The year to let go

OK, 2022. Let’s do this! It looks like 2022 will be another tough year. How can we continue to take care of ourselves and move forward ...



OK, 2022. Let’s do this! It looks like 2022 will be another tough year. How can we continue to take care of ourselves and move forward in our lives despite the turmoil? It all starts with letting go of what you can’t control.

But why is it so hard to let go?

We hear the phrase “let go” a lot these days, but when it comes to old and deeply held beliefs, unresolved situations, or difficult family members, the task can seem daunting.

People who still allow relationships with family members to cause them pain and suffering will often say that they feel like they are “giving up” or “giving in” if they let go. They may say that “if only they could (fill in the blank)” then we could have a better relationship, and they may wonder why these people can’t just do what they themselves would do in the same situation. Years pass and the family member remains the same, even though we want them to be different.

The same could be said for past situations that we wish were different. Although we know rationally that we cannot change the past, this “wanting” persists.

But what is really going on here? Why is it so difficult to accept “what is”?

In these times, we rely on things to change in order to be happy, content and at peace. Buddha says that happiness cannot come from outside of ourselves, so when we find ourselves saying things like “If only…” we are making our happiness dependent on something beyond our control. .

And it is this relentless “willing” that causes the suffering, more than the situation or the person itself. In other words, it is our relationship with the problem and the inner conflict created by it that is to blame for our unhappiness.

We may also find that the reason we have such a hard time letting go is that underneath the “desire” is the real emotion we are trying to avoid, which is often overwhelming sadness, grief, or loneliness. These emotions can be painful, but since we have to “feel them to heal them,” they can also become a gateway to growth, change, and healing.

When we don’t let go of a situation that we clearly have no control over and it makes us unhappy, we continue to pour our precious energy into it, instead of using it for ourselves more productively.

This unresolved, stagnant energy can also distract us from what is right in front of us – our lives and the people and situations that work and bring us joy. We can feel divided, like we can’t fully enjoy things because we want something we can’t have. When you take some space and look at it rationally, we can all see how silly it is. But when we get there, that understanding evaporates.

Letting go of what is not under our control frees us to live our life, the one presented to us. But if we don’t address what fuels desire (ie the feelings we try to avoid), it will remain unresolved and continue to cause pain. If we can feel the underlying feelings, learn from them, and ultimately make peace with those old wounds and heal them, we can finally move forward unhindered.

The situation may continue, but our relationship with it has changed and we are no longer its hostages. This is called “healthy detachment”. It takes time and courage but peace and freedom will be your reward.

So let’s make 2022 the year we let go of what’s holding us back and finally become the fullest, freest version of ourselves, able to thrive despite the many challenges we face.

Leslie Gould-Barkman is a licensed somatic psychotherapist and spiritual counselor with a practice in West Hatfield called Ladybug Body-Mind Healing.



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Newsrust - US Top News: The year to let go
The year to let go
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