You hear that phrase a lot. “Just let it go”, as though that is supposed to make anything better. It sounds trite and condescending when what we are going through is a struggle that is very real for us. Being told to just let it go gives us the definite message that what we are going through really does not matter to the person who is saying that. It also tells us that they do not have our backs, and are not supportive. It minimises our experience and diminishes us as a human being with emotions and experiences. When someone tells me something like this, I actually come to realise that it is actually THEM that I need to let go.
There are definitely times when we do, however, need to coach ourselves on what to let go and what to seek justice about. Not letting go is not necessarily holding onto something toxic. In fact, holding on to something is often an indication that we are not going to let someone off the hook without acknowledging what they have done. Whether or not that leads to justice is up to how they respond, and also how we decide to deal with their responses or lack thereof. If no justice will be experienced, then we have to move on, because seeking revenge is never attractive or productive…even if that is a basic human instinct.
Personally I have found that there have been a number of things that I have had to let go of over the course of many, Many, MANY years of my life. I have had to let go of friends who have betrayed me along the way in the pursuit of their own personal gain. I have had to let go of family members who have treated me with aggression and abuse. I have had to let go of clients who have been toxic so that I would survive enough to continue to help those who appreciate what I do for them.
But the biggest thing that I have had to let go of in my life is the person I used to be. It is not that I have been horrible or necessarily done horrible things. It is that I have grown. I like to become better than I was yesterday…or even five minutes ago. So letting go of some aspect of my old self is an important part of that growth. Yes, I have some regrets along the way. We all do. And letting go of the person I was back then is also necessary in the process of liberating myself from who I was when I did whatever it is that I might regret. That liberation from the old self can help us to clear ourselves of toxic and stale energies that then sets us free to become who we are going to be today, tomorrow and the next day…the next month….the next year and so on.
So often we beat ourselves up (far more than anyone else would) about who we used to be. We have to stop that because it is a form of self-abuse. I was telling a dear friend the other day that, even though I have been married three times and am now in my fourth long-term relationship, I do not regret for one moment having been married to any of my past partners. Each relationship is one that, no matter how twisted or toxic it became, served both of us well in our own paths of personal growth. If we can take a much more chill approach to it and recognise what was happening in our lives and what was motivating us, then we can look at how we could perhaps have done something better. It is not that we can ever take back whatever was said or done. But we can learn from our mistakes and become better equipped at handling that sort of situation next time around.
Our future selves depend upon us being able to process that. It depends upon us for the cleansing that it takes to create a clean slate that we can then use to create what is more authentic and congruent with who we are becoming. Let’s not let our future selves down. Because if we do, that will be something that will definitely be worth regretting.
It really does not matter if we decide to hold some elaborate ritual regarding the letting go of the old and the birthing of the new, or simply turn our consciousness towards that aspect of becoming, the point is that we need to allow space for it to happen in our lives. So often we smother out the opportunities with excessive activity or excessive drug use or excessive interpersonal relations. We spend more time on our cell phones than we actually do in our own company. So I encourage everyone to take a moment every day to just sit with yourself. Reflect, contemplate your life’s journey, decide what you are wanting to let go of in your life, and embrace that which you are becoming. You may even be inspired to actually write your past self a love note, thanking him or her for their contributions, even if who you were is no longer who you are. It can be a beautiful experience. There is nothing to fear.