Letting go are two simple words. The ability to let go, however, is often not simple. It involves much more than just saying you have let go. Letting go is an internal process that must happen for you to truly feel better and get on with life in a healthy way.
"Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go." Herman Hesse
To let go of past hurts, you need to make the conscious decision to take control of the situation by focussing on what you can control, which includes these following steps:
- Make a commitment to "letting it go" - It involves accepting you have a choice to let it go, knowing that releasing anything in your life that is disrupting your happiness, is the best way forward. This initial step is often empowering, knowing that it is your choice to either hold on to the pain or to live a future life without it.
- Distance yourself for a while - Sometimes you need to take a step back, and create some distance, in order to gain the much needed clarity on a situation. You might choose to remove the distance you have created in time, and that is okay too.
- Taking ownership for the way you feel - In every moment of life you have a choice about how you feel. You might choose to continue to feel bad about another person’s actions, or you might choose to start the shift towards feeling good. Your own happiness is in your hands therefore you need to take whatever steps are required to find your happy place. This might involve expressing the pain and hurt you have felt whether that be direct with the person/s involved, talking with someone else or writing your thoughts and feelings down.
- Reflect on what you have learned from the experience - We don’t live in a black and white world, even when sometimes it feels like we do or wish we did. Seeking to understand different perspectives of a situation, exploring what you could have done differently and what you will choose to take out of the experience, are all steps that will assist you in the process of "letting go".
- Focussing on the present - Choose to let go of the past, after all the present is all we have. Also, choose to stop reliving it through retelling the story to yourself, over and over in your own mind, or sharing it with others. We can’t undo the past and what happens in the future isn’t here yet, therefore, choose to focus on the here and now. You will find over time the past memories that consumed your consciousness will diminish and the power they have over how you feel will also change for the better.
- Practice forgiveness - Forgive yourself and any others that were involved in the situation. Forgiveness isn’t saying, “I agree with what happened or what someone did.” Instead, it’s accepting what has happened and choosing to truly let go so that you can live a life with peace and happiness. A choice to not forgive is a decision to hold onto the painful past. The only way you can accept new joy and happiness into your life is to make space for it and that means letting go of the pain and hurt you are experiencing.
"One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you cannot change." Unknown
If you want to change, if you want to let go and move on with your life, you’re the only person who can make that happen. Letting go takes time, practice and work. Be kind to yourself as you heal. To support your healing, stay in the present and practice gratitude on a daily basis. You will get through this…