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Is “letting go” hindering us from ultimately healing?
I am repeatedly told to let go of my feelings toward someone or something. I’ve always been the type of person to “talk it out.” If a friend is mad for some reason and stops talking to me, it never resolves anything. I don’t learn how I can improve myself as a person, and I end up analyzing the situation into something more than it is.
We know that holding a grudge is far from letting something go. But is simply letting it go like a flower child actually a form of self-denial?
We have a part in every situation that goes sour. Maybe the other person was wrong. Perhaps they were selfish, even though they accused us of being the same. That means that we should be warier of the types of people we bring into our lives. Or worse, it means that we need a good, old reality check on how we treat others.
I once had a friend who I felt I had to appease constantly. I helped her with nearly every aspect of her life. If it came to a day that I had to focus on myself, she felt that I was making an excuse. After years of a friendship where I was always walking on eggshells, I got a nasty “Stay away” text, and that was it. Do I try to get answers, do I hold a grudge forever, or do I just let this go?
There were a lot of faults on both sides, but I’d say if I just let it go without delving in and trying to better myself, I would be doing myself an injustice. Let’s be honest. That isn’t going to be the last time I have an unusual breakup with a friend.
Let go of having a long-lasting grudge on a person.
This is about the only thing we should freely let go of. Holding a grudge is only hurting ourselves. Every time we view someone with anger and try to wipe them away as if they don’t exist, we are only hurting our own souls. That person still exists. If we begin to think that we are going to keep them from moving forward in life, we aren’t in touch with reality. The grudge we are holding isn’t affecting them from succeeding. It is only affecting us from becoming a better person. I used to be vindictive until I was matched with the same hostile behavior back. It was a shame it took me until that moment to realize that this type of behavior was petty, strenuous, and held us back from maturity.
We must look at our own behavior.
I feel that sometimes when people let things go, they are assuming the other person is totally in the wrong. It’s easier to let go of a situation if we feel like it’s not our fault. It is imperative that we look at our hand in the situation. People don’t just get mad at others for existing. There’s usually something we did to cause a disturbance in the first place.
We must acknowledge the types of people we surround ourselves with.
When I was going into some of the darkest moments of my life, I would start giving more to those around me. Focusing on someone else rather than myself became a coping mechanism. It is no surprise to me that these times in my life resulted in me being taken advantage of. We can only let people take as much as we give them. People aren’t wrong for taking something that we offer to them, but we must realize the difference between those who are only out for themselves and those who want to form a genuine bond through friendship or relationships.
We must not give advice until we start taking our own.
We all like believing that we were the right ones in the situation. The truth is that most of the time, we are not. Instead of getting on our high horses and advising people on how they should react to their own friendships, we must take a deep breath and acknowledge our own. Acknowledge that everyone functions differently with each other. Let’s recognize that we are not gurus, and we are all learning something every step of the way. Acknowledge that there’s something weirdly beautiful about having a fallout. Imperfection is natural, and these types of happenings often bring us closer to where we really should be in the grand scheme of things.
Some things are better off unsaid, but it doesn’t mean that we should let them go.
I am one who is all about confrontation, and I realize most people don’t function like that. It’s a quality that keeps my loving relationships, but it always hinders my other ones. I’m learning that sometimes endings are better without a six-page essay. Just because things are unsaid, it doesn’t mean that nothing happened. Don’t let it go, because that person never confronted us. If something is unspoken, we must use that time to heal ourselves, because that other person’s silence isn’t healing us. And frankly, neither would any bitter words they said—that might lead us to resentment.
Stop calling other people toxic.
I can admit that I have done this in the past. It took a lot of time for me to realize that someone cannot make me feel a certain way, and if they do, it doesn’t mean that they are toxic. We have control over our own feelings. If we are feeling a certain way, instead of blaming someone else, we have the power to understand where those feelings are coming from. There may be levels of insecurities that we have to work on within ourselves. Once we are utterly secure in ourselves, we will be free of ever blaming someone else for feelings that they never had control of in the first place.
I’ve been using the pronoun we throughout this article because I do not want to exclude myself from any of the above. I am continually learning and improving myself as a human, and I do not believe that I have any right to advise readers as if I have wholly and truly figured it out.
We must ask ourselves next time we want to let something go if we are denying ourselves of truly bettering ourselves. It won’t help us to let it go and keep falling into the same trap over and over. It takes courage to look at ourselves and admit our wrongdoings, and until we do these things, we will never truly be free.
“What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think, or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?” ~ Brené Brown