Being a blogger is great practice for learning to let things go in life.
I’m frequently bombarded with difficult and sometimes what feels like unfair criticism—much like life.
I remember hearing that if you meet 500 people, you’ll hear 500 opinions of you. This is so true. I’d love to add that the only one that matters is your own, but I won’t, and for a couple reasons.
One of those reasons is that, sure, it’s often best and healthiest to let terrible feedback about yourself go. However, listening to others can be beneficial if you don’t let it hinder or deter you from your journey towards happiness.
On the other hand, this is also the other reason I won’t frankly say that your opinion is the only one that matters, because if how we are perceived didn’t matter so much than it wouldn’t be so hard to let go of painful critiques in the first place (and you wouldn’t have clicked on this article).
So here are a few ideas on how to let uncomfortable words or experiences go.
1. Think about the other person’s perspective. Yes, you can’t go inside someone else’s head, and yes, you shouldn’t waste much time (if any) trying. Still, trying to understand where another person was coming from helps to not take things personally (which inspires attachment). Example: I came home from class and was excited to share a thought with my husband who wasn’t appearing very receptive. When I asked him about this, he said he simply wasn’t feeling well, but he did want to hear what I had to say (and he added to stop internalizing so much). Okay, lesson learned.
2. Feel it. I think one of the worst things we can do (or one of the best, if you want to have a hard time letting go of stale emotions), is to not feel what we’re really feeling. I tend to get angry, and I can easily hold onto that anger for longer than I even want to admit if I don’t get in touch with the underlying feeling behind that anger (because, in my humble opinion, anger is always a secondary emotion). Allow yourself to feel what you are really feeling—pain, hurt, grief, etc.—so that you can face these emotions and then release them more naturally.
3. Do something else. For me, I get easily stuck in my head—very monkey mind-ish. Often the thing I really need to do the most in order to let something go mentally (like a thought that just keeps revolving around, polluting my thoughts and making my inner self a toxic environment) is to do something else. I know it sounds too easy, but it actually really works. Exercise, watch a movie that you can really get into, or (my favorite) get outside. Nature itself is very cleansing. Change your scenery to facilitate change within your thought patterns.
4. Admit you need help. Having said that, anyone who’s moved a lot knows that your burdens and baggage come along for any ride. If your issue is something stronger than a little mental obsession you need to let go of (see #3), then you definitely need to own that and deal with your dilemma. If it’s a constant, reoccurring problem like tension with a prominent family member or trauma from a past event, then seek professional help. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, especially if you feel stuck in a rut you can’t seem to move out of.
5. Write. So you’re not quite ready to open up to someone in a professional setting, and your friends are sick of hearing you talk about your problems over and over again (especially if it’s the same problem). I strongly ask you to revisit tip #4 and ask yourself why you have difficulty seeking outside help, but I also suggest (honest) journaling. Journal writing (or blogging, if you really adore writing) can be very cathartic. Writing out your thoughts and feelings can help connect you with new ideas and ways of looking at something that you don’t fully recognize until you’re working through it on paper (or computer).
I think I’ll leave this article here for the time being. Five ways to work through seemingly overwhelming problems can seem like an underwhelming number of solutions, but when really practiced and sincerely delved into, these suggestions all take time, practice and patience. In other words, if they seem too easy to work, then you haven’t tried them yet.
Until next time, good luck. I think if you’re reading this in the first place, you’re wanting to deal with your attachment issues—and that’s certainly step one on your journey towards success.
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Ed: Brianna Bemel