no meaning, then no life. Every single little thing you ever experienced in your entire life combined with your natural character, traits and so on, every influence, every sensory input good and bad literally is who you are right now. What do you know, what wisdom or knowledge could you have without the lessons learned from all your experiences from the past? To deny and ignore the past is to refuse to acknowledge and take responsibility for yourself, who you are, what you say and how you act. The past determined who you are today, in other people's eyes and in your own. The future is everything that exists that is not the past (in our physical and practical lives at least, I'm not talking about anything after death here, that goes beyond the scope of this paper). As human beings, we actually have a unique ability to understand and comprehend the entire concept of the future but then also we have the power of mind to envisage potential outcomes for our future, we can use our imagination to anticipate and predict it. We can also use our imaginations like running computer simulations and apply that to particular circumstance we anticipate we will face in future and what our options are for what we may do or say and how all of those choices might play out in the real world when it happens. Like asking a pretty girl out on a date. Man any guy who has ever done that before knows what I am talking about. If you have a crush on a girl you might think about how and when you will eventually build up the balls, the courage to do it. You imagine yourself doing it and where you will be and what strategy you might choose to try, humor, I'm pathetic feel sorry for me, I'm cool as even if she says no whatever ain't no thing. Right? Why do you think we can do these incredible things? Because all there is, is now, the present? What now? Its really the most absurd concept I have ever heard. The reason why we can do all these powerful things with our minds, being nostalgic reminiscing and learning from that, drawing our identity and purpose from that, together with imagining, anticipating, planning for and practicing for what we want to create ourselves and our lives to be; is because the past and the future are everything there is. It's who we are individually and as a species, its our entire reality and we have those abilities because we fundamentally need them to exist and survive life and the real world. The present, is about as real as Neverland, that is where you go when you dont want to grow up. Who ever said and proved that "letting go" is a good thing? Not only is it not a good thing to do for your mental health and general well being but it is also not actually possible, not if you're honest with yourself. The things from our past which are our traumas, whether cause by others or ourselves some of those types of things can never ever be let go of unless they are corrected, or confronted or unless proper justice is done to make those things right. Actually not right…. unless justice is done to restore the balance. If you pretend to yourself to just let these things go, because that is all it really is, pretending because you're too much of a coward to face it, it will eat away at you and your health from the inside out for the rest of your life and that is the way true regrets are born. The way we can make and shape and determine our own identity and our purpose in life is by completely accepting and acknowledging the past truthfully no matter how hard, learn from it, analyse it, examine it take whatever you can from it and also go back to it and 'fix' certain things if they must be by confronting them and then following that path to its conclusion. Alternatively, if that isn't possible we also have the opportunity to still fix parts of the past by the choices and decisions and actions we take into the undetermined future. As a simple example, if your parent were abusive to you when you were a child, even if they are dead now, you can fix that trauma, you can still get proper justice for that and restore the balance, not by "letting go" FFS, and not by confronting them either, they're dead you can't. What you can do, is learn from their bad mistakes and make solid and clear choices about what you will do differently and how you will treat your own children as you become a parent in your own life. That is justice. That is karma. That is making the wrong things right. Because what you are doing by all of that is you're saying "fu mum and dad, you were wrong and horrible and I hope that regret filled you with fear just before you died. You didn't break me. You didn't hurt me. You taught me how not to be. You assured my children a good parent and a better chance at happiness. You lost, I learned, they gained. Sucked in, you lose, we win." So you see, if you think about it, people who promote letting go and living in the present, these people are one of the main problems with the world. Those yellowback gutless weak cowards, leeching off the rest of us, these are the narcissists and other malignant lunatics bringing the rest of us down. People who live in delusions, liars in other words, all they do is cause chaos and pain for themselves and everyone around them. All they do is make living in reality harder or almost impossible for the rest of us honest people. So there is it, my original theory and hypothesis. Yes, Copyright, me. Think for yourselves, stop being sheep. Marcus who? Dont know him, dont care. This is BillyBonza, remember the name, I'll make you famous.

  13. Kushal Parmessur

    October 16, 2019 11:07 am

    This is exactly of what is happening to me since several weeks. The fear of letting go has constantly haunted me. It is all credit to my wife and also my manager that I am able to overcome my deepest fears of failure and frustrations just by retaining my griefs. I cannot be perfect but I am starting to let go every single day in my life, and I'm telling you, this is the greatest feeling ever.

  14. Equinox

    October 18, 2019 4:22 pm

    My situation with my ex was an absolute disaster. Well, we were together, everything was fine, not a single problem, but then I was at a weekend with my father and I met a guy who resembled him greatly and at the same time suffered from trauma. He has lost his girlfriend to death. And she was just like me. Chemistry was absolutely crazy. I couldn't keep up with my emotions and wanted to help. So, we started to communicate and very shortly I started to see this person as more attractive then my current boyfriend (well, I didn't see all underlying issues, but we solved them later on). Some time after my boyfriend knew what's going on and just left. I continued to communicate with this guy I met and didn't even see my ex, he like went into hiding and refused to communicate with me. So, I impulsively cheated and couldn't even properly talk this through with my ex. And then it turned out he's depressed and refuses to communicate with anyone and me and my current boyfriend are dating.

  15. leslie martinez

    October 21, 2019 11:04 pm

    Disclaimer this is going to be long and thank you to who reads this and understands. I am so so so heart broken the father of my sons, left me , us, on October 2nd, he says I disrespected him too much and went to far when I called his daughter names. For the first week or two he gave me serious silent treatment. I begged him to text me call me give me an answer if he was coming back my sons asked for him. NOTHING. A week ago he finally started talking to me and he I could feel was done with me. I begged I believe it was my fault for him leaving and not wanting me. I haven’t been crying till this weekend. I finally realized after his ex told me he wanted to hang out with her. I can’t let go but I want to. HOW DO I LET GO AND MOVE ON IF WE HAVE KIDS? I have been trying to give him the silent treatment but I feel bad when my sons want to see or talk to him. HOW DO I COPARENT WITH SOMEONE WHO I HATE RIGHT NOW. All I see is the way he has rejected me since the day he left. I want to get over him but I’m scared to never find someone like he told me.

  16. arianne

    October 23, 2019 2:43 pm

    This one is really for me too. I’m so happy and blessed i found this. Now I’m not afraid to let go. Thanks a lot! 💋

  17. songbird1163

    October 26, 2019 9:55 pm

    Nothing against the speaker, who was a great raconteur, but her advice begs the question: HOW?
    I'm so frustrated by self help vids telling us to "decide" and to "let go." I would very much love to be able to do that, but I can't and can't fathom how the frik to do it. SMN

  18. Chriselle Grace Ly

    October 29, 2019 5:24 pm

    Thank you soooo much for this. I also left Chicago for this exact reason hahaha! <3 So proud of your growth and healing!

  19. heather hill

    November 4, 2019 10:49 am

    Omg this woman as a presenter on Ted how amazing this help my life hack my loss I am currently in around my current split from a man I dated 12 years let go of the not yet I got it girl now ty so much for sharing you valuable content and wisdom

  20. xia lee

    November 9, 2019 10:11 am

    To be honest no one really deserves to be cheated upon, we are fast losing trust in people, don't rely too much on human beings that might hurt you, rather than that be on the watch and don't be on the losing end. Cellphone tracking is one of the best thing to happen to people these days. Be it spouses, partners, casual friends, coworkers and even your sibling. You can catch your spousepartner red-handed by spying and hacking into their phones/device, without touching their phones, all you need is just to share their phone number and you'll have access to all their informations including Facebook, whatsapp and text messages both deleted and incoming ones with a link on your phone. You can contact (ciaberhacker) he's a pro when it comes to this, line of services Via gmail ([email protected]) 0r reach him on whatsapp +1 559.376.0021. They private investigative and break into all security system. If you ever have any suspicions doubt on dealings with anyone. Thank me, later.

  21. Pa Ti Kan

    November 10, 2019 1:54 pm

    Marriage was a disaster even on the first year. And that X husband left me with another woman and they now have 3 kids. I've been searching for the right person since and for the last 5 years I was stuck in a relationship where, I just realized now. Not healthy at all. Still in pain…every day…But thanks for this…I think I can slowly let go now….Hoping for the best life with my son who is now 13.

  22. TriqkzFN

    November 12, 2019 6:30 am

    Met my love in 7th grade, started out as friends grew close, All of her problems became mine, she was depressed, sad, suicidal, I helped her so much we dated for 3-4 years……. All my Hoodies, letters, I just can’t forget and I need to let go but I don’t want to let go yet I don’t think it’s time

  23. strranger

    November 13, 2019 6:51 pm

    She is sincere but let go of what! She shouldn't had said no to him, when he realized his mistake

    He passed away, perhaps in grief that he made the worst mistake of his life by taking her and time itself for granted,

    Yet she should also had understood that life is all about balancing each other and not giving up on each other,

    Expectations kills,

    He is no more and she is living the life thinking that she is happy,

    Question is, is she really happy, there will always be this hollow in her for the remainder of her life and she will have to live with it, that she gave up on her 12 years of relationship just because her expectations were not getting fulfilled,

    Which is what she should had shared instead she is sharing the complete opposite, that delusion in what she thinks she is happy with in her current life,

    She still thinks that she made the right choice, is just wow,

    How much of a denial can people be, when they are on a high pedestal of expectations.

  24. Nelson Ha

    November 14, 2019 1:02 am

    This talk is so inspiring. Its been about 2 weeks since the girl who I loved, the girl I would have done anything for told me she wasn't happy with us. How she didn't like that I loved her more than she loved me. I'm heartbroken right now and very sad. As every day passes I realize that she didn't deserve me.
    I hope anyone reading that is suffering through a heartbreak realizes you are so much more. You are worthy of good things in life and you will find someone who loves you back. Take it day by day. Stay strong and most importantly don't give up, because I will not.

  25. Charlotte Bruce

    November 16, 2019 8:36 am

    This started off great, she let go that's what I wanted to hear, but the fact that she then found someone else so quickly stopped me relating to her. I just don't think that would happen to me, I'm 43 and time is ticking. She's lucky to have found him I wanted her to say it's ok to be alone etc etc.


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