Time to Let Go!
Ah the power of a wonderful New Year! Across all walks of life individuals like you and I have already contemplated, and perhaps already acted on, new resolutions such as: resetting our approach to career, health, friendships, dreaming, planning, parenting, family vacations, renovations and a whole variety of other worthy life activities we value.
In the plethora of choices one can explore and commit to, have you ever considered the life changing decision and commitment of the powerful act of choosing to let go. Letting go? Letting go of what? Letting go of a grudge, an embarrassing chapter in your life, letting go of grief, letting go of a financial loss, letting go of a toxic relationship, letting go of a betrayal, letting go of a terrible mistake of the past, letting go of the habit of a TO DO LIST that is too long, unrealistic and guilt inducing, or letting go of what could have been ‘if only’.
Drop the Heavy Baggage
Any of the examples mentioned, and many similar others that might have already popped in your head, can contribute to heavy baggage that just holds you back. It can have this unconscious ball and chain feeling that is so part of your life you don’t even recognize its presence. Nevertheless, when facing a tough day or week, low and behold it is right there like an old blanket wrapping us up in a cocoon of self-pity and harsh self-criticism.
This year might just be the year to identify that old blanket, define the impact it has on you, how and when it comes knocking and decide: this is the year you send it packing with it’s baggage. Time to give it an eviction notice and announce it is no longer welcomed at this address.
Start small. Pay attention to the typical instances when it comes knocking. It has a pattern! Do not dismiss it or try to ignore it. Look at it straight on, define it, spell it out for what it is and the impact it keeps having on you.
Write It Out
I recommend you take the time to sit and write it out. Write the specifics of the event or the difficult season, your emotions, your pain, shame, guilt, embarrassment – whatever flows out of the accumulated little volcano – spill it out on paper. The white pages become a therapeutic tool that welcomes your story with no judgement. Then acknowledge your part, acknowledge the parts others played and then resolve to forgive yourself and anyone else that was involved. This could turn out to be a process of a few hours over a period of a few days. Take the time you need without over analysing or dragging it on too long.
Once you feel it has all been said, then the last remaining step is forgiveness. This part is significantly important. End this written therapeutic exercise by concluding: I choose to let go! I choose to forgive myself and forgive those who where part of this season in my life, then sign and date your written statement. This is now a legal contract with yourself that states: today on day and month, 2019 I choose to LET GO!
Now find a significant way of destroying this written statement. Make it memorable! This act of destroying your statement will not only be a physical representation of letting go, but will also serve as a cathartic tool and reminder now preserved in your brain. A tool, which you will use every time the unhealthy pattern lurks its ugly head. When that happens, you will have the reminder, a contract with yourself where you can state and speak to that pattern: On such a day in 2019, I chose to LET GO and I did!
Now ENOUGH, it’s no longer allowed at this address.
This cognitive behavior tool is similar to a traffic RED LIGHT. You don’t negotiate with a red light, you step on the brakes, at least I hope you do! With numerous repetitions, swinging at this pattern with your visual of when you destroyed the written statement, you will have the final say and succeed in LETTING GO!