This is the one action that would save us all so much stress, anxiety and unhappiness! And it sounds easy – but we all know it’s not, don’t we?
I remember the first time I recognised that I had let go of a long standing anxiety that caused me tears, heartache and dashed hopes day after day, month after month! I was at a cross-roads – literally! As I set off from the set of traffic lights on green – having ‘that thing’ on my mind yet again, at every opportunity it could pop in and take over, it did – I remember vividly my view, the anxiety just seeping out of me, and by the time I had crossed over to the next main road, it had gone! Just like that! That thing never bothered me again!
That thing is often related to a person, someone you love, care for, hope for or need – but can’t get them where you want them! Stress.
“The demands placed on you by another that you haven’t the resources to meet”.
Now, those ‘resources’ can be varied and wide-ranging, including the perception of those involved!
For example, my thing was someone I thought I wanted but couldn’t hold on to; I didn’t need him, I found I would never get that back and eventually realised I didn’t actually want him (and the stress and strain it caused me) any longer – hence the ‘letting go’. I recognised later that it wasn’t him causing me this angst, but myself. MY interpretation of what I thought I wanted and needed. not his behaviours that were irritating me.
We do actually have to work through such situations that are imposed on us for various reasons (some of our own making…) and if you can be patient enough and hold the pain and frustration for a while, it will work through to an ending – a ‘letting go’.
But you do have to say it aloud (hence counselling helps) to openly acknowledge the problem to yourself and the world (through the other person you share it with).
And you do have to be honest with yourself but you can flower it up or down when you share it, if you must! And it can take time to fully come out (hence counselling helps) and people – family, friends, colleagues – have their own stuff going on so cannot always give you the time you need.
Then, like grief from bereavement, and any other loss like this, you need time – it does heal (or at least it does allow you to adapt to the change and feel able to move on with you life once again…)
The experience involves denial, anger, bargaining, depression (hiding, healing) and acceptance* where we can actually ‘let go’ of those stresses and anxieties that can hold us back in living our life to the full! (Based on the Kubler-Ross Cyclce of Grief but with recurring stages and no real process, and no timescale that most people want – it’s just an individual process…)
We don’t forget and often, we don’t forgive – but we can let go ….
It’s a life lesson learned, a mistake maybe – but that’s how we learn; and we have to try new things and “make mistakes” in order to find what’s right for us – what we want, and need, by discarding (and later avoiding) what we now know we don’t want and need in our lives!