Letting Go Quotes to Release The Past

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Are you struggling to let go of something? These letting go quotes will inspire you to release what you need to.

Letting go has many connotations in modern language, and can be both negative and positive.

While some people may see letting go of something as surrendering or quitting, these letting go quotes focus on the positive aspects of letting something go.

When we let go of a negative experience, we move to a greater good for ourselves. When we let go of bad ideas, habits, and beliefs, we make our minds more receptive to positive and uplifting ones.

So enjoy these quotes about letting go and release what you need to in order to thrive today.

Top 10 Letting Go Quotes

Anything you can’t control is teaching you how to let go.

Jackson Kiddard

You only struggle because you’re ready to grow but aren’t willing to let go.

Drew Gerald
Rebecca Solnit quote "The art is not one of forgetting but letting go"
“The art is not one of forgetting but letting go.” – Rebecca Solnit

There’s an important difference between giving up and letting go.

Jessica Hatchigan

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Holding on is believing that there’s only a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future.

Daphne Rose Kingma

You don’t need strength to let go of something. What you really need is understanding.

Guy Finley
Shannon Adler quote "The only real battle in life is between hanging on and letting go"
“The only real battle in life is between hanging on and letting go.” – Shannon L. Adler

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.

Oprah Winfrey

The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday.

Steve Maraboli

Quotes about Letting Go

It’s not a matter of letting go – you would if you could. Instead of ‘Let it go’ we should probably say ‘Let it be.’

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.

Steve Maraboli

Letting go is the willingness to change your beliefs in order to bring more peace and joy into your life instead of holding onto beliefs that bring pain and suffering.

Hal Tipper

Letting go. Everyone talks about it like it’s the easiest thing. Unfurl your fingers one by one until your hand is open. But my hand has been clenched into a fist for three years now; it’s frozen shut.

Gayle Forman

Forgiveness means letting go of the past.

Gerald Jampolsky

When you let go you create space for something better.

Mike White quote "There’s a victory in letting go of your expectations"
“There’s a victory in letting go of your expectations.” – Mike White

Letting go isn’t a one-time thing, it’s something you have to do every day, over and over again.

Andie McPhee, Dawson’s Creek

Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.

Eckhart Tolle

Nothing in the universe can stop you from letting go and starting over.

Guy Finley

Letting go is not getting rid of memories. Memories will stay; they always do. Letting go is making sure that the pain associated with the memories goes away.

Arti Honrao

Abundance is a process of letting go; that which is empty can receive.

Bryant H. McGill

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.

Havelock Ellis

Sometimes love means letting go when you want to hold on tighter.

Melissa Marr

If letting go, if letting people and things work themselves out in the way that they needed to without your help was the most important thing, then it was also the hardest.

Deb Caletti, The Six Rules of Maybe

By accepting the process of letting go, we make people and things that we can’t stay with forever a part of our history.

Dr. Prem Jagyasi

Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.

Deborah Reber

One of the most courageous decisions you’ll ever make is to finally let go of what is hurting your heart and soul.

B. Nicole
Tom Althouse quote "Dare to live by letting go"
“Dare to live by letting go.” – Tom Althouse

Once you realize you deserve a bright future, letting go of your dark past is the best choice you will ever make.

Roy T. Bennett

Even as I hold you, I am letting you go.

Alice Walker

Just be, and enjoy being.

Eckhart Tolle

Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance.

Melody Beatti

Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Letting go of someone we love is the hardest thing we will ever do.

Goldie Hawn

The first half of life is devoted to forming a healthy ego, the second half is going inward and letting go of it.

Carl Jung

By letting go of the things that have been in your life with a feeling of gratitude, you foster appreciation for, and a desire to take better care of, the things in your life.

Marie Kondo, Spark Joy

Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.

Herman Hesse

Letting go may sound so simple, but rarely is it a one-time thing. Just keep letting go, until one day it’s gone for good.

Eleanor Brownn

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.

Thich Nhat Hanh
Efrat Cybulkiewicz quote "Letting go is also a matter of self-worth"
“Letting go is also a matter of self-worth.” – Efrat Cybulkiewicz

What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think – or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?

Brene Brown

I realise there’s something incredibly honest about trees in winter, how they’re experts at letting things go.

Jeffrey McDaniel

In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.

Deepak Chopra

Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go but rather learning to start over.

Nicole Sobon

The point of human evolution is adapting to circumstance. Not letting go of the old, but adapting it, is necessary.

Sonali Bendre

It’s you who has to hold on to earth. You have to tighten your grip—which means letting go of him.

Melissa Bank

Sometimes letting go is braver than holding on until you break.

Rebekah Crane

Let Go Quotes

Why let go of yesterday? Because yesterday has already let go of you.

Steve Maraboli

A bridge can still be built, while the bitter waters are flowing beneath.

Anthony Liccione

Let go of something old that no longer serves you to make room for something new.

Roy T. Bennett
Osho letting go quote "Let it all go, see what stays"
“Let it all go, see what stays.” – Osho

Accept what is, let go of what was, have faith in what will be.

Sonia Ricotti

She let him go once. Every day demands that she release him over and over again.

Julianna Baggott

You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.

Steve Maraboli

Time doesn’t heal emotional pain, you need to learn how to let go.

Roy T. Bennett

To let go does not mean to get rid of. To let go means to let be. When we let be with compassion, things come and go on their own.

Jack Kornfield

Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.

Tony Schwartz

We need to learn to let go as easily as we grasp and we will find our hands full and our minds empty.

Leo Buscaglia

To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and fears, the clingings and disappointments of the past that bind our spirit.

Jack Kornfield

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.

Erich Fromm

It’s hard to be clear about who you are when you are carrying around a bunch of baggage from the past. I’ve learned to let go and move more quickly into the next place.

Angelina Jolie
"Just let go and fall like a little waterfall"
“Just let go and fall like a little waterfall.” – Bob Ross

Whatever comes, let it come, what stays let stay, what goes let go.


Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.

Raymond Lindquist

If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.

Khalil Gibran

Let go of the battle. Breathe quietly and let it be. Let your body relax and your heart soften. Open to whatever you experience without fighting.

Jack Kornfield

The more you let yourself go, the less others let you go.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Never love something so much that you can’t let go of it.

Ginni Rometty

No matter how much suffering you went through, you never wanted to let go of those memories.

Haruki Murakami

Let go of your attachment to being right, and suddenly your mind is more open. You’re able to benefit from the unique viewpoints of others, without being crippled by your own judgment.

Ralph Marston

I think every girl has that a guy she has trouble letting go of.

Rashida Jones

Become comfortable with not knowing.

Eckhart Tolle
Allan Watts quote "You have got to let go and let it happen"
“You have got to let go and let it happen.” – Allan Watts

Anything I cannot transform into something marvelous, I let go.

Anaïs Nin

The moment after being let go, when we can finally let it go, is the moment when love once again has hope.

Brian MacLearn

Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.

Ann Landers

You’ve got to know when to let a woman go if you want to keep her,and if you don’t want to keep her you let her go anyhow so it’s always a process of letting go, one way or the other.

Charles Bukowski

We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

Joseph Campbell

Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go.

Mary Manin Morrissey

Sooner or later we’ve all got to let go of our past.

Dan Brown

I fully and freely forgive you. I loose you and let you go. I let go and let God.

Catherie Ponder

I think that you never fall out of love with somebody, you just let go and move on.

Ashley Rickards

You have to let go of who you were to become who you will be.

Candace Bushnell
"There is love in holding and there is love in letting go"
“There is love in holding and there is love in letting go.” – Elizabeth Berg

A mistake is only a mistake if you dwell on it. Let go and forgive.

Akiroq Brost

There is absolutely no beauty in holding onto something that you’re supposed to let go of.

Sai Pradeep

Life is like a river, if you cannot let go of the past, it will drag you down the stream.

Amit Ray

Sometimes the only way to get a grip is by learning to let go.

Curtis Tyrone Jones

Let it Go

Forget what hurt you but never forget what it taught you.

Shannon L. Alder

If love becomes too painful, then it’s time to let that love go and save yourself. You have to keep this in mind because you’ll be able to find another love but not another self.

Robert Tew

Your time is way too valuable to be wasting on people that can’t accept who you are.

Turcois Ominek

This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.


Today expect something good to happen to you no matter what occurred yesterday. Realize the past no longer holds you captive. It can only continue to hurt you if you hold on to it. Let the past go. A simply abundant world awaits.

Sarah Ban Breathnach

God sometimes removes a person from your life for your protection. Don’t run after them.

Rick Warren
Germany Kent quote "If it doesn’t agree with your spirit let it go"
“If it doesn’t agree with your spirit let it go.” – Germany Kent

You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.

C. JoyBell C.

Even seasonal situations can bring with them lessons that last a lifetime. If the love doesn’t last, it prepares you for the one that will.

Mandy Hale

There ain’t no way you can hold onto something that wants to go, you understand? You can only love what you got while you got it.

Kate DiCamillo

A rational person can find peace by cultivating indifference to things outside of their control.

Naval Ravikant

Sometimes you can’t let go of the past without facing it again.

Gail Tsukiyama

Because you simply cannot draw these things out forever. At some point, you just pull off the Band-Aid and it hurts, but then it’s over and you’re relieved.

John Green

If you truly want to be respected by people you love, you must prove to them that you can survive without them.

Michael Bassey Johnson

If someone keeps bringing you down, perhaps it’s time to get up and leave.

Karen Salmansohn

You can only lose what you cling to.


Let go of your attachment to being right, and suddenly your mind is more open.

Ralph Marston
Iyanla Vanzant letting go quote "Give up your attachment to having things your way"
“Give up your attachment to having things your way.” – Iyanla Vanzant

You create more space in your life when you turn your excess baggage to garbage.

Chinonye J. Chidolue

Don’t try to force anything. Let life be a deep let-go.


Sometimes it’s better to end something & try to start something new than imprison yourself in hoping for the impossible.

Karen Salmansohn

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

Dr. Seuss

Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.

Flavia Weedn

Keeping baggage from the past will leave no room for happiness in the future.

Wayne L. Misner

Whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free… your true self comes out.

Tina Turner

Sometimes we can only find our true direction when we let the wind of change carry us.

Mimi Novic

You’ve got to make a conscious choice every day to shed the old – whatever ‘the old’ means for you.

Sarah Ban Breathnach

Instead of thinking I am losing something when I clear clutter, I dwell on what I might gain.

Lisa J. Shultz
Allan Brennert quote "Let the things of long ago drift away on the water"
“Let the things of long ago drift away on the water.” – Alan Brennert

You can’t hold on to the past and expect to grow as a human being.

Marty Rubin

The greatest thing is, at any moment, to be willing to give up who we are in order to become all that we can be.

Max De Pree

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.

Henry David Thoreau

Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

Lao Tzu

Intelligence consists in ignoring things that are irrelevant.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

We hope these letting go quotes showed you when and how to let go of what you no longer need in life.

Though letting go can be difficult when it means releasing something big like an old relationship or a goal we strived towards, it can also be hugely beneficial.

We might let go of a friend who was never really great, a lover who was never true, or a path that was leading us in the wrong direction. When we loosen our grip on rigid thoughts and feelings we often make room for better ones to reveal themselves.

Many of these quotes show us that letting go is more about opening new doors than closing old ones. So take heart and see what you need to let go of to move on to bigger and better today!

Photo of author

Quincy Seale

Quincy is KIM's editor, and has collected and shared inspiring quotes and stories since 2005. Quincy holds an MBA from the University of Dundee and an MSc from the University of Edinburgh, and lives in San Antonio with his wife Natalie, son Alex, and his dog Oban.