Saturday, September 13, 2014

Letting go

Holding on either emotionally or physically takes energy. It does not matter what we are holding on to, we could be holding on to a relationship, job, or material possessions, it all takes energy.

If you are holding on to something you can't reach or it is out or grasp anything new becomes a problem.

There are many, many reasons why we don't let go. Sometimes it means facing our grief or other challenging emotions. For example, we might not want to let go of a relationship because then we would have to face our fear of being lonely. On the other hand, we might not want to let go of a job because we would feel worried about money.

If you are interested in letting go and or moving on with your life, it is helpful to identify the emotions that may be holding you back. Here's a sentence completion exercise that will help you identify what emotion is holding you back. Finish this sentence with the first thing that comes to mind.

"If I let go of (fill in your situation) I'd have to face _________________ for now

Once you have identified the reason, which could be physical, emotional, spiritual, or financial  that is holding things up, image letting go and the consequences of that act. Just for now. Using the above illustration, the person who is worried about-facing their loneliness could practice saying, "I let go of my worry about feeling lonely. For now."

I use the phrase 'for now' because we can only work with ourselves in the present tense.

Remember that life is about change. Summer isn't a failure because Fallis here. Change is the natural rhythm of things.

Here is a technique you will find helpful. Write a phrase or few sentences about something you would like to change. For example: "This situation at work" or "My feelings about X." 

Once you have written what you want to change down, you know have power over the item. You can keep it or you can tear it up or throw the paper away. 

You are in control of the paper, and if you accept that fact, you may realize that you are in control of the actual situation. You can keep it or you can let it go, the choice is yours.

Another thing that will help you let go is to do it in stages. 

Start with a little, then work up to something larger. Like any muscle, letting go is a skill that gets easier with practice. I find this particularly helpful with thoughts and emotions that I need to release. I'll just ask myself to let go for an hour. Or an afternoon. Or a day... Baby steps. 

Do you know if you change the direction of an airplane by just one degree, it will arrive in a whole different country? Small works.

Lastly, reframe the idea of letting go and think of it instead as moving things along. 

Moving things along is being in the natural flow of life and it involves releasing so the new can come in. 

Do not fear the change, embrace it and remember that you are in control of the process and the consequences of your action will be positive.

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