What a long, arduous process it is to sincerely let go.
Our intentions may be good, and our desire strong.
We may not even realize that we are in denial because we have subscribed to the belief that we are fine. We are doing well. Nothing to be upset about here. Life is good.
Then, in an instant, sadness flares like a chronic illness that was dormant for months. The pain seizes our heart and the despair overcomes us.
It may last for a minute, an hour, a week—or more. It may rise and set like the morning sun, slowly and deliberately, taking it’s time. Or it may take you by surprise like a tornado that touches down and devastates your world in a matter of seconds.
Maybe you are surviving the death of a loved one, trying to find the strength to go on. You may be suffering a divorce or separation from a partner who was an integral part of your life. Maybe you parted ways with a friend, or were let go from your job. Maybe you lost a pet, or are estranged from your family.
All require the ability to let go.
But letting go is not an action. It is not something we wake up and decide to do—even if we imagine that we have that ability and self-discipline. Believe me, I’ve tried and failed time and time again.
“Today is the day. Once I move past this, I’ll be done. I won’t think about it ever again after tomorrow. If this doesn’t happen by tonight, I’m moving on.” Then the moment passes and you’re still carrying the obsession. It’s like a hostage negotiation—with yourself. Demands, promises, desperate hope, mental battles. Who wins?
Letting go is a process, very similar to grieving.
We put the effort in each day and make great strides to let go. But it takes time, constant consciousness, and determination.
It takes the willingness, commitment, and acceptance that time will need to be respected and honored.
Though we may experience many a-ha moments along this journey, there is no one magical moment. Our aim is to put to rest the pain and suffering, and bring to life the cherished memories—or lessons learned—that we can carry with us.
So how do we constructively and effectively let go?
1. Give it time.
Don’t expect to let go in an instant. Don’t hold yourself hostage, bargaining with such things as, “I have to let go. I have to get over this. I have to forget.”
If your loved one has passed, you may be seeking signs from the universe or above. I’m with you. And if you find solace in whatever that is, allow that to soothe your soul and guide you to where you need to be. If you’ve parted from a partner, you may need to work hard at creating new routines, new habits, and new adventures to transition you into a new way of living.
2. Be aware.
Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. You may experience many moments when you just miss that person terribly, and that sorrow is not meant to be reasoned with, but accepted.
Meet yourself wherever you are and be sure to allow your feelings and emotions to visit; then send them on their way so that you can continue your quest for strength, healing, and peace.
3. Be patient.
Don’t rush healing, which will eventually result in letting go. You’ll have good days and not-so-good days. You’ll battle your psyche, questioning what happened and where you go from here. But if you are patient, and can be patient with the process, you will get there—in time.
And you’ll sincerely be able to let go—while respecting, honoring, and acknowledging the memories that will always be a part of you.