Leave the emotions out, look at the naked facts
‘Just let it go!’
Go with the flow. Relax!
Well-meant advice, but difficult to do when somebody gets under your skin. When you are in conflict with someone. If you cannot seem to make clear to the other person what you actually mean. If you are stressed. If you experience feelings of anxiety and shame. Insecurities. Particular beliefs. If you feel like you are the victim of someone else’s behavior. If you do not succeed in that one thing you would really like to do. If you lost someone or something of value to you. You constantly think about it.
Often this is not helpful at all, if you ask me. Unfortunately some kind of leaflet with instructions is not provided. Because how do you let go of something?
If you let go, do you drop everything? Is throwing it away the solution? Do you just take your hands off it? Do you block it out of your mind? Fold it up and clean it up? But then – what is next?
‘Letting go’ is a verb. As long as you are keeping yourself busy with it not a lot will happen. If you continue thinking about it and working on it, it will stay with you. If you are unlucky, it will even grow. Everything that you pay your attention to, grows. Whether you like it or not.
Desperately wanting to let go of something is like tightly holding on to something that you want to let go of. It cannot go anywhere.
Letting go in 3 steps
‘Open your hand’ and turn it until your palm faces upwards. Give air to what you want to let go of. Let it be. You have all the right to be stressed, sad or angry.
Look at it. Take the emotions out. What are the naked facts?
Things are the way they are. Nothing more, nothing less.
Accept ‘what’ you want to let go of. It is as it is.
What is next?
Relax. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to what you want to let go of. Let it be. For now, it belongs there. You will notice that as soon as you start to accept ‘what is’, it will resolve itself. Eventually everything goes away.
New possibilities are given the opportunity to surface. The first steps towards making the necessary changes can be taken.
Soon there will be a moment when you will realise that you have not thought about that one thing for a long time. Or that you did not have a particular feeling for a long time. You do not carry it with you anymore, you lost it.
That is how it works. That’s the magic:
As soon as you accept and embrace what you want to let go of, it will let go of you.
– Karen van Hout