When I talk to people about letting go of something that is causing them pain, there is always so much tension that fills the air. It is usually upon discussing something that has happened in their past- something that is clearly not happening anymore, however they are choosing to continue to suffer long after the situation has ended. Or, it can be something that is occurring presently that they need to let go of, but feel they cannot. Being in resistance to letting go is usually a reflection of an inner power struggle and a need to control. Let’s explore this idea.
We all know how painful it is to hold on to something that isn’t working out, or something that is unhealthy. When our minds are firmly wrapped around a desire, our peace of mind is attacked by the obsessive need to control the outcome. Our source of suffering is usually related to resisting what is actually happening, what has already happened, or what we are afraid will come to pass, instead of accepting what IS. This includes resisting our own emotions and natural reactions. Resistance to letting go is resistance to peace and causes a myriad of health issues. It takes a tremendous amount of faith to abandon our need to control for the sake of our own inner peace. It means letting go of how we think things should be and accepting them as they are.
However, there is always a payoff to holding onto your past, or a negative situation or you wouldn’t be doing it. For instance, how many people can you control by using the wounds of your past to manipulate how they are allowed to treat you now? Do people walk on eggshells around you? Are you staying in an unhealthy situation because you are determined change it? Do you allow someone to mistreat you so that you can manipulate them with guilt later? There is always something we benefit from by making and keeping our sob stories and staying in unhealthy patterns. In order to let go of something, you might want to explore why you hold onto it. And don’t give me the whole, “Oh, I needed to learn a lesson” crap. You can learn from a situation the moment it happens, you don’t need to hold onto anything that would cause you pain to learn from it. That’s like saying you need to stand in the fire for a long time before you understand it burns. Just admit that by holding on to someone or something that has caused you pain, the sick part of you is getting something out of it.
Surrendering your attachment to anything that causes you pain doesn’t mean throwing your hands in the air and no longer caring. It means that you pay close attention to your intuition so you can act on wisdom, rather than neediness or dependency. Every time you surrender expectations and control, you open up to grater possibilities.
Acceptance of a person or situation doesn't mean that you’re okay or agree with them. But by accepting what IS, you become solution oriented. Becoming solution oriented is much more productive than dwelling on what “should” be happening or what “should” have happened. Remember, anytime you “should” on anything, you’re putting your focus on the problem instead of a solution. Doing that will not give you clarity. I tell clients all the time to get rid of the word “should”, as it only keeps you from moving forward and letting go.
Think about it. How would your life change if you were as good at surrendering as you are at trying to control everything and everyone around you? What do you need to do differently to let go? Here are some examples:
· Instead of harassing your child about cleaning their room, or before you become resentful and uptight with your beloved over what you think they “should” be doing or how they “should” be acting, get yourself centered and let go of your need to control. Ask what kind of relationships you would have with people if you quit “shoulding” on them and just accepted who they are. People are much more apt to cooperate with you when you approach them with acceptance and a non controlling attitude. My kids love to help me clean when I’m cheerful, encouraging, and coming from a space of acceptance rather than focusing on what I don’t like (resistance).
· Realize that your past becomes a story to which you victimize yourself presently with and that there is a sick self-abusive payoff in doing so. Before you continue to bring more pain into your life by dwelling on your past, ask yourself who you would be without your sob story. How differently would you react to life, or what decisions would you make differently if you were no longer the person from your past?
· Rather than making “one more phone call” to the person considering you for a position, hold back and take a deep breath. Allow them to respond to you authentically, rather than reacting to your need to control.
· Anytime you feel the need to control, you will feel resistance and pain. Say a prayer and let it go. Make your desires and expectations clear then allow yourself to receive guidance and direction.
So many people pray to be liberated from their pain and turmoil, and yet they resist taking guided steps towards letting it go. Heaven always hears your prayers, and is ever guiding you forward. However, Heaven cannot do the work for you. Acceptance of what is, and the willingness to surrender your need to control definitely helps in letting go. When you’re able to put faith instead of fear into your past and future, you make space for clarity and peace. As the famous AA saying goes, “Let go and Let God.”
Clarity is power. You deserve to live a life of grace and ease and you can do that by making powerful decisions based on clarity. To learn more, visit www.clarityistheway.com