Does letting go of something in your life sound easier said than done? You may have tried to let go of a past hurt, betrayal or transgression caused by someone else or perhaps it is an error or mistake you made that you feel shame or guilt around. How do we let these things go and move on, does it feel impossible?
There’s the old saying, an elephant never forgets. I want to emphasise here that letting go is not about forgetting, not about diminishing or dismissing your hurt. In my experience is about honouring the part inside of us that was hurt and learning to disentangle and detach energetically from whatever was at the root of it.
Letting Go of Who We Think We Are
Our greatest suffering can be from holding onto old negative stories or beliefs we may carry about ourselves. Although some of our past hurts may have happened months or even years ago, we can still replay them in our mind and bring up shame and guilt. If we aren’t able to forgive ourselves (untie that knot that binds us to it) and let it go – it can shape our actions in the present and can stifle our passion, our desire to put ourselves forward and trust in ourselves. Some beliefs that many of us hold about ourselves are:
“I’m not clever enough.” “I”m not good enough.” “I am not loveable.” “I always mess up.” “I never seem to get it right.”
These beliefs often have a back story from our childhood that have lodged into our subconscious as a ‘truth’ simply because they were just repeated to us. This and the absence of adults that supported our true essence which is that we are a shining light with unlimited potential. We may have operated from these truths in our growing up, but as adults we are at choice around whether we are going to keep operating from them.
There comes a time when we may need to acknowledge that the pain of holding onto an old hurt may be far greater than the fear of letting it go.
You may feel ready to let go, you may really want to surrender but still feel caught around whether you can do so with authenticity. I hope these four practices will help loosen the knots in supporting you to let go:
Practice 1: Forgive Yourself for Not Letting Go.
Have compassion for the one inside that is hurting or grieving or afraid to let go. Strange as it may sound, it’s a kind of letting go of feeling you should let go. Just acknowledging to ourselves that we’d like to let go of something that has been recycling in our lives or feel has been undermining our happiness, may in itself create a shift in our perspective. It may take the pressure off and allow a greater flow of energy.
Practice 2: Get To Know What’s In The Way
Get to know what is going on inside you that may be resistant to letting go. What is at the root of where you can’t let go? For example, if you’re feeling anger, often what may be underneath it is fear or hurt. Anger is the cover up that can help make us feel more in control, but what it may mask is our feeling of vulnerability. Once we get to the root of our vulnerability and start to care for it, then our anger may drop away. Make time to check in with yourself. What’s really going on in there? Notice with who and what type of support you may need to take you to the next step. Talking with a friend? Counselling? Energetic healing? It could be a combination of these so that you have greater clarity and a deepening in your understanding of what it is you wish to release.
Practice 3: Appreciating Who You are Now?
Let’s face it, we can’t run away or avoid the part of us that messes up sometimes, makes bad choices, feels vulnerable or gets hurt. It’s all part of the human condition and an essential part of our emotional intelligence and our capacity to love. The nugget that I got on my own journey of growth was that it isn’t so much about what happens to me on the outside. It was about my response to it on the inside. Learning how to bring my patience, compassion and curiosity to my inner experience.
If you feel there’s a tired old belief that keeps rearing it’s ugly head and nipping you at the heals the start of letting it go is to stop giving it airplay in your head. Instead practice bringing your attention to what belief you want to cultivate, nourish and reinforce in yourself from now on. What is it that you truely want for yourself? How do we want to think about yourself? As the late Wayne Dwyer used to say: Thoughts Become Things.
Practice 4: Offer Up Your Struggle To Something Greater Than You
When life circumstances have felt too great or insurmountable for me, I have had to call on the help of something greater than me. I call this the Divine, some may call this their Higher Self, Goddess, the Cosmos or simply Nature. Prayer or mantra is a way of offering up that which we can feel burdened by within the limits of our own ego consciousness, particularly when we just can’t see a way out.
A simple prayer to your Higher Self may be “Please take this from me, it feels to much for me to carry alone.” Ask for the strength, fortitude, courage and presence of mind that you might need in order to feel able to surrender. The ocean or the vastness of the night sky are beautiful places of inspiration where we may experience the presence of the divine. It can feel liberating and relieving to offer our hurts, losses, beliefs or betrayals to the vastness of the night sky and imagine them being absorbed by the dark, infinite void to perhaps be transformed into start dust. I wish you well on your journey of letting go.