I recently received a DM on Instagram from a reader. She said, “when you talk about letting go, what exactly does that mean?”
I loved that question.
I could feel the frustration in her words and I totally understood it.
We’re told to simply let go of everything from emotions to people, and I know how annoying that can be when you’re not really sure how to let go or what that even means.
I feel that ‘letting go’ is something I’ve had to teach myself to do over the years – it certainly doesn’t come naturally to me. In the past, I would cling to unhealthy relationships, habits and people.
I guess people like myself do that because the things you know bring you comfort, even if they aren’t always best for you. It can be pretty scary to walk away from something when you don’t know where that walk is going to lead you next.
The truth about letting go
Letting go is actually a huge part of manifesting and using the law of attraction. Attachment and resentment keep us stuck in the same place, and without letting go, you can’t move on from the past and start creating the future you really want.
Having said that, as much as we all wish that we could click our fingers and just get over something, it just isn’t always that easy.
That’s why I don’t think it’s fair to constantly tell people that they need to let go when they’re upset.
I mean, deep down, we know we need to let go, don’t we? And if we could do that instantly, surely we would.
Don’t force it
Trying to force yourself to let go before you’re ready never works – you just end up feeling frustrated with yourself when you can’t do it.
Instead, try to take little steps each day to nudge yourself in the right direction. You could journal out your feelings. It also helps to write letters and emails to people that have hurt you, then destroy them instead of sending them.
Little exercises like that allow you to get clarity on what you’re feeling – to see the emotions you need to work through on paper is powerful.
Be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is that you’re feeling and work through the emotions as they come. If there’s something you feel you need to let go of, it’s because it’s affected you deeply. You’ll instinctively know when you’re ready to start the process of letting go. It’s not something that can be rushed.
The key to letting go
It’s so simple, but it took me years to figure it out.
Whatever you focus on expands. When we feel pain, hurt, sadness, anger or any other negative emotion and can’t move on – it’s because we’re focusing all our energy on that issue.
So, letting go literally means changing where you focus your energy and attention.
The way we work with energy is kind of similar to how we work with money. It’s precious capital, our biggest asset. We can take risks with our energy, lose it, gain it, steal it, even have it stolen from us. We have the freedom to invest it wherever we like, but we never see return if we invest it in the wrong places (or people).
Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do with your energy – without a doubt, this is what will bring you the best return, especially when you’re trying to let go.
I discovered this when I got hurt and just couldn’t get over it. There were times when I thought I had, and then I’d get a reminder or a thought would pop up and suddenly, all the pain would come back.
Then I reached the point where I got tired of constantly having this situation on my mind. Honestly, thinking about a situation you can’t change over and over again is very draining.
So, I directed all my energy into self-improvement. I threw myself into running my blog and smashing my goals.
You know when you dangle some keys in front of a baby to stop them from crying? It felt like that. Give the mind a distraction to focus on and everything gets better.
The more I focused on my goals of writing and working out consistently, the amount of time I spent thinking about my upsetting situation decreased as I began to find myself thinking more thoughts like, ‘What blog post am I writing today?’ or ‘What exercise do I have scheduled for tomorrow?’
It’s like there wasn’t enough room in my brain to consistently think about both, so I naturally went for the thoughts that felt better!
This continued until I got to a point where any thoughts that did arise about the situation were passing, fleeting thoughts. They didn’t take me back to that place emotionally. There was no pain attached to them.
Now all of this didn’t happen overnight, but it happened.
As I consciously changed what I was focusing on, everything else that didn’t align just faded away.
That’s how powerful the mind is, people.
So, here’s what you do when you need to let go.
You set a goal for yourself – something that’s going to improve you so you feel good about it and motivated to do it – and see what happens when you focus all your energy into achieving that.
Releasing your metaphorical grip
There seems to be a notion that you can’t move on without closure. But the truth is, that mindset can keep you energetically tied to a situation for much longer than you need to be.
Closure is not a given in life, and there are times when we just don’t get to get it, so it shouldn’t be a basis for moving on and letting go.
And even if you do get closure – it could be months or even years from now. Ironically, sometimes it doesn’t come to you until you’ve moved on – and that’s because waiting for it creates resistance.
You never know if and when you’re going to get closure, so you can’t delay your healing process till it comes. Self-love and respect is putting yourself first and making healing your priority.
Release the attachment to getting closure and needing to know why something happened. It’s freeing and empowering to know that you can find the strength in yourself to move on, with or without someone’s explanation as to why they hurt you.
Letting go is empowering
Finding the strength to consciously direct your energy and focus away from your pain so that you can feel happy takes a lot of strength. It’s a decision you make only for you, for your own happiness.
Don’t let go because someone says you should. Don’t let go because you keep being told that’s what you need to do. Let go because you’re ready to start attracting amazing things into your life through raising your vibration and releasing any pain and attachment to what’s been holding you back.