TLDR: Letting go is essential to our personal growth and progress in life. The first step in letting go is forgiveness. Forgive yourself for your past as well as forgive others. By doing so we are able to start to begin again with renewed energy and drive, and avoid the self judgments that hold us back and inhibit forward progress.
Journal prompt- What are some things you struggle with that hold you back? Write them down along with one small step you can take to letting them go.
“Letting go is a necessary, if sometimes heart-wrenching gateway to genuine transformation,”
-Phil Jackson, legendary basketball coach
We all go through difficult, stressful, and traumatic events in life. Too often we hold onto these things far too long, and it can be anything from resentment towards a failed relationship to guilt tied to our own past actions. We let these events define us and shape how we act and react to new situations. This creates habitual, unhealthy patterns of thought and action that keep us stuck.
The key is to step back and let things go in order to move forward. The first step in letting go is what we call ‘focused forgiveness’. This means that we can’t move forward in the present if we can’t forgive things from our past.
We say ‘focused forgiveness’ because this process works most effectively when we bring to mind and focus on forgiving ourselves and others for those things that we feel wronged by. Forgive yourself first by fully accepting yourself. Appreciate that you can and should seek forgiveness within yourself and from others, but do not punish yourself repeatedly by holding onto things long after you’ve learned something from the experience. Learn and let it go.
We often hold resentment against others, and our mind gives us lots of reasons to do so. For example, imagine going through a traumatic experience directly caused by another person’s malice and discontent. That person’s actions directly caused you pain and suffering. It is so easy to harbor deep resentment for that person. And it feels justified to do so because they were solely involved in causing you pain. But when we harbor resentment for someone it bleeds into other parts of our lives.
Resentment doesn’t just stay in its corner you’ve reserved for this person. Instead, you’ll be searching for other people and circumstances that you want to put in that corner of resentment because they remind you of this other person, and eventually you’re putting everyone you come into contact with in this corner of resentment. Its growing so large that it takes over your peace of mind. We develop a habitual thought process that breaks everything down in a negative way, and the brain becomes habituated to that negativity.
This causes us to become stuck and unable to move forward. We repel the very things that we want to make progress with and experience because we remain stuck in the past. By letting go, we free ourselves and begin to move forward and attract new circumstances and experience.
Our human nature is to be magnetic, it’s how we operate best. What we spread to others, we receive in return. Give love, get love. Give peace, get peace. Give forgiveness, get forgiveness.
Let things roll off of you like water on a duck’s back. You’ll find that the more you do this, the more progress you make on those things most important to you and you begin to attract those people and circumstances that best support you in doing so.
What are some things you struggle with that hold you back? Write them down along with one small step you can take to letting them go. Mental freedom is within grasp, start your journey today.