The Art of Letting Go

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Letting go is not easy. Often it is the people or situations that we need to release the most that we are clinging to for dear life.

I am in the middle of this process myself. After doing plenty of inner work I’ve realized that my lack of self-love and self-worth has led me to desperately hold onto what has long passed its expiration date for the sake of having someone and feeling something versus being alone and having “nothing.”

What we don’t realize is that we are doing everyone a disservice. We have such a tight grasp due to our subconscious and deeply rooted beliefs about ourselves, and in doing so we are telling the Universe that this what we deserve. We are telling the Divine that we want more of the drama, more of the suffering and more of a low-quality life, continuing the cycle. Then we play the victim and blame everyone around us for our misfortunes, when in reality, the only way out is to take full responsibility for ourselves and for the state we are in that is manifesting these types of circumstances.

After years of toxic friendships, I have grown to realize that the way I was thinking and behaving was causing me to attract these people into my life. Because I feared feeling lonely, I held onto these people for years. By constantly telling myself that all women were the same and I could only be friends with males caused me to get just that- no solid group of female friends, something my soul deeply craved. I never felt safe to open up and be vulnerable enough to take off my mask and reveal my true self. This lead to surface level connections because I thought I had to compete and compare myself to others. By picking up other people’s baggage and beliefs about friends being catty and untrustworthy I too became engulfed by drama and betrayal. By not believing in myself, I became friends with people who also felt hopeless, settled in life and didn’t think it was possible to accomplish their dream goals. I believe that we are the average of the 5 people we surround ourselves with, and I now choose to only be surrounded by loving, inspiring, goal getters who are beautiful inside and out. My authentic tribe.

It wasn’t until I decided to take my life into my own hands and rewire my beliefs that I was able to start attracting wonderful female friends, rekindle and heal old friendships and meet like-minded soul sisters. I’ve learned that I get what I put out into this world and if I behave one way towards others than I will also receive the same treatment. I am slowly learning to live in a state of love and give that to my friends as opposed to the hurt and pain from before. The last piece of the puzzle for me is to learn how to gracefully release those relationships that I no longer need in my life. I am working on having gratitude for the relationship and everything that it taught me, forgiving myself and the other person and letting go, sending them off with all the love and happiness that we all deserve.

May they be happy, may they be safe, may they be healthy, may they feel love, may they see light, may they heal and be at peace.

 

Love always,

Mabes

 

how to forgive

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Forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person deserving or wanting forgiveness. It is not even contingent on whether or not they apologize. Forgiving does not make you a door mat. It doesn’t mean that the other person shouldn’t face the consequences of their actions, that you don’t believe in justice or that you have to keep them in your life.

Forgiveness means that you care and love yourself too much to continue carrying the burden that it is to hold grudges and detrimental emotions. Ruminating over the same situation has never changed its outcome.

 

You can’t forgive others if you have never forgiven yourself.

Acknowledge and accept your part in the situation. Take responsibility for anything you said or did that may have contributed to the incident. You cannot make any changes from a position of shaming or blaming others.

Being under the impression that we are punishing others by clinging onto pain is foolish. The only miserable person is ourselves as we perpetuate a cycle of unnecessary suffering. We cannot change, undo or take back the past. The only person we have any control over is ourselves and the way we choose to react to others.

You do not need to have a conversation with the person in order to forgive them if you don’t feel ready to do so. This is a process that can be done completely on your own.

Meditation and visualization are great ways to help you in the forgiveness process.

Imagine yourself as a prosecutor in court. Allow yourself to fully release what you feel towards the person and what they did to you. Once you have said everything there is to say, allow them to defend themselves. This isn’t excusing their behavior, it is a way for you to see the situation through a different perspective.

Another way is to envision the person on a stage. See them looking joyful as you picture only great things happening to them. Imagine them accomplishing all of their goals and full of life and love.

I learned this next technique from Louise Hay. Visualize the offender as a child. See them feeling scared, ashamed, sad and unloved. This helps you to remember that they are human just like us, and that we are all doing what we think is the best at that moment in time with the knowledge we have and the understanding and awareness we have of that knowledge. Our behavior is learned from our environment and when we hurt others it is because we are hurting inside. All everyone wants is to feel safe and loved. This visualization prompts us to have compassion towards others, despite the way they treat us.

Affirmations are also a great way to help us forgive others. I like to use them in the kindness meditation. Sit in a quiet place, focusing on your breath without judgment. Bring yourself to stillness. When you are ready, begin to recite; “may I be happy, may I be safe, may I be healthy, may I feel love, may I see light, may I be at peace.” Afterwards, say the affirmations for someone in your life whom you love, followed by a person you have neutral feelings about, and finally for the person who has hurt you.

Another option is to write a letter to the person. Let out all of your feelings towards them, making sure not to hold anything back. Once you have finished, you can rip up the letter and burn the pieces, flushing them away in the toilet. You can also take the pieces of paper to a sacred place in nature. Dig a hole in the ground and place them in the ground. Then, place either seeds or a plant on top. Finish by covering the hole with soil. Soon you will literally see your pain absorbed by mother earth and turned into something beautiful; love.

Turn to your spirituality.

In my Buddhist practice, I make sure to chant for the wisdom I need to overcome obstacles, the strength and courage to forgive myself and others, and for the love and happiness of those in my life- especially people who have hurt me. I make sure to pray to turn all poison into medicine in each of my relationships so that I may live harmoniously with myself and others. Turning to spirituality or a religion of your choosing can prove to be beneficial in the forgiveness process. It reminds us to look at the big picture, rather than having small picture thinking. This big picture thinking can help us see the reality of the situation and let us determine whether it is a big deal for us or not. Spirituality can also remind us that we are all one in this universe, and you are just as worthy of love and happiness as the person who has caused us pain. It is as if we are looking in the mirror and saying to ourselves, I am sorry or I forgive you. Sometimes when we chant or pray we ask to be pardoned for things we have done that have hurt others and our faith allows us to believe and feel we’ve been forgiven. Try to have the same faith for them.

Forgiveness can be a difficult, painful and active process. In certain cases, it can take numerous attempts before we are able to fully forgive someone. Regardless of the difficulty, it is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves that directly effects our quality of life. Feel free to seek professional help if you are having difficulty forgiving or if the action has led to any mental health concerns like PTSD or depression.

The aftermath of forgiveness.

You know that you’ve forgiven someone when they no longer trigger overwhelming emotions in you and when you aren’t irritated by everything they do “wrong.”

The next step is to determine if you want them in your life. Once you make the decision to pardon them, you are saying that you’ll leave the past in the past and want a clean slate. There is a difference between forgiving and simply sweeping something under the rug to avoid dealing with it. Ignoring your feelings will always cause them to resurface stronger and can lead to built up resentment that will deteriorate your relationship. Throwing someone’s past faults in their face every chance that you get proves us to be cowardly and a smaller person, as pettiness has never helped anyone to improve in life. Because our intentions are not loving through this behavior, we are creating bad karma for us in the future.

Sometimes after forgiving, we realize that we no longer want this person in our life. Some of us may be in a place in our lives where we choose not to tolerate or have people in our life who don’t want the best for. I know for me personally, there have been people whom have had to face the consequence of no longer being in my life, especially when their offenses are reoccurring. You may find that you only want people who have good intentions and who contribute to your happiness and that you will no longer settle for half friends or frenemies just for the sake of numbing your loneliness. This isn’t an easy decision, but it is an act of love for us in the end.

We all hurt and get hurt in life so it is not in our best interest to turn ourselves into victims because that will only result in attracting similar people and situations. To help transcend your pain into medicine, try to view the situation as a teacher. What can you learn from what happened and how can you better yourself as a result?

Be sure to take the time to fully understand and learn about the forgiveness process. I hope that reading this has helped you to feel a little lighter. Let us walk together and further our progress with a smaller load on our backs.

Please leave any comments or questions below. Let’s keep this conversation going!

 

Love always,

Mabes