By Linda Arnold EBS CONTRIBUTOR
“Let it go. Everything happens for a reason.”
How many times have you heard this or said it to someone else? Twists and turns in life don’t always happen the way we would have scripted them, yet they can propel us to take action. Sometimes it takes a breakdown to have a breakthrough. Why do we beat ourselves up in our minds so much? If this happened externally, we could all be charged with abuse.
“We replay past mistakes over and over in our heads, bringing up feelings of shame and regret in the present,” says author Lori Deschene in “Tiny Buddha, Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions.” “That creates stress in our minds and bodies, potentially creating serious health issues.”
Now hear this: If you want peace, stop fighting. If you want peace of mind, stop fighting with your thoughts.
The “Let it Go, Forgive, Surrender, Forget and Move On Cycle,” developed by author Bill Austin is a helpful tool. Maybe you need to let go of a relationship. Or release a painful life experience like losing a job, coping with a death, dealing with a disease or ruminating over being “done wrong.”
This definitely requires practice and repetition. Over time, though, you could start to chip away at these issues that are holding you back.
The “Let it Go” phase is about taking responsibility. Decide to let go of the person, event or circumstance, reminding yourself that resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to get sick.
The “Forgive” phase is about healing yourself on the inside so you can be happier on the outside. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you condone the other person’s behavior. You forgive because it helps you move on.
Many forgiveness issues originated in early childhood. If you have issues that need reexamining, you’ll often attract someone into your life to mirror that. So, the person who infuriates you is giving you a heads up that you need to look at that issue.
The “Surrender and Move On” process is likely the hardest. If you don’t heal this situation, your soul may recreate the lesson for you to learn in another way. Got to love this “living laboratory of life.”
You’ll know you’ve reached the final stage, “Forget,” when the event no longer has that intense emotional “charge” on you.
Check out these tips for coping along the way:
- Write down your frustrations in a journal. Get your feelings out.
- Use a mechanism that shifts the voice of that inner critic. Remember the voice of Charlie Brown’s teacher? Or just say, “Thanks for sharing, Babbler.”
- Help someone in need.
- Take back your power by looking for your role in the situation. It’s so easy to point the finger at someone else. In doing so, though, you give away your power.
- Move. Exercise decreases stress hormones and increases feel-good endorphins.
- Express yourself creatively: write, paint or dance.
- Practice deep breathing, meditation or prayer. Get out into nature.
- Watch a funny video on YouTube for five minutes to switch up your energy.
- Wear a rubber band on your wrist and gently flick it when you start obsessing.
- Identify what the experience taught you to develop a sense of closure.
Hang this statement where you’ll see it: “Healing myself means letting go. And I’m worth it.”
Linda Arnold, M.A., M.B.A., is a syndicated columnist, psychological counselor and founder of a multi-state marketing company. Reader comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on her books, go to lindaarnold.org.