When I wrote the last post about Self-Forgiveness, I talked about the equation of forgiveness…..
Make Mistake – Learn Lesson – Forgive Yourself – Let It Go.
I received some feedback about that last little part of the equation, Let It Go. This can sound so simple, so easy, yet it can be so very hard to do. It can be very difficult to let things go when we have strong emotions that are tied to whatever it is we are holding on to. Whether it is a past mistake, something someone did to us, a fault of ours, thoughts we feel we should not have, anger, frustration……any manner of things that take up space in our minds and hearts and make us hurt, regret, get angry, worry to the point of distraction or even go into depression.
One thing to think about is the fact that, with holding on to whatever “it” is, we are keeping “it” alive, keeping it in the forefront of our minds, hearts and souls….so we are not giving ourselves a chance to work it out, get over it or let it go. We keep running the tape about it over and over and over and over again in our minds. But does it go anywhere? Does it help to keep running the tape? Does it change anything about what is on the tape? Does it solve the problem?
Think of it this way…..You are holding an object in your hand, you curl your fingers around it, feel it press against the palm of your hand. As you hold it tighter, you feel its impression deeper and deeper against your palm, your fingers are becoming stiff with the force of holding this object, your finger nails now digging into your skin. You are holding it so tight your knuckles are turning white and you begin to feel the muscles in your forearm tensing with the struggle. Your elbow cracks with the force as it moves up your arm, into the upper portion and clear up to your shoulder and into your neck, up through your head. Your muscles are tensing and flexing so hard now your arm begins to vibrate. You are holding this object so hard that your entire arm, shoulder and then your whole body reacts to the power of it, struggling with the might that is your own strength. Sense the enormous amount of energy it takes to hold on to this object, to keep it in your hand and not let it fall. It takes all of your concentration, will, strength and power to hold it there, keep it there. You are literally holding your breath with the sheer effort of it all. You are aware of how hard it is to hold onto this thing, how much of your valuable energy it uses up. And you begin to feel like you can’t take it anymore.
Now….imagine you open your hand….and let the object go. Just let it fall to the floor. Just like that, you uncurl your fingers, a small action, and you let it go.
You feel a rush of relief, and breath comes back to you as your muscles start to relax, the blood starts to move through your arm again, the pain eases as your body relaxes and falls back into its natural state. You shake your arm a bit to shake it off, and you are ready to move on to other tasks.
This example illustrates what holding on to things does to our hearts, minds, souls and bodies. We are the very hand that causes the stress and strain that we feel from holding on so tight and being unable to let go. The hand, arm, shoulder and head signify the heart, mind, soul and body and the damage we do to them. And I would guess, we really do not want to do this to ourselves, and if we stopped to think about it, we would choose something different.
Letting go is a decision to treat ourselves better, stop punishing ourselves, and forgive ourselves. Once that decision is made, the really hard part is done.
So use this illustration as a visual and imagine holding the “it” issue in your hand all the way through to the end of the process when you are shaking with the vibration of the tension of holding on……and then visualize uncurling your fingers….and letting it drop out of your hand. Just letting it go. Then cup your hand, opening up a new space for something better to fill it up.
Imagine what that would be if “it” wasn’t taking that space any longer.
The lesson here is….It takes far more energy and effort and causes far more pain to hold on, then it does to Let Go.
If you are afraid that if you let go of something you don’t know what will happen and you fear it will crash, come back for the next blog for a way to deal with that!