We have all heard the phrases, “Move on” and “let go of it” but what can that actually mean for our wellbeing. As we have discussed previously, sometimes our insistence on doing the same thing day in – day out or repeating the same mistakes has been the key to our downfall. Sometimes we can surround ourselves with things that anchor us to negative things, hold on to anger, sadness or anxieties. We can exist under a shadow cast in the pain or suffering of our past, a shadow of frustration or glued in place by our own poor choices which we forget we can change at any time. It’s true, we are an amalgam of our yesterdays and as a way forward we are often told to look back. Every now and again though it becomes time to have a psychological clear up and ‘let go’ of the things we don’t need. We don’t need to carry resentment or hatred; we don’t need to carry large amounts of pain.
Letting go does involve looking back but this time we try to see it from another angle, it may mean reshaping a relationship so that we give less and are more realistic in our expectations. If we think of it in terms of evolution not revolution, we may still feel angry or let down but its recognising that one day we may not feel this way that gives us the opportunity to change. There may be things that in practical terms changed us forever and that we will not ‘get over’ so quickly but they can become easier to carry if we carry them sensibly. We don’t have to hold the memory in front of ourselves at arm’s length all the time where we see it, experience it and live it every day. We can have a sense that time does heal and we can opt to carry it on our backs, where we don’t see it and it becomes less intrusive.
The process of letting go can involve looking at our thoughts and actions and deciding which are the unproductive ones and asking ourselves which are the ones which prevent us from growing. It may mean reframing our past and changing the narrative by which we live by looking at it though more mature eyes with greater empathy accepting responsibility where we need to but passing it on where it most definitely is not ours. It is often a great healing tool to say, “It wasn’t my fault, its now time to move on.” We can’t change the past but we can change the way we look at it.
We can embrace positivity and the possibility of change, its hard to make change when we have decided it’s impossible; change is always possible.
It is really important to remember that forgiving those who hurt or did us wrong is not capitulation or giving up but a decision which is often empowering and can be key to change. It is saying, “I have been angry long enough and I am putting down my anger because it’s something you gave me and I don’t want to carry it anymore.” Carrying the anger keeps us attached to the incident / the time / the person, letting go of it can free us.
We often hold onto things far too long for fear of the ‘Experience of Nothingness’. This is a fear that if we let go of something we will lose our identity or what has ‘made us – us’. Its true, we will feel the loss of it and we will change but change for the better. If we reframe, transform, forgive or allow ourselves the chance to see a positive future, we do let go of who we are but at the same time we open the door to who we can be. Start small, clear a shelf or tidy a cupboard, you never know where the journey will lead you.