It can be tough letting go there's no two ways about it. And, I'm the first to admit it's something I had trouble with in my younger years. As I've gotten older however, I've learned that I only hurt myself by holding on and wishing things were different to what they actually are.
Letting go is a process; a process that I has been easier when I have found the courage to face the reality of the situation. So often in the past I desperately wanted things to be a certain way and when they weren't, I'd dig my heals in and hold on tight. This of course only exacerbated the problem, and caused me a tremendous amount of pain and anguish. Another thing I have realised about letting go is that it doesn't have to be packed with bitterness and anger. In fact letting go with love, no matter what the circumstances, has always left me feeling good inside. Sending love to whatever I'm releasing helps me to remember the good times, be realistic about what no longer serves me and be open to the new. If only I could have done this many years a go. My relationships would have been easier and I would have saved myself from insurmountable suffering that lingered for so long. That is the essence of life though isn't it? Life is about learning; it's about growing at the pace that allows us to open ourselves up bit by bit. It's about learning who we really are and discovering what works for us and what does not. For me, letting go comes when I have processed my feelings about the situation, event or relationship. As the say goes, the only way out is through, and this I have proven for myself many, many times. Until I process the feelings, whether that be expressing my anger or frustration, and sadness I cannot get to the stage of acceptance. The other thing that helps me during the process of letting go, is being brutally honest. It takes looking at the situation, examining it and identifying what is more often than not a chain of events and my feelings in reaction to those events. Once I can connect these dots, I can be honest with myself about how I really feel, and honest about what is and is not good for me. And, how do I practically work through my feelings? I journal, walk (run if I have the energy to jog a power pole or two), work out, write a letter to the person involved (and either send it or not), have counselling if need be, scream in my car (nobody knows you're not singing do they), thump a pillow or mattress; whatever you do, get the energy of the anger and frustration out. Often the anger comes first for me, then the sadness and with the latter, crying is so cleansing. If you can sob from the core of your being you are truly connecting with deep, deep grief. At times this working through will take a short time, maybe hours or days, other times weeks or even months. I find the key is remaining aware of my feelings so I can go into the emotion when it arises and fully feel it. This is the way I get through. This is how I let go. With letting go comes acceptance of what is, and with acceptance, comes peace. And for me, that peace helps me connect with my inner knowing that I am doing the right thing; that I am doing what is best for me. When I have worked through something difficult and let it go, I often feel a sense of newness; of somehow being different without being able to pinpoint a physical change. For me this results from making a shift deep within myself. Sometimes I will feel very tired as well; emotionally drained, not only from being in touch with my grief. This soon passes. Life is full of amazing opportunities, wonderful people and incredible experiences. Learning not only to understand this, but to really feel it, and live it, has been key for me. Realising that when one door closes, another one does open. When something is not right for you, be honest with yourself and let it go. You will have other opportunities. You will love again. And you will experience joy again. Trust the process, God, the Universe or whatever it is for you. With love,