In Buddhism the art of letting go is a personal journey towards non attachment.
It is closely related to the noble truth that craving causes sufferings.
Therefore letting go means we let go of unhealthy attachment. Sometimes, we can be obsessively attached to an idea or an ideal, or obsessively attached to a relationship or towards someone. Such obsessive attachment usually result in extreme pain when there are any changes that is contrary to our desire.
On the other extreme, letting go doesn’t means we give up on life in general and become passive about everything. It definitely does not result in us losing our love and kindness or enthusiasm in the process.
For example, parents may learn to let go of their children when they are growing up; it does not mean they stop loving them. In such instance, parents are just accepting the fact that their babies had grown up into young adults. They are letting go of their notion that their kids are still ignorant and cannot make the right decision in life for themselves.
In a way, letting go is an art. Only we will know what we are doing. Are we letting go or are we giving up? There is no fix formula since each of our life circumstances are unique. We cannot judge the “correctness” of other people’s “letting go”
Letting go is an acknowledgement that nothing belongs to us in reality. Nothing is within our control. So what are we letting go?
It is letting go of our attachment, It is also letting go a fixated wrong view.
In this manner, letting go is a spiritual practice. It is not something that we only call out to when we experience disappointment in life.
Therefore , letting go is different from giving up. We do not need to be disappointed with something before we start practicing.
Like all buddhist practice, we have to develop awareness of our emotion and feelings. Then we can identify and acknowledge any strong attachment in our mind. Once we are aware of attachment towards certain objects (people, situations, things, ideas, circumstances etc), we may initiate the practice by reminding ourselves that everything in life is susceptible to changes and nothing in life is completely within our control. All compounded things are impermanent.