Chances are, there’s something worth letting go for the sake of freedom and something new. There always seems to be something. In light of the struggle and what's bound to come after it, here are three simple practices for letting go and moving on — without losing the lessons.
“These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.” — Najwa Zebian
It hurts to look your pain in the eye, but that's the only way through suffering and the bridge to the other side.
Instead of controlling the world so it doesn’t trigger you (not going to happen), try one of these practices for letting go and moving on.
And moving on, by the way, doesn’t mean disregarding what hurts. Letting go doesn't mean forgetting. It means moving in, first, so you can look at the heart of what’s really going on. So you can move forward in your own life, in your own way.
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3 Practices for Letting Go and Moving On without Losing the Lessons
1. Clear space.
Instead of focusing entirely on the issue or pain itself, try focusing on clearing some space around whatever it is you’d like to let go of. Give it the room it needs to unravel and give yourself the time and patience you need to watch it unravel.
Let the triggered part of you have space to breathe and move through its own process. Let the discomfort evolve and show you why it’s so hurt. It takes intense presence and some practice.
Use visualization to your advantage here. Form a picture in your mind of what your hurt place looks like. Notice how it feels, if it’s hot or cold, and where it shows up in your body or your experience. Is it a tightness in your chest or an empty pit in your stomach? What color is it? How big is it? What shape does it take?
Visualize the “ball of stress” or whatever it is that’s sticking with you. Practice being okay with not controlling it. Offer it some space. Let there be space between it and you; you’re now looking at it, rather than identifying with it. Give it a platform for presenting to you the lessons or information it’s holding.
What does this attachment want you to see, to learn, or to change?
Just the willingness to be conscious enough to face our fears is going to create space for us to move beyond them. The opportunity to move forward is born from stillness.
We don't need to protect the parts of us that are being triggered into negativity, fear, or doubt. We need to listen to them and learn from them.
2. Focus on what you could gain.
Letting go and moving on are hard things to do when we’re consumed by what we might lose. Loss eats away our motivation to try new things, open up to different experiences, and create new realities.
Once you’ve identified what you’re afraid to lose (which is a helpful practice in clarity), identify what you can receive by working through and ultimately releasing this pain and suffering.
Here are a few personal but open-for-interpretation examples:
- I could gain the freedom to be a truer version of myself.
- I could receive the support I need to live a better life.
- I could receive insight into what I need to do from here to make sustainable changes.
- I could gain a new friend.
- I could be given an opportunity to explore my hidden gifts and abandoned strengths.
- I could honestly be grateful to be alive, and not despite the pain.
When we realize we can honestly be grateful to be alive, not despite the pain but through its own surprise gifts, we discover perhaps the greatest gift of all: the freedom to love.
3. Focus on your commitments.
Next time you’re resisting change or growth, ask yourself what you’re committed to.
Check in with yourself and ask things like:
- Am I committed to being comfortable, or am I committed to growing? (Growth doesn’t always feel comfortable, and though comfort isn’t wrong, you’ll want to see if you’re providing space for a balance or if you’re clutching to the comfort.)
- What core feelings do I want to amplify and live by?
- What are my priorities in this life, honestly? And how can my next actions reflect what really matters to me?
When you answer these kinds of questions, you give yourself a seriously amazing gift: space between the stimulus and your response. You pause to recalibrate and remember your own power to cut cords that tie your down to a lifetime of hurt.
If you want to live the life that's meant for you, the one that's rich with purpose and passion, you need to surround yourself with tools and techniques for remembering and claiming your own power to live that life.
. . .
Which of these practices do you think could help you release, so you can receive?
Tell me in the comments. I’d love to know what works for you!
P.S. Need more help at night, so you can get some seriously needed shut eye? Get my book Sleep Affirmations to let it all go... yesterday, tomorrow, and everything in between.