The Art of Letting Stuff Go
Not everything is butterfly and rainbows.
Relationships end, friends fight, people get fired...all of those situations suck, and we all tend to react differently. Whether it be crying, sleeping, exercising, lashing out or raging (who knows, maybe even all of those at the same time), it’s important to realize that when bad stuff happens, we need to let it flow through us.
Let’s face it. If we don’t take time to process heartbreak, half of what we will do in response will be out of spite. For example: you call it quits with your boyfriend, and then all of a sudden, you get a great body, but not because you want to be healthy. You want revenge.
All in all, we need to eventually let go of resentment and anger. Holding on to a grudge is dead weight. The preoccupation and obsession with vengeance interrupts the flow of the Universe, which means you let opportunities pass you by.
But how do we let go? It is a personal development. A lot of people say “forgive and forget”, and while that is sweet, many of us do not have Alzheimer’s disease, so that advice doesn’t work 100% of the time. There is a grieving process that we need to undergo before we can move on.
Here are some tactics that have worked for me in past situations. These are unique to me as a person, so they may not work for everyone, but I hope that you can take some inspiration from them and develop your own list to pull from in times of need:
Accept responsibility and apologize
This is the hardest one. There are times where we don’t think we did anything wrong; we think that it’s the other person’s fault. Or maybe we play the martyr and take on the full blame. But it takes two to tango, so figure out what part of the situation you are responsible for and apologize to the other person.
Being open to communication
Bring in a mediator. A third-party can give non-biased insight on things that one or both of you may have missed in the heat of the moment. However, I don’t suggest involving a friend or a person familiar to you stand in this role. You want someone with an objective point of view; who can see the event(s) from the outside, looking in.
Release your emotions
Talk to someone. Scream into a pillow. Write about it and burn the paper. Paint a picture. Once you found what outlet works for you (and it could be more than one), do it over and over again until you feel better. Remember, this is a process and your emotions will not become steady overnight, so keep a list of activities close-by and indulge when needed.
Don’t give up power.
If the other person says they are sorry, do not say “it’s OK”. Say, “Thank you, I accept your apology.” Giving away power is only going to make you feel worse, so remove those two words from your vocabulary, especially when discussing the situation at hand.
I have learned that nothing is clean cut, linear or easy in this world, so that is what makes the “letting go” process a difficult one to navigate. It is my hope that this episode has given you comfort in knowing that it’s ok to not only mourn the loss of something that once was, but learn from it, because it happened for a reason, even if you don’t know what that reason is yet.