As February is about to leave us you may still find yourself looking back on the events that took place a year ago, last month, or even yesterday. As a nation, we have experienced a pandemic since the beginning of the year 2020 that is still in full effect today. But in our personal lives, challenges we have faced can make us feel like we have been through our own pandemic.
With this blog, I offer a path to progress. But to make progress in anything, we must take the next step forward. Personally, I have accepted that success is my only option, but not just words only. I must intentionally focus on my thoughts and actions.
The title, Letting Go, is fitting I think for our social and personal matters, it is one of the steps in the Rewrite Health process. Although letting go is not as easy as it sounds, it is necessary. I can assure you that the reward of freedom in the process requires a constant focus on looking at what is ahead and the will to not look back. The following text explains the steps I believe are important in the process of letting go.
Reflecting on our past is a necessary part of making decisions in our present and future lives. Done in a healthy balanced way, it can provide the information we need to help our lives progress in the most positive direction. Some of our past experiences can be quite painful just like some can make us smile and feel warm. I do not encourage dwelling on painful experiences for longer than the time to gain clarity or to pull out the lessons that provide growth. Otherwise dwelling on things that hurt you may create feelings of despair, blame, or self-pity.
While our experiences are unique to each of us, the way we heal is too. Everything that we experience impacts our lives in some way. Reflection takes patience and time. It is not something you rush through just to mark it off your list. I say take advantage of the time to slow down and process information that has touched your life. During this process be honest. Call things what they are and do not deny how you feel about them. This is important because when you finally let go, there is a name for what you are letting go of. During our reflection time, we get to choose what has been meaningful or damaging to us.
Self-reflection is more intense because it allows us to evaluate ourselves. It is important not to be too hard on yourself, this is not the time to put yourself down or compare yourself with others. This is the time to look at where you are in life and question how you feel about yourself, what have you done well or could have done better. There should be no pressure to judge your feelings as right or wrong. At this point, it is about recognizing where you have been and how you got there. This will provide insight into how to do things differently moving forward.
Sorting it All Out
The next step in letting go is deciding what to keep in moving forward and what to let go of. It requires an understanding of what has benefited your growth and development. Consider things that bring out the best version of you. There have been cases in the healing process where a painful or traumatic past has resulted in a positive self-image and mindset. But that does not mean that the pain or trauma should be something to hang on to as you move forward. It is good to appreciate clarity, growth, and learning while not accepting the burden of pain. Several experiences can shape us into a better version of ourselves if we allow them. It because a matter of perspective, belief, and how determined you are.
There are several things I can do that help me clear my head and gain clarity such as getting out in nature, exercise, meditation, or talking to someone I trust. It is good to what works for you. Needing space to sort things out does not have to be thought of as a negative thing. This is a good time to look at all areas of your life including the people around you. Letting go of things and people can be difficult especially in the early stages of healing. Be patient with yourself, you need time to gain clarity of what has been good or bad for you. It is important, to be honest, and not make justifications for experiences, behaviors, or people that have impacted your life in some way.
The challenge is accepting the truth of where you are and what got you there. It is a form of thinking backward or cause and effect. If you can manage to stick with the process it can be truly liberating. It is common to try and think of someone to blame. But that is not what I encourage you to do. There is nothing we can do about the actions of others, even if there is some blame on their part. What I do suggest is having an awareness of self, to examine your behavior and feelings. Again, this takes work and effort. it is not the easiest thing to do. There can be many blind spots that we never see until a closer look is taken. Do not allow this step to make you lose momentum; If you have made it this far you are just about to gain some insight, about yourself!
Let it Go!
The last step in the process of letting go is letting go. I cannot tell how long it will take for you, it could be days, months, or even years. It depends on a few things like self-awareness, knowing your purpose in life, and how sick and tired you are of hanging on to a painful past. Some choose to exist with pain because it is what they have known and become comfortable with. The work of gaining clarity is real mental work. Being in a place you are not familiar with can create feelings of anxiety. But remember healing takes intentional effort.
Letting go of something that does not build towards your success takes courage! Challenge yourself to only make decisions based on the facts, not your feelings or emotions at the moment. The goal of letting go is not to leave yourself with a huge void in your life, it is to allow space for things that build you, encourage you, motivate and inspire you to new healthy experiences.
In conclusion, I know there is greatness in you. Les Brown who is one of my favorite motivational mentors says it all the time. It is a truth I choose to believe. I do want to leave you with a few more points that are helpful in liberating you from your pain. Believe me, there is nothing magical about them, they also require effort and focus. Accept and embrace the following:
- Forgiveness. Forgive yourself and others who have hurt you. Let go of anger and resentment.
- Have Grateful Heart. This will give you a new perspective. Being grateful can help you give more of yourself which contributes to the greater good and could lead to your purpose and ultimately make you feel fulfilled.
- Belief in Self. Know your value and that you have something to offer. Never give up on yourself.
- Believe in Something Bigger Than You. Watch what you spend a lot of time doing and how it feeds your inner person. Is it fulfilling, does it offer contentment, and can you trust it to be all that you need?
- Create a Daily Routine of Self-care. I recommend a holistic approach, mind, body, spirit of caring for yourself. I know life can get busy but taking some time to do self-care adds value, confidence, and it provides insight, health, and wisdom to your life.