Tuesday, June 10, 2014

On Letting Go


Letting Go

The hardest part of life for me has been learning to let go. I often give generously of my heart, feelings and spirit. Please pardon the cheesy cliche, but I wear my heart on my sleeve.  When I feel that the most valuable parts of me have been thrown away or disrespected, I have a hard time moving past it.  
I have come to learn that sometimes not doing anything does more to heal a situation than over-reacting or demanding a resolution. You just have to drop the rock.

Letting go may be more of a selfish act than you would think. It is an act of forgiveness — or a decision to not become the judge and juror — and to let people off the the hook. In forgiving we free ourselves to work on and experience what matters, the people in front of us that really matter. 
Of course, the alternative is walking around holding grudges and/or worrying and essentially drinking poison expecting the other person to feel the pain. It’s the equivalent of renting space in your head to things you can’t control.  This type of mental energy is really unproductive, and something that I think impedes your ability to move forward and really let go of what that person meant in your life.  

The Big 3!

In my life there have been 3 big things that have begged for me to let go.  Interestingly enough they are all different in nature.  One was a relationship that left me feeling little, used and thrown away. The next was the loss of a circumstance or opportunity that had meant .  The last was a result of a death.  All 3 have a common theme; I was left feeling hurt, angry and resentful.  

My pattern of dealing with this type of grief is to push it away and harbour the negative associations internally.  Typically, I will end all attachment, tidy up all the positive memories in a neat little box in my head and never look back.  I have come to realize in the past few weeks how toxic this can be. In the end, the other parties are not hurting, it is just me left grieving. And thus, began my journey of letting go.  

As part of the challenge to myself, I wrote out my grievances, and then tried to look at it from the other persons’ perspectives. While I may not agree with their actions, I could see they were simply acting in self interest, rationalizations and justifications. No one thinks they are actually doing wrong, usually.
This is important. If someone doesn’t think they have done wrong, they won’t apologize or rectify a situation. Part of letting go, is truly being content with never getting the apology you think you deserve. See most people hold grudges because they are waiting for the other party to acknowledge and correct a wrong. The expectation of an amends is likely to remain unfulfilled, creating an ongoing pattern of negative resentment. I become a prisoner of my own angst.

The low probability of receiving an amends makes it critical to let go of small and big issues alike. Letting go has allowed me to be free. In the case of “The Big 3”, I was able to see why these people acted, and why the situation occurred and I decided to let them off the hook. That doesn’t mean I endorse their actions, it just means that their negative projections no longer have a place in my head nor heart. By letting go, I was able to free myself of resentment. I could focus on what mattered; the people and opportunities in my life today. The long and short of it is to cut the bullshit.   

The most profound thing that has happened as a result of forgiving and letting go has been the space that has been freed up in my head and heart.  It was as if a huge burden had been lifted.  I can now clearly see the beauty that exists in my life.  My heart is not consumed by grief and hurt.  It.  Is.  Liberating!

1 comment:

Shantel Lewis said...

Absolutely inspiring :) Beautiful Nat!