Letting go of something or someone is one of the hardest things we have to do. And it is even harder when we don’t know how to say goodbye to that part of our lives. During the span of our lives, we meet many people, make many mistakes, and own many things.
Some of these people and things come into our lives for a season, and after that, we must learn to let them go even when it is hard. But of all the things, mistakes are the hardest to let go of. Our mistakes take up a huge chunk of space in our lives because we keep reminiscing about them. But no matter how small or large, letting go is always painful.
The Pain Of Letting Go
Letting go is never easy. It takes a lot of introspection and acceptance to just process the idea of saying goodbye to something or someone dear to us. Unfortunately, some people come with limited time in our lives and they must leave when their time is up. The pain that comes with this is regardless of whether we shared a great rapport with them or not. But letting go is an important part of our lives as it allows us to move forward.
Sometimes, it is our own issues that make it harder for us to say goodbye. Our fear of being alone, abandonment issues, and insecurities about dealing with loss are only a few of the many issues that can stop us from letting someone go from our lives.
These issues raise some serious questions about us and our emotional stability. Hence, we must dig deeper to find the answers to know what it is that makes it so difficult for us to let go. Even forgiving someone is an act of letting go. It is letting go of the hurt. So, we must see within ourselves to know what our ingrained issues are. If we know who we are and what our flaws are, we will be able to let go of things more easily.
4 Steps Of Letting Go
1. Understanding Emotions
If we are trying to let go of something or someone, then it means that they are done with their parts in our lives. This end will generally come with a flurry of emotions, most of which are going to be negative. We need to recognize each one of those feelings and understand why we are feeling that way.
The first step to understanding is accepting, whether it is shame, guilt, rage or pain.
We must accept all of them before we bid adieu. Once we have accepted our feelings, the next step is to focus on finding a solution.
2. Expressing Constructively
Acceptance is always followed by expression. However, it is important that we need to find a constructive outlet to express our feelings. Here are some of the ways we can allow that to happen.
- Emote Through Words: Writing down our thoughts can allow us to have an emotional catharsis. Maintaining a daily journal can help us to vent out our emotions through writing.
- Paint Your Heart Out: Painting can provide us with a free-flowing abstract outlet for our emotions as well.
- Healing Ears: Talking to a friend or a confidant can give us a sense of relief. Sometimes, a heart-to-heart conversation is all we need to feel good.
- Physical Expression: Physical activities like running, swimming, boxing, or cycling can also provide us with a physical outlet to vent out our emotional angst. So, opt for sports activity if physical expression is how you are comfortable expressing.
Every individual has a different way expressing his or her pain and angst. So, we must choose for ourselves an outlet that provides us with the perfect way to vent out. When expressing our deepest and darkest emotions, it is important that we don’t hurt ourselves and others.
3. Acknowledging And Forgiving
Acknowledging is the first step towards forgiving. So, we need to acknowledge the event and the reason that has led to the loss; whether it is death, breakup, misunderstanding, feud or simply moving cities. Unfortunately, death is inevitable. So, there is nothing we can do about it other than just accept and hold on to the memories of the those we have lost. But when it comes to reasons like a breakup, misunderstanding, or feud, we must own up to our mistakes.
Playing a victim can be comforting, but it always takes two to tango. So, we need to accept the part we played and practice forgiveness. We need to forgive ourselves and the others involved. Forgiveness will allow us to move on and let go of the pain.
4. Focusing On The Lesson
Replaying the mistakes we made over and over again in our minds will not change what happened in the past. We must find a way to make peace with our past. It is the only way we can find harmony in our present. So, we should try to focus on the lesson learned rather than obsessing over our past mistakes. We can learn a lesson from a terrible past experience by asking ourselves these two questions.
Was It In Our Control?
Firstly, we must ask ourselves if what happened was in our control at that moment or not. The answer to that will most likely be no. So, we need to accept that. And then we should ask ourselves if what we are thinking is in our control? Yes, it is. So, then we should focus on changing that.
Can We Put A Positive Spin On It?
Focusing on the good won’t be always a cakewalk as negative thoughts are bound to come once in a while. So, we must analyze them and try to put a positive spin on them. We can do that by changing the narrative of our thoughts.
For example, instead of thinking,’it was horrible of me to have done that’, we can spin it around to ‘I learned (my lesson) from that mistake’ instead.
Similarly, we can change the narrative of most of the situations by focusing on what that situation has taught us instead of how we could have avoided it. Thus, we can take those lessons to empower ourselves to let go of our terrible past, pain, and sometimes even people.
Letting go takes time and patience. So, we need to be kind to ourselves when we are trying to let go. A new world of possibilities opens up for us when we let go of the old barriers.
“One of the most courageous decisions you’ll ever make is to finally let go of what is hurting your heart and soul.- Brigitte Nicole”