You may question if there is a difference between releasing or relinquishing something. These two terms define appropriate or inappropriate, effective or ineffective, ways of letting go of an object, person or place.
Release and relinquishment go together:
Release is an outward action; relinquishment is an inner attitude.
How do you know if you have released or relinquished something? If you maintain an emotional investment in what you have let go of, then you have not relinquished it. To truly let go of something, someone or someplace, you must both externally and internally let it go.
Perhaps an example is appropriate: Let us say that you give a friend a sentimental or valuable piece of jewelry, perhaps your mother’s necklace or your father’s watch. And by chance, you are informed that they have pawned it. If you have an emotional response to the action—you have not relinquished the item. You many have released it by physically giving it away, but you still possess it emotionally.
The act of release is much easier than the act of relinquishment.
What often happens is that people release and then, perhaps later, relinquish—but the internal act of relinquishment should be the source of the release. If you release without relinquishment, you actually disempower yourself by giving away that to which you are still attached.
Relinquishment followed by release is an empowering process;
Release followed by relinquishment creates a feeling of powerlessness and vulnerability.
It is not one or the other but both that empower you—either alone is disempowering.
You might question whether you have relinquished but not released. How many of you have closets and storerooms of things that you do not even know you have, or emotional attachment, that you carry like a chain around your ankle every time you move? Own actively that which you have and let go of that which you do not desire.
Take an active inventory of your life and determine that which you desire to keep, that which you have given but have not relinquished, and that which you wish to have no more—and you will experience a new sense of freedom and limitlessness.
Taking active inventory and clearing house allows you to make room for the creative process to maneuver in your life.
All things change in your life and so do the things that you have—be it people, places, or things. The release and relinquishment process allows you to participate in the creative flow of creation; for, the leaf does not hold desperately onto the tree in fear that it will not exist, nor does the snowflake fear the spring—nor should you fear the changes in your life.