Letting go – whether of a loved one you’ve lost or of your resentment towards someone – is an act of self-care. When you hold on to the hurt or resentment, it’s actually harming you more than it’s harming the other person.The process of letting go is just that – it’s a process. It’s a practice that you have to come back to over and over again. Sometimes when we’re holding on, all we can feel is our own pain and hurt. And we really have a hard time looking at the other person from a different lens. But when you get to a place of letting go, you can start looking at the person with less sense of anger and bitterness and see them in a more positive light.
Three Points to Reflect On
What makes it hard for you to let go?
For some people, accepting the outcome is so hard and that is what causes them to hold on. They’re not getting the apology or the restitution they feel they deserve.Sometimes, we’re too focused on the one thing that’s going to make us feel better. But once we drop the “tug of war” rope, a new solution that we have not allowed into our field of vision can finally emerge.
How is holding on getting in the way of your life?
Holding on impairs relationships. When you carry the bitterness, hurt, or anger of one relationship, it gets superimposed on other relationships. And so, the person who has had their trust betrayed is now having a hard time trusting other people. They may have a jaded view of life and a prolonged sense of feeling depressed or feeling grief.Grief and depression are part of the process of letting go. But if we’re not engaged in the process, we get stuck in that phase, which takes a toll on your health and you lose your true sense of self. The key to letting go is not just seeing what’s making it hard to let go but also seeing how it’s impacting your life.
You have to decide it’s time to let go.
At some point, you realize you just have to start moving on. It’s important that you make the decision that you’re no longer willing to be stuck in this time. And you’re going to muster the courage right now to take some action.This is different from saying “I should let go,” otherwise, you’re only forcing a rule upon yourself. And that gets in the way, too, because when you feel pressured by external forces, there is an internal force or the tendency to resist. The decision is key.
Different Ways to Begin the Process of Letting Go
Ask yourself: How will my life be better now by doing this? What are the benefits of letting go?
Treasure the lessons you learned from it.
Letting go does not equate to letting bad people back into your life.
Remind yourself that life is unfair but you have to learn to just get through it.
Accept that you’re not getting what you hope for or think you deserve.
Drawing upon your spiritual background (ex. Journaling, prayer, trust in God)
Involve someone else in the process (ex. a trusted friend, family member, spiritual leader, professional counselor, etc.)