Ever so often when we discuss our concerns, challenges, or problems with friends, we may hear “just let it go” as a way to “move on” and leave the past behind.
While this is great advice, do we really understand what “letting go” means and what is required of us to reach a state of true relief and liberation?
Perhaps reflecting on what “letting it go” does not mean, will guide us to the awareness of what it really means.
Letting it go does not mean we “just put it behind us”.
It does not mean we simply suppress the feelings associated with whatever pained us, made us anxious, or brought about unmanageable stress and caused distress.
Letting it go does not mean we just utter the words, and our fear, disappointment or self-doubt magically disappear.
Letting it go does not mean we confidently say we let it go and whenever we are triggered again, we realise with disappointment, we have been carrying it with us all along.
It does not mean we replace our unwanted emotions with something new, exciting, or different.
Letting it go does not mean we start thinking positively and all will be well.
Letting it go does not mean we deny our feelings, ignore our feelings, or never think about what happened again.
So, how do we let go? The answer is, through awareness and acceptance.
Become aware of any resistance you have towards what happened. Are you still asking a plethora of questions why it happened in an attempt to find answers? Are you still trying to figure out how things could have been different? Are you still convinced that you should have done something different? Are you still having an emotional reaction when you recall the event the conversation or the incident? If so, you are still resisting what already happened. You are resisting what happened even though there is nothing at all you can do to change what already happened. This is resistance and resistance are an obstacle to you letting it go.
Become aware of what you feel when you think about what happened – do you feel guilt, shame, inferiority, do you highlight all the perceived shortcomings within yourself, do you feel angry, fearful, anxious, frustrated? Acknowledge what you feel and know that it’s okay!
BE. Be for a moment. Just BE with your thoughts, your feelings and yourself! Then, accept it happened. Accept what is.
Acceptance does not change what was and it certainly does not mean what happened was great. Death. Illness. Disease. Disaster. Suffering. Poverty. Hunger. Abuse. None of these are anything we wish on anyone. We may never know the answers why something happened, we may not like what happened in the past.
It is with the utmost compassion and care that I can say if something happened in your past, it happened, and there is absolutely no way we can change what happened.
Stop resisting what happened. Accept it happened. Be kind to yourself, love yourself enough to accept what was, and accept what is.
Only when we truly accept, we will find peace, liberation, and relief.
Let it go. Allow yourself to discover peace through acceptance. Love yourself enough to receive the gift peace.