You’ve heard it many times...from your family, your friends, maybe from your co-worker and definitely from your yoga instructor AND you’ve probably said it to someone as well - three simple words: “Let it go”.
Yeah, we’ve all heard it so many times, but did it ever work? Were you able to let go of the thing in an instant and it never bothered you again? It never worked for me, eventually whatever it is I was trying to let go would come back, usually it comes back in a form of a certain pattern. And that’s when I started to wonder: What does it really mean to let go and how exactly do I let go of something? How do you let go of fear or guilt or anger or that old conversation or situation I've been holding on to for so long?
It’s hard to let go because we identify ourselves with things (material or not), with certain emotions or qualities we possess. For example: we might think of ourselves as shy, funny, weird etc . Our mind makes a literal connection: I = shy. That might not be the case anymore (maybe when you were eight years old it was accurate) but your mind doesn’t know that because it formed that connection in the past. Perhaps it served you then, so you continue to live by this pattern today because your mind still believes that it’s the truth. It’s important to recognize old patterns and acknowledge them and let go of those that don’t serve you anymore.
What does it mean to let go? I used to think letting go meant stop thinking about it, forget about it, just move on. If we think that way we can only suppress our emotions, push it away and eventually it’ll come back because the problem wasn’t resolved, we just temporarily fixed it by not thinking about it.
So how do we let go? If we really want to let go we have to surrender to it. We should spend some time with whatever it is we’re trying to let go. Let it overtake you, fully dissolve in it, let all the negativity come up, recognize all the pieces of it, see how the very thing you’re holding onto makes you really feel.
You don’t have to share your feelings with anyone as long as YOU completely surrender to it. And then from the place of full acknowledgement and surrender we can let go of anything realizing that it no longer has control over us.