Sometimes us human beings are so shaped and influenced by our will and desire to succeed and make good of every situation that life throws at us, we forget that there is a real reward and skill in letting go and moving on.
It’s as if letting go and moving on is giving up. And that giving up means we must have failed in someway.
Sometimes the failure is in having made a poor decision. A decision to cling and continue to make our own lives a greater uncomfortable challenge than they really need to be.
For some people, this happens because their pain threshold is too high. They will allow themselves to be emotionally beaten up many times before they decide they have had enough – if they ever even manage to get to that stage.
Here are some classic examples of when people end up wishing they’d let go and moved on sooner than they did:
Working in a job you hate.
Being in a relationship that isn’t working.
Wanting a debt to be repaid.
Holding onto spite, hatred or hurt when someone has behaved wrongly towards you.
Is letting go the same as forgiveness? Possibly. If you let go but do not forgive, some of your time and energy will still be going into “it” which could imply you have not really let go yet.
It is not essential to feel repelled by what occurred, although that can help initially. It is more important to get to a point of not really caring for it any longer. The word to describe that emotion is “whatever.” You need to be feeling “whatever” about it. You need to reach the point when you look back on that ex-partner/old boss/friend who never repaid you/abuser/love vampire and think “oh, her.” Instead of “ARGH!”
Time helps achieve this and so does making a decent promise to yourself. The decent promise is made up of a few vital elements:
1) Next time I will vet/screen the other party/situation/opportunity much more thoroughly before committing myself.
2) I will be very clear about my own expectations
3) I will ensure I understand others expectations of me
4) I will have a clear idea about what is/isn’t right for me
5) I will change things/put a stop to it when I become dissatisfied
6) That bad thing that happened before, I won’t let that happen again. Never ever. I will never compromise my emotions/sanity/gut feeling because I like myself enough to be able to walk away with my head held high and not feel bad about it whatsoever.
Something I often say to clients who are experiencing a challenge that requires them to let go and move on is to talk to themselves in the same way they would talk to their best friend/favourite nephew if that best friend/favourite nephew were having exactly the same problem in exactly the same circumstances.
Often they will say things like
“I’d tell her it’s not worth all this stress she should just let go and move on!”
“I’d tell him to follow his gut feeling.”
“I’d tell him enough is enough.”
“I’d say “I love you but you’re making a bad choice if you stick with this one.””
This is a good exercise to do as essentially the client is then giving themselves the advice they need to hear.
You can tell your inner best friend/internal nephew other useful things at useful times too.
“If anyone can do it, you can.”
“Good job you clever sausage!”
“That’s enough reading, back to work!”