Letting Go…

by Jim on September 27, 2012


Letting Go is a common term. “Oh, just let it go!” or “Oh my God! Will you just let it go?!” or “I just wish I could let it go.” But the thing is, how do I let something go? And for that matter, what happens when I let go of something? What is it that I want to happen? After I’ve let go, what happens? How would someone else know that I’ve let something actually go? In my body, in my thoughts, in my heart, in my actions…what happens?

What I’m offering here is that letting go of something isn’t necessarily that easy.

From a “macho” or “masculine” perspective, I’m just supposed to get over it. From a “feminine” perspective, I’m supposed to move on. From a “new thought” spirituality, I’m supposed to use affirmative prayer, and only see the metaphysical truth. In Christianity I’m supposed to pray and ask what Jesus would do.

But the thing is, none of these really work in getting over what it is that we say that we need to get over. So, what’s the answer?

The way that I know when I’m done with something, that I’ve genuinely let something go, is that I will not have any energy on that person or thing when I know and experienced that I used to have energy on them.

EXAMPLE (remember, I speak in ownership language using “I” so this isn’t necessarily about me): I was in a relationship for 12 years, which was “good” for the first 7, but since then, it was rocky, distant, dull…insert your experience here. Finally, my partner and I decided that we were both freaking done. It was a bad break up. Lawyers were involved, questions of who got the kids, who got the dog, and who got the freaking plants. It was messy, it had collateral damage affecting others. End relationship.

It’s now 5 years after the breakup. I’m walking into a Starbucks. Right at that same moment, my ex partner walks in, too. “Hey.” “Hey.” We both exchange pleasantries, we’re both amicable, I get my coffee and go. As I leave, I’m thinking of the next thing that I have to do that day, the next thing on my agenda, then I realize…I’m not thinking about my partner…I’m not pissed…I’m not thinking about things that I could have said or that I wanted to have said. Later that evening, again, I’m not thinking of them, I’m thinking of my meditation or the errands that I have to take care of…you see, I have no energy on my ex partner, the situation, no energy on anything. This is what I mean by “energy,” I have no thoughts, no bad feelings, my body isn’t trembling, nothing, nada. I’ve let it go.

How did I do it? The first thing I recommend to just about everyone (client’s, friends, strangers), is to breathe. Take a deep inhale, and just let the body naturally release the exhale. Deep, filling inhale, feeling the lungs fill and shoulders raise…then allow the body to just let the air out, the shoulders drop just naturally. Don’t blow out the exhale, I’m not talking about a yogic breath, just let the body do it’s job and let it out.

The second thing I do to let something go is to acknowledge, recognize, accept, and feel all the feelings, all the emotions that I’m experiencing regarding the person or situation. That might freak you out…What? Feel what I’M FEELING?? Yeah, well, you get to feel. And no, you won’t cry forever. And no, you won’t kill anyone with your rage. (Rules of anger expression are not to hurt self, other, property, and I’ll post on that later).

It’s important to find a place and people that can help create a space for you to safely express your feelings. Yep, this absolutely could include seeing a therapist. It could include meditation, exercise, talking with god, talking with the parts of you that are feeling the way they feel (I’ll talk more on how to do this and how to use compassionate self talk in a later post, too).

You see, if my belief is tied to an emotion, I can use all the positive affirmations in the world, but the emotional energy is still there. Once the emotional energy is released, it frees up my consciousness to bring in more peace, more peace of mind. Emotions are vital to our human experience, and like them or not, they help us learn and grow…if we use them as guideposts (which they are)…we can learn boatloads about ourselves, our values, etc…

Once the emotional energy is released, then I can start embodying that affirmation, then I can start embodying the truth about me (that I’m whole/complete/okay), not the lies that I used to tell myself. Then I’m going to be able to be in peace.

That’s how I recommend letting go…it’s not the only way of course, but I believe it’s pretty sound.



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