“Accept what comes to you totally and completely so that you can appreciate it, learn from it, and then let it go.” -Deepak Chopra
“Let it go”, a popular saying related to getting over something or not engaging. This can cause a shift in happiness if we can continually remember this as we flow through life. Letting go, though, may be a challenge if what we are trying to let go brings about negative or painful feelings. We convince ourselves that our emotions and feelings are not relevant once the situation that brought them about is no longer relevant. In fact, emotions that are not addressed only make new experiences harder to experience. Here is a simple 4 step guide to fully letting go and healing self.
Recognize the situation and its components: how you feel physiologically & emotionally. What is the emotion that’s causing the feeling? Label it, and accept that it is there and in your face.
Example: I feel weird right now, my body is starting to become stiff, my hands clammy, my heart racing, my breath shallow, why? I ask myself. I am aware that something is making me feel anxious due to feelings of anger, but what? I accept the feeling when I explore it deeper.
Once the emotions are labeled and accepted, they can then be analyzed. Reflecting on thoughts, triggers, reactions, and intensity, to help figure out why I was feeling that way.
Example: I am in the library and a random person comes over and starts talking to me and I start feeling these unpleasant feelings.The person tells me that I was sitting in a reserved area but the approach and tone of the comment was degrading and rude. As I was attempting to communicate with this person, trying to figure out what area, why its reserved, and who that person was, I was furious. As soon as I started to feel my body react physiologically I walked away, not even finishing the conversation. I walked outside to really analyze. Why did this person have the power to work me up? I thought about any other times I’ve been treated that way.
Learn the Lesson/Receive The Message
The message will give an understanding of the situation; it teaches the lesson. Everything we encounter has meaning. Being aware and conscious of what is going on will help to reveal information about ourselves and/or others that could be significant to our growth. Messages are interpreted through the perspective of the receiver. Whatever I need at the moment, new skills or how to hone old skills, motivation, or learning how to evaluate a situation, is what I will receive from the event that I am engaging in.
Example: As I analyzed the situation I noticed that I feel this way when I feel attacked or powerless. I realized that there may be other factors present such as education level of the person or the mood they are in. It could be that I associate that tone of talk with when I was a kid and my parents used to scold and shame me. I know I must look at the situation from an observational stance and objectively. It is a way to learn how to be open, compassionate, and understanding.
Let It Go
When the lesson is learned it can help us accept it and make any changes needed to relieve discomforts, such as confronting someone, or getting therapy, or knowing when to be humble and compassionate. It is easier to let go when we know what we are letting go and why.When we know and accept that the feeling arises in certain situations, or with specific people, we can be mindful in the future to be aware and prepared to maybe feel unpleasant, receive a message, and be closer to resolution. The emotion cannot be ignored or else the sensations or feelings associated with that emotion will intensify the next time it is felt.
Example: If I am in another situation and someone talks down to me, I will reassure myself that it is not a reflection of who I am but a result of circumstances. If I do not accept this feeling and its components, the next time someone talks down to me may trigger me to react and lash out. If I accept the feeling and components and understand why those feelings are present I can let it go.
Accept, Analyze, Learn, & Let Go!
Whether it be fear, anxiety, hurt, hate, anger, envy, jealously, people, places, things, etc., letting go will move you closer to your true self and closer to peace & happiness.