- The steering wheel
- My little girl’s hand
- My breath
- Hurt feelings
- My opinions
- My beliefs
These are all things I sometimes hold on to, too tightly. The more I pay attention to how I feel the more I notice when things are just a little off. With a little digging I usually see the “off feeling” stems from holding on too tightly.
I was lamenting this morning, about letting go. How HARD it is to let go. How I don’t know how to let go. I’m reading books, digging in, trying to figure it out… and I just don’t get it. Why is it so hard?!
It was during this lamentation I saw an image in my mind.
Two teams. Playing tug of war. Each team pulling as hard they can. Suddenly, one team drops the rope, to watch the other team fall over backwards like bowling pins. They simply opened their hands, and let go.
I realized in this moment, it’s not hard at all to let go. It doesn’t matter how tightly you’re holding on to something, how hard your pulling, how much effort you’re putting in to it… letting go is as simple as deciding to just open your hand and let go.
This realization got me swirling in my head, thinking up examples, and trying to see how hard/easy it would be to just open my hand, in real life instances.
I started thinking about all the things I hold on to too tightly.
The steering wheel… yep. I can easily just open my hand.
Holding my little girl’s hand… yep there too.
My breath? Absolutely.
Hurt Feelings? My opinions? Resentment? hmmm. That seems like a whole other thing.
But it really isn’t. The more I dug in, and looked around, the more I realized it was just as easy to let go of those things as the others, what was more difficult was making the decision to open my hand. There was something I was gaining from all those things… something that made me feel righteous, better than, superior. But here’s the deal… those things are about as polar opposite of my core desired feeling as you can get.
You can not simultaneously feel better than… and deeply moved.
You can not simultaneously feel righteous…. and enough.
You can not simultaneously feel superior… and Radiant.
So it really comes down to what do you REALLY want to feel? When you decide you want to feel good, it becomes a much easier decision. Letting go of long held hurts, bumps and misunderstandings suddenly becomes as easy as letting go of the rope.
I’ve found sometimes visual/auditory aids help in the actual “doing” of it though. For some reason, just saying to myself, “Okie dokie self, I’m gonna let that go” doesn’t really seem to do the trick. I’ve made some agreements with myself. I’ve agreed to believe that certain things work, whether I believe in them, everyone else believes in them, they have scientific explanation or not, even if they seem completely WACKO, I’ve decided I’m just going to buy in. Giving something permission to work, even though it’s so simple or sounds crazy… allows it to work.
Here’s a couple of them… they’ve made ALL the difference in my world.
The simple recitation of the lines:
Please forgive me.
I love you.
Simply repeating these lines clears things… the hurts, the resentments, the disappointments. Sounds crazy. I’ve found it to be true. I buy it for me. When I’m feeling off, a little sideways, getting irritated, finding myself resenting something… I start reciting these lines. Almost immediately I start feeling better. Try it. See how it works for you.
This is short for Emotional Freedom Technique. It’s a simple thing, you can do it yourself. You simply tap on specific meridian points on your body. As you’re tapping you talk about how you’re feeling. There are a million tapping videos on YouTube. This one is a little more difficult to do in public without looking like a complete wacko… but it works very very well!
This one I just found and have fallen in love with. It’s so simple and fits so well with the idea that letting go is as easy as just opening your hand. This app gives you a space to write in your worry/problem. You can then choose a method to erase your worry. With a simple swipe of your screen you can flush it down the toilet, erase it, send it away in a hot air balloon. So simple, yet so effective, when you’ve already decided you’re willing to let go. You can find this app in the app store or google play by searching for Ho’Oponopono cleansing app. It’s so simple… and yet so effective!
This is probably the most simple of them all. Just breathe. I never really GOT why it always came back to the breath. I mean, I know I feel good when I focus on my breath, but I didn’t see how it played into everything else. This quote allowed me to understand in an instant.
It’s the pause. That moment we need to give our mind the space it needs to make a different decision.
I’ve noticed, when I’m squeezing the steering wheel, holding Hanna’s hand just a little too tightly, feeling judgmental, or resentful, I am NEVER in the moment. I am always in some other moment, reliving the past, worrying about the future… part of letting go is being here, right now, in this moment.
Meditation, and mindfulness give you the opportunity to practice. That whole “being here in the moment” thing. It’s HARD when you first start. Come on, you’ve probably spent 99% of your life in the past or the future, so how can we expect it to be easy… it’s a skill, a muscle we’ve never really used! The practice of staying with your breath, coming back to the moment when our mind wanders, that’s how we build the muscle, the skill. It is these things that make letting go possible. It’s building the muscle of being here, now, that allows us to just open your hand.
If you don’t think you can do it alone (and none of us really can) it’s time to find a guide. I highly recommend this series of guided meditations. Click the image below to learn more and get started.
What are your favorite ways to let go? Do share in the comments.