learning to let go of things - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-21-2012, 11:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I recently started a thread here in personal growth that really helped me work on a specific issue, so I'd like to address my issue of not being very good at letting go of things and hopefully get some great input here as well.

In general I find it very hard to let go of past feelings, they stay with me for very long periods of time and with the same intensity. I often churn the issue around in my head constantly. I'd love to have some advice on what tools I can use to learn to let go of the past.

My specific case at the moment involves my separation from my husband, which I am ok with, but now he has a live-in girlfriend and it has made a myriad of past feelings and hurt surface. I want to process and let go, and move on, but I don't want it to be a 'fake' moving on (like, just supressing things), I want to to be real, heart-felt.

This tendency of mine does not affect this situation alone, but friendships, family relations as well.

Anyone btdt with great practical advice on letting go? 'Time' doesn't seem to work for me so much, I process very slowly, and even then, I don't think it tackles the issue like it should.

Thanks!

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Old 08-21-2012, 11:30 PM
 
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no advice, but i'm right there with you. 

and i suffer from constipation.

lately i've been trying to think of how this might be an outer manifestation of my inner situation of not letting go.

i have also had trouble letting go of physical tangible things. i have a large collection of stuffed animals acquired over my lifetime. lately i am giving some away a little at a time in my semi monthly donations to the groups that pick up from your house.

i have had TONS of children's clothes given to me. way more than i can use. i agonize over every piece as i sort out what to let go of.

 

--

 

i guess i can brainstorm some strategies for you.

 

one would be to journal out your feelings about your ex and his moving on.

another would be to utilize anger. i personally have found that when i am flippin' mad, is my best time for clarity over what i need / want / will use, and what i can move along.

maybe you can combine both suggestions, and do some serious journaling / catharsis whenever you find yourself in a really angry mood?

 

-- 

 

are you -- or anyone else reading this -- constipated like me? 

 

thought i would join in this thread -- thank you for it -- and i, too, would love to read some suggestions. 

 

many thanks!

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Old 08-22-2012, 01:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Tropicana - no, constipation is not an issue except for maybe THE SAME DAY something happens, but generally not.

True, journaling does help me process, but not to let go. I can journal about the same thing for an entire year! It will be analysed...etc... but not necessarily dropped.

Anger, hmm, I don't know, I've always been advised not to make decisions in a fit of anger, and I believe this to be good advice.

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Old 08-22-2012, 03:12 AM
 
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I used to churn about issues. Looking back, those issues involved either my family or my husband. I now have little contact with those people, and I barely churn at all. In my case, I think the churning was a due to me trying to put aside my feelings in favor of crappy behavior they wanted me to accept from them. I also I'm focusing more on doing what I enjoy doing, and trying to get an income from that, rather than just doing what others expect of me. Hope that helps.

Constipation. Try drinking more water, and make it filtered or bottled. Hope that helps.
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:31 PM
 
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This is an issue for me as well, but one that I've made some progress on.

 

In addition to journalling, I find it helpful to burn what I've written. Just pour out all of my feelings on the topic, and then I sort of pray over them (I'm not a christian, so I'm not such what word to use for what I do). But I affirm that I am willing to release whatever it is. I find that being willing to release something is a helpful step between wanting to release it and actually letting it go. There is something about burning that is very symbolic and helpful to me.
 

I also play a game with myself where I choose the best feeling thought that I can muster on a topic, and then just stay with that thought for awhile. After it gets really comfortable, I can find a better feeling thought on the subject, and move up a step. For example, in this situation with your ex that is currently causing you pain, you could chose to be grateful that something has stirred up those emotions so that you CAN release them. They were there the whole time, effecting you and your relationships on some level, but you weren't aware of them so you COULDNT release them. Now that they are right there at the surface staring you in the face, you have the opportunity to process on a deeper level than you ever have, freeing yourself from the past. It's really an opportunity.

 

My mother never lets anything go, and doesn't see it as a fault. She is constantly constipated.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 08-22-2012, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Linda on the move, that's some great advice.

I also like burning things that I write to release them, but have usually only done this on Dec.21/31 etc... but maybe I should do so now, like you said, and add a prayer to the 'ritual'.

I will also follow your foot steps in the feeling thought game. I sometimes feel very ok with the situation, but the feeling doesn't stick, it goes up and down and all over the place over the course of the day, so I should work on a feeling and focus on that.

I appreciate your perspective - it IS a wonderful opportunity for me to heal and grow, and release these feelings, you're right! I am grateful to you for pointing this out. And if I hold onto these feelings it would be like saying that I don't want to heal...and it's about time I did!!!!

 

What's quite extraordinary is that I began a homeopathic treatment for a stress issue, where I had an initial 10 intensive days of treatment and then simply a daily remedy for the next month. This current situation surfaced on literally the 10th day of the intensive treatment, so I understand that it is part of my healing process.

 

Pek64, you said:

 

Quote:
In my case, I think the churning was a due to me trying to put aside my feelings in favor of crappy behavior they wanted me to accept from them.

 

For certain siutations you have nailed it on the head! I NEVER realised it before, but this is EXACTLY why I churn sometimes - because I am trying to convince myself that I am wrong and they are right, or I build up agruments about why they are wrong, etc.... So helpful to have it put in such clear terms!
 

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Old 08-26-2012, 09:09 AM
 
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I like Harriet Lerner's books for relationship stuff. I am reading The Dance of Connection for the first time and it is really helping me to address my tendency to feel victimized and give others the power to hurt me when maybe I don't need to do that.

 

Another thing that I know about myself and "churning" or overthinking relationship situations is that there is a root desire of wanting to find a way to control the situation... and it's hard to say this, but to control others. Whether substances are or have been an issue in your relationships, Al-Anon books (such as The Courage to Change) can be helpful if you identify this tendency as some of your "stuff."
 

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Old 08-27-2012, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Harriet Lerner's books for relationship stuff. I am reading The Dance of Connection

 

Hmmm... a relationship book, how novel! I should def read it, given how poorly my marriage worked out I could use a lot of help in that department!

What I craved, and crave now, is communication with a partner.

I may have a control issue, I have to think about it a bit more in depth, but it does resonate, certainly. Over the last year I have really learned to let go and accept other people's reactions, including my own (rather than react the way I think the people around me expect me to).

Thanks for your input.

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Old 08-27-2012, 12:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by anon_abroad View Post

 

Hmmm... a relationship book, how novel! I should def read it, given how poorly my marriage worked out I could use a lot of help in that department!

What I craved, and crave now, is communication with a partner.

I may have a control issue, I have to think about it a bit more in depth, but it does resonate, certainly. Over the last year I have really learned to let go and accept other people's reactions, including my own (rather than react the way I think the people around me expect me to).

Thanks for your input.


Of course! Above all, be kind to yourself in this. Being willing to examine yourself with an honest eye and own some ways of being that are not working as well as you would like can be a challenging and painful undertaking.

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Old 08-27-2012, 01:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sparklefairy View Post

I like Harriet Lerner's books for relationship stuff. I am reading The Dance of Connection for the first time and it is really helping me to address my tendency to feel victimized and give others the power to hurt me when maybe I don't need to do that.

Another thing that I know about myself and "churning" or overthinking relationship situations is that there is a root desire of wanting to find a way to control the situation... and it's hard to say this, but to control others. Whether substances are or have been an issue in your relationships, Al-Anon books (such as The Courage to Change) can be helpful if you identify this tendency as some of your "stuff."

 

Sounds to me like the same old "if only I can fix myself, everything else will be OK" stuff.

I have been controlled and dealing with controlling people my whole life. Not one of them ever showed any sign or symptom of churning! They do what they do and promptly forget about it! They go over past events only if the churner brings something up. Then they typically find a way to blame or confuse the churner.

Let's put it this way. Now I have little contact with those individuals, and I can let go of the annoyances more easily. Because I finally have control over how often and when I have to deal with their behavior.

Am I controlling because I want something I've accomplished to be aclnowledged (or at least not destroyed)? Am I controlling because I want to be able to voice an opinion without being told over and over that it's wrong, stupid or crazy? Am I controlling because I would like some of my inheritance money to be spent on something I want?

Sorry. This really touched a nerve with me. I spent much of my life reading self-help books -- even as a teenager. It has taken a few good friends a few years to get me to see that I was being used. Maybe that's not true for you, but just keep in mind that sometimes the problem is not within you to fix, except for realizing that it's not within you to fix.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:33 PM
 
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Sounds to me like the same old "if only I can fix myself, everything else will be OK" stuff.
I have been controlled and dealing with controlling people my whole life. Not one of them ever showed any sign or symptom of churning! They do what they do and promptly forget about it! They go over past events only if the churner brings something up. Then they typically find a way to blame or confuse the churner.
Let's put it this way. Now I have little contact with those individuals, and I can let go of the annoyances more easily. Because I finally have control over how often and when I have to deal with their behavior.
Am I controlling because I want something I've accomplished to be aclnowledged (or at least not destroyed)? Am I controlling because I want to be able to voice an opinion without being told over and over that it's wrong, stupid or crazy? Am I controlling because I would like some of my inheritance money to be spent on something I want?
Sorry. This really touched a nerve with me. I spent much of my life reading self-help books -- even as a teenager. It has taken a few good friends a few years to get me to see that I was being used. Maybe that's not true for you, but just keep in mind that sometimes the problem is not within you to fix, except for realizing that it's not within you to fix.


No need to apologize smile.gif

 

Your last line really resonates with me.

 

My own struggle (and really, all that I am sharing here is about my own experience, not some proclamation of What's True for All Humans) has been with remembering that the only "problems" that I can fix are those that are within me. 

 

The books and concepts that I mentioned above are speaking to me currently, where I am right now. Over the years, others on mdc and other realms around the web have shared similar resources with me. Some have been helpful and spoken to me where I was in that moment. Some did not initially spark, but when I came back to them later, it was time. Others I vehemently disagreed with the first, second, and third times I've explored them. Most have been of the "take what you like and leave the rest" variety. All have inspired thought.

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Old 08-29-2012, 12:19 AM
 
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For me, all of this goes back to the serenity prayer:

 

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change

The courage to change the things I can

And the wisdom to know the difference.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by sparklefairy View Post

 

Another thing that I know about myself and "churning" or overthinking relationship situations is that there is a root desire of wanting to find a way to control the situation... and it's hard to say this, but to control others. Whether substances are or have been an issue in your relationships, Al-Anon books (such as The Courage to Change) can be helpful if you identify this tendency as some of your "stuff."

 

 

For me, sometimes there is a desire to "fix" the situation, and when we are talking about a situation with someone who is truly dysfunctional, that could only happen if I could control them.  It's a lack of acceptance that things are the way they are. I lack the "serenity to accept the things i cannot change".

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

Now I have little contact with those individuals, and I can let go of the annoyances more easily. Because I finally have control over how often and when I have to deal with their behavior.

 

 

I, too, find it easier to let go of my baggage with certain people when those people aren't an active part of my life, and I maintain the relationship on my terms rather than theirs. For me, this is part of acceptance that things are the way they are. This is part of having the "courage to change the things I can."

 

Sometimes I have trouble telling when I serenity is my highest good in a situation, and when it is courage. A

 

And sometimes its a combination. For example, I was neglected and abused as a child. Just accepting that my parents did those things to me, accepting the past for what it is, is part of serenity. Letting go of the pain and the victimization, even though they are real, just because I prefer my life now without them. 

 

The courage to change the things I can is about how I chose to construct my life in the present -- living across the country from my parents and speaking to them only very occasionally, and having nurturing relationships with the people I shoe to spend time with. Being a strong, active person in my community.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 08-30-2012, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Linda on the move, all very true.

I also agree that when these people aren't part of my day/life I feel very happy, like, without them in the equation life is great.

I just had a realisation: my churning is due to me being very insecure.

As I am slowly gaining more self-confidence I am realising from what a place of insecurity I am coming from, hence the churning.

I think I would churn much less if I could just face many discussions head on, and then be able to move on from the past.

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Old 08-30-2012, 09:36 AM
 
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Linda on the move, all very true.

I also agree that when these people aren't part of my day/life I feel very happy, like, without them in the equation life is great.

I just had a realisation: my churning is due to me being very insecure.

As I am slowly gaining more self-confidence I am realising from what a place of insecurity I am coming from, hence the churning.

I think I would churn much less if I could just face many discussions head on, and then be able to move on from the past.


hug2.gif

I know what you mean, I do! I do!

As I gain more self-confidence and become less insecure, I find that "thinking a lot" is still very much a part of my personality and something that I can embrace and learn to put to good use. As I learn to approach deep thought with less guilt and shame, it works more for me. And I am finding that I am also more able to think less and have longer periods of time when I am simply at peace.

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Old 08-30-2012, 08:50 PM
 
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Other tools:

 

yoga or meditation -- both of which are about learning to quite your mind

exercise -- for a lot of people, intense exercise helps break the loop through brain keeps running through

pottery or other forms of art -- very healing

therapy -- sometimes talking it through with a good counselor can help because they can help pivot your thinking, often by just asking the right question

 

All of these are ways of talking care of yourself, of treating yourself with love. I think that any act of treating ourselves with loving kindness is helpful in letting go of past hurts.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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