how to "let go"? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-07-2014, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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how to "let go"?

"Let it go, let it goooo"

I'm hearing it every where. This is the new disney ear worm, of course, but also, the refrain I keep hearing and noting may be the best way to approach my worries and troubles.

How do you let go? How did you?

My stumbling block seems to be holding on to hurt, and doing so in a way that is so visceral, I still feel the hurt when I pass the place, person or thing that represents a hurtful memory, even years later.

How have you let go of this stuff?

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Old 07-07-2014, 07:18 PM
 
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Yeah, so now that song is stuck in my head...

Seriously though, "letting it go" is super hard for me. One tactic (that is probably not endorsed by therapists anywhere) that has worked for me is to just move on. I can't change person x or situation x, so just forget it. Associate with other people, or do other things, and eventually the time and distance lessens the importance of the negative person/situation holding you back. Maybe I'm doing long-lasting psychological damage to myself, but maybe I've discovered the key to happiness. Either way, I can live with 50/50 odds. :-)

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Old 07-11-2014, 07:16 AM
 
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Oh that song. Ugh. Am I the only person who liked the movie but thought it should not ever be compared to the masterpiece that is the Lion King? And now that song, which I do not like, is stuck in my head! heehee..

Therapy. That's how to let go. Actually, letting go takes time and, I agree with Kitchensqueen, the acceptance and understanding that you cannot change other people, nor can you change something that has already happened. I practice mindfulness and being in the present moment. Maybe it sounds cheesy but, if I feel sad I will think "I'm feeling really upset right now. Given what has happened, this is a totally normal feeling. Like all feelings, it will pass." then I let myself be sad- I cry, I reminisce about the past, etc.. and I mentally watch that feeling, I guess, float away from me. I don't know if I sound like a weirdo- but sometimes I actually visualize the feeling and watch it slowly dissipate as a cloud floating away from me. The more I think about an emotion as being impermanent, the easier it is to be present with that emotion and then let it go. Things that were really REALLY painful years ago, have become easier with time because of this.. and with CBT. I do have some triggers that I avoid and sometimes I am derailed by unexpected events or triggers but that's where cognitive behavioral therapy has helped and I do allow myself to feel those feelings caused by the trigger without pushing them down or clinging to them.

If the sadness permeates me at an inopportune time, I put it away for later. By giving myself permission to be sad later, I can enjoy the kids or the activity I am doing at that time. It's taken practice, and it's tough to do sometimes, but that also works so I don't dwell on things. Dwelling on things is a form of clinging and it's been really important for myself personally, to be able to let things go. Really crappy stuff has happened to our family and repressing it/acting like nothing happened or dwelling on it would not be a healthy way to raise children or keep myself healthy. It was essential to find a healthy way to cope for my own sanity. Good luck!

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Old 07-11-2014, 03:18 PM
 
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Hanging on to those hurts will hurt you more than setting them aside and moving on. It's a choice and it's not easy, but you just have to decide - I'm done, I am never going to understand or change that person. There's no apology that's going to undo what was done, but I'm not going to suffer over someone else's mistake/slight/meanness/misery/selfishness/whatever. As long as you stay in that hurt moment, that other person owns you.

I think sometimes people think letting go of the hurt is like saying whatever happened to them was ok and is letting the other person off the hook. It's not. Chances are, the other person already just doesn't care. It's more like you have to rise above their mess. Living well and being happy really are the best revenge.

My daughter holds on to hurts and slights and I don't know how to help her move forward. Even the smallest things, it's like she nurses those little wounds. It stands in the way of her happiness.
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post

[snipped for emphasis]

As long as you stay in that hurt moment, that other person owns you.
^^^ What a wise sentence.

A strange thing that's helped me is to link something that I like (nap, a walk, eating well . . . ) to something that's hurt me. Even if I'd be doing it anyway, I tell myself to let it comfort me for whatever might be causing me pain. It's my way of accepting that the offender won't ever do that, and also my way of saying that I can make it better.

Empty-nesting SAHM to DS1 (1989), DS2 (1992), and an overachieving mother (1930). Married to DH since 1986.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:15 PM
 
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Things that help me are yoga, journaling, reframing how I think about things.

My family of origin is very big on denial, which has always complicated "letting it go" for me. There is a massive difference. I need to be able to look at reality honestly with my eyes wide open, breath deeply, and stay centered.

Part of that for me has been in coming to appreciate who I am and how all of my experiences have helped shape me into this person.

Being able to see the beauty all around me: in other people, in nature, in simple acts of living is also part of letting go of the past. I have just cause to be a bitter and emotionally scared person. Instead, I've created a beautiful life. It's really a choice we all make.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 07-11-2014, 08:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
Things that help me are yoga, journaling, reframing how I think about things.

My family of origin is very big on denial, which has always complicated "letting it go" for me. There is a massive difference. I need to be able to look at reality honestly with my eyes wide open, breath deeply, and stay centered.

Part of that for me has been in coming to appreciate who I am and how all of my experiences have helped shape me into this person.

Being able to see the beauty all around me: in other people, in nature, in simple acts of living is also part of letting go of the past. I have just cause to be a bitter and emotionally scared person. Instead, I've created a beautiful life. It's really a choice we all make.
Well said, Linda!

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Old 08-08-2014, 01:36 PM
 
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I had an ex that every time I thought about him the emotional pain he caused me from the break up would always be there. I had to symbolically let go of the pain so I wrote his name on a piece of paper and burned it. As it was burning I told myself that I was letting go of the pain that he caused me. Then to make sure that the pain would stay gone I buried the ashes. That actually worked for me, I no longer felt the pain when I thought of him. In fact, I think I need to do it again for other situations.

Another situation I think I was finally able to let go by just focusing on the positives and being tired of hurting myself over it.

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Old 08-12-2014, 08:52 AM
 
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The perspective of time helps a lot for me. When I am sad, hurt, angry, etc., I allow myself to be that way for awhile. If it is big, I might really wallow in it. I have to avoid my Mom and kids for that time - they want (need?) to make it better; to cheer me up. But then, eventually I find I have used up all the tears and am ready to move on. For me, moving on means making a plan. I might not end up following the plan exactly, but it feels good to think I have a solution. It helps me to remember that the right to the pursuit of happiness doesn't mean the right to perpetual happiness. Sometimes, we won't be happy - and that is OK.

Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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Old 08-12-2014, 06:36 PM
 
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It helps me to remember that the right to the pursuit of happiness doesn't mean the right to perpetual happiness. Sometimes, we won't be happy - and that is OK.
That is very true - we aren't always going to be happy with an outcome - but as long as we can make peace with it and move forward productively, that's the main point, and contributes to the overall happiness of our lives.

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Old 08-13-2014, 12:01 PM
 
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Have you looked really closely at what is causing the hurt when it comes up now? I found that after a while I've gotten over the hurt the person caused me, but I continued to have bad feelings whenever I was reminded of the person or had to deal with them. I was so mad at myself for letting things get as far as they did with that person. I had to take some responsibility for tolerating that for too long, and then I had to forgive myself. I am not a very forgiving person, I tend not to accept apologies as I'd rather just wait and see if the person repeats their mistake.... if they don't do it again then they were actually sorry. So I basically just had to make better decisions for a few years, and see the results before I felt better about my past. Now if I start to feel bad when I have to think about or deal with that person, I can tell myself that at least I learned from the experience.

~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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Old 08-19-2014, 06:23 AM
 
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It is hard.

It IS doable

It involves a huge amount of work and self discipline.

You also have to be realistic. U can't let go too soon. U have to go thru the stages of grief.

The how is different for everyone.

However it starts always at the same place. When u r able to look at urself as an individual and want to discover things about urself. Things like - do I really like myself in that dress or is it because he liked me in that dress.

Garner ur trusted friends help. Are u being too hard on urself? Or its time. This may not always work. One of my friend has not been able to let go even though its been over 3 almost 4 years. Most of her friends ask her to stop talking about it. She is mad with me because I said its been long enough.

For me keeping myself busy really helped. And making myself thevpriority. I did a tremendous amount of inner work.

I was not only able to let go, but I was able to see him for who he was, rather than who I thought he was.
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