The Process of Letting Go
What does letting go mean to you? Is it simply removing something from your life, or is it more of a feeling? At one time or another, all of us have experienced a feeling of resistance to the natural flow, or direction that life takes us. Letting go of this resistance, as well as the attempt to manipulate what is happening, can be challenging. This is especially true when we are attached to a specific outcome, or are uncomfortable with change. Letting go is surrendering to the things we have absolutely no control over, while allowing ourselves to experience any feelings that come up for us. A simple example would be, the weather! We cannot control if the weather ruined special plans we had, but we can allow ourselves to feel the disappointment. When we find the courage to let go, we make room for new opportunities, emotions and self-development. Maybe even something more wonderful than we thought possible.
As we move into new stages of our lives, letting go becomes necessary for our well-being. In fact, it’s a natural part of change. The ebb and flow of life changes may differ individually, but they are always continual. Embracing our feelings that come up for us during our process will only help us to move forward. This can feel challenging at times, and we may need help from the right kind of professional for our situation. For example, if someone has experienced the loss of a friend or family member they may need to see a bereavement counselor to help them process the emotions of loss.
Through the mind-body connection, our physical body may suffer from holding on to things that we’re not ready to let go of yet. Our bodies are constantly responding to our thoughts and feelings. Take for instance, someone who clenches or grinds their teeth when they’re stressed or anxious. It’s very likely that this person could develop headaches or jaw pain. This physical discomfort is a messenger, telling them they need to relax their mind. As a healthcare professional who works closely with the mind-body connection, witnessing the process of letting go becomes a part of my daily work with others. I’ve learned that letting go is a unique and individual experience. It’s a path of self-discovery, where we learn to trust what our mind-body needs from us.
On my own journey of letting go, I’ve experienced many challenges and emotions that came along with the process. One of my most difficult challenges was accepting how long it took me to let go of my resistance, during certain times of my life. I thought my pace was too slow and felt inadequate. After years of going through my own process and assisting others through theirs, it was clear that we all have a speed, which works perfectly for us. Change can be stressful and difficult, so no wonder we need to ease into it at times. Also, as we shift into newer versions of ourselves, our pace will change too. Trusting your own pace is empowering!
As life’s natural flow continues, we always have the choice to either surrender to it or resist. Compare floating on a raft, easily moving with the water’s current vs. fighting to sail against it This is not to say that the decision to let go is easy or won’t take us time to make. It’s rather about creating an awareness of noticing where we are in our process. Awareness creates a deeper connection to the experience, which in turn helps us when we have to move through it again. It’s also important to be gentle with ourselves as we move through this process. Acceptance of where we are is just another version of self-love. Honoring what the mind-body needs creates a space filled with loving support.