Have you ever had that experience where you’re so caught up in an argument and someone tells you to just ‘let it go’? Grrrr. I gotta tell you, this really grates my nerves!
I read a lot in the personal development world about ‘letting go’ and ‘surrendering’ to the thoughts holding us back. And I’m not going to lie, sometimes when I listen to people say “just let the thought go…” I feel this intense frustration and annoyance. This wave of hot emotion passes over me and I want to throw a little tantrum. I want to scream and shout “Yea, great, but HOW the f**k do you DO this?”.
Usually (for me anyhow) in the moments of intense emotion there’s a battle going on inside me. For someone who considers herself not that competitive, there sure is a lot of defensiveness that kicks in. So, you can see how the thought of just ‘letting it go’ causes me some grief.
I also know that when I stay in that defensive battle there’s an inevitable pattern that starts to play out. And it usually peaks in immense pain before ever so gradually fading and turning back to my starting state.
I actually do totally get what ‘they’re’ saying when they say ‘let it go’. It’s about returning to that starting state faster. Not getting stuck in the angst and immense pain. And from that release, that calmness, I also know that I’m in a MUCH better place, for making clearer, all round better decisions about my life.
So, I’ve been testing it out. You know, this whole ‘surrender’ thing. It’s early days and there’s still some pain. And I can also see the light, the reason for persisting. The fog is starting to clear and I’m slowly aware that I can come alive again much faster…
I can’t say I’ve been given the ‘how’ or even know what I’m doing at times. I do know I’m coming up with lots of different thoughts and perspectives. I’m also definitely more receptive to considering alternate responses.
Here’s what I have tried:
- I listened to this beautiful interview by Oprah Winfrey with Thich Nhat Hanh. His words of wisdom touched me in so many ways, on how to bring more love and compassion to your life and to others. In particular he described four mantras you can use in your life to bring happiness:
“Darling, I’m here for you.”
“Darling, I know you are there and I am so happy.”
“Darling, I know you’re suffering. That is why I am here for you.”
“Darling, I suffer. I am trying my best to practice. Please help me.”
I have tried the first one a few times and will be continuing to embed the others as they sounded so incredibly opening and freeing when he said them. It has certainly felt incredibly loving and compassionate when I’ve said the words out loud: “Darling, I’m here for you”.
- When I’ve noticed those frustration points I’ve literally said out loud to myself: “Let it go. Let it go. Let it go”. I breathe deeply as I say the words. (Over and over again until the intensity of the emotion starts to fade).
- If the intensity is still pretty high, I’ve also been trying the ‘walk away’ approach and then coming back to the task or situation at hand. This has meant at times walking away from a conversation and saying “I just need a little bit of time for myself”, to walking away from my desk when feeling stuck and doing something else – as simple as making a cup of tea or walking around my flat! When I then return, the emotion has shifted and I have much more clarity over what is most needed.
- My own personal mantras: I am enough. I am worthy of… (whatever I need most in that moment). I say this out loud or repeat them in my head in that moment. I also love “It’s all going to be OK”. Such relief!
These are all simple ways I’ve been adopting a letting go principle in my life, all so I can let in more. I’ve been feeling like it’s a stretchy rubber band. At first it’s felt tight and hasn’t gone too far. Over time it’s become more flexible and I’ve been able to flex myself into more of the options. I’ve been dancing with both a gentle flow in life and the fears that show up. And I’m feeling more energised and encouraged by the thoughts of letting it go. I’m getting on a deeper level what this means for me and the ‘how’ is slowly, slowly presenting itself.
How does ‘letting go’ feel for you in your life? Is there something you’ve been resisting? What would happen if you chose to breathe through? Or asked yourself, what’s this really about?
Read something you just loved in this post today? Feel a little more human knowing it’s okay to feel a little “Gggrrrr” sometimes? Perhaps one of your friends or loved ones would love it too! Share the love below.