Do you know deep within your core that there are things that it’s time to let go of? Old hurts that continue to fester, anger and resentment that refuse to diminish, and beliefs about what others have “done to you”? Perhaps you even feel anger, guilt, shame or sadness regarding your own past, the things that you’ve done to yourself?
Is it possible that your negative thought patterns are keeping you stuck and stealing your joy? That your anger at your mother / father / sister / brother / spouse / children / boss / your own past is keeping you from being happy and keeping you emotionally imprisoned?
We often hear people say to us, “Just let it go.”
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could?
Of course, if it were that simple, we already would have.
But letting go of something we have been holding onto isn’t easy. Because letting go is a process, not a single action.
And the first step in the process is the awareness that it is in our highest good to let go. Oftentimes:
- We hold onto those resentments, angers, and frustrations because we believe that it’s up to the other person to acknowledge or apologize for whatever they’ve “done to us”.
- We want someone else to take responsibility for the thing(s) that happened in the past, or to change their current behavior in order for us to be okay with ourselves.
Part of letting go is:
- Taking responsibility for working through our wounds and living a life that we want to live.
- Once we can take that step, we can see that regardless of whether the other person ever apologizes or even acknowledges our hurt, we can be the person that we want to be, without them even needing to change or to apologize.
It is up to us and in our own highest good to let go of that hurt, anger, or belief system. After all, our anger or hurt isn’t going to force someone else to change their behavior patterns, and only ends up hurting us. [Ever tried telling someone “You need to change”? How well did it work?] So when we open the ways for new belief patterns to emerge, we serve our highest good.
- The next step is making a commitment to ourselves to do whatever it takes to shift our old thought patterns, and we must be motivated to do this. Because it will take work, time and determination to continually let go of whatever we’ve held onto.
The Hard Work of Letting Go:
Letting go of a belief system that no longer works for us may mean stepping into territory that is unfamiliar and uncomfortable. If we are looking to let go of negative thought patterns that trigger anxiety or fear, we may not know how to do this.
We are talking about stretching outside of our comfort zone and being willing to enter this new realm of self-love. This may feel like a very scary place to enter yet if we are really honest with ourselves and want to enhance our lives this is something we’ll need to do.
The beliefs beneath the beliefs:
There may possibly be a part of you that believes that you do not deserve to live in a different way, that you don’t believe that you deserve to be truly happy:
- This may sound silly or illogical to you, yet is it possible that on some unconscious level you don’t believe that you deserve all good things?
- Is it not uncommon that some of the negative messages that we received in childhood might have set the stage for our feelings of “less than, not enough, not deserving, not smart / beautiful / kind / rich enough”, and those feelings hold us back from being truly happy.
Our pasts are the most challenging things to let go of. Whether it is because there was trauma in our childhood left unaddressed or unresolved issues from a relationship ending, or simply things that we have done that we continue to regret, the past exerts a powerful pull on most people’s lives. Often letting go of the past will require therapy, however there are steps that you can take right now in order to recognize and release old stories and patterns of belief.
What strategies do I need to use?
A good approach includes:
- Start to ask yourself, what strategies do I need to put in place that would help me work through the feeling to change this pattern or shift this practice?
- The process may require thought-stopping techniques and restructuring of thoughts that are evidence-based.
- And / or, it may require journaling about those old hurts and acknowledging the emotion beneath the story.
One powerful release technique is using author and forgiveness expert Colin Tipping’s Radical Forgiveness worksheets. He describes it as [engaging] “your own higher wisdom and cultivating the self-love that is waiting patiently within you to be empowered.”
- The worksheets ask you to write your old story, to see the story as part of a larger pattern in your life, and ...
- Then to acknowledge that even this story was part of your purpose here on Earth and is here to teach you something about yourself.
Asking for Help:
Many of our old stories are buried beneath our subconscious, though, and may require the help of a licensed psychotherapist to bring forth and release.
At Nassau Guidance and Counseling, located on Long Island, we work with clients from all walks of life in order to heal old hurts and change old stories.
As part of the psychotherapy process, we facilitate the emotional strength needed for each person to move into a space of joy and happiness, and we look forward to speaking with you!