The Dalai Lama says, "Attachment is the origin, the root of suffering; hence it is the cause of suffering."
Some of us find it hard to let go because we are so attached to the stories we have created about a situation, person, place, or thing. The mind's nature is to be creative and to cling to things. If we don't understand how the mind operates or use it more consciously, it can be our biggest obstacle.
The mind fixes stories to the first story, and it builds and builds so many other stories, and assumptions and then we have a rumination of our thoughts. No longer do the stories exist right now, but they hang on and stick to us like attachments, causing suffering in the present. It could be a story from ten years ago or twenty years ago, and we create multiple thought forms in our minds that influence us to ruminate. This
excessive overthinking can bury us in anxiety and depression from distorted replays.
Our ego wants to create a story or a reason for the acceptance to feel ok. However, it also acts as a screen where the ego convinces you through thoughts to make it feel better - it just wants to survive and live. Try accepting and breathing out the reasons, the rationalisations, and stories, until it becomes a free acceptance that is not bound to something to soothe the ego.
Why is it so hard to let go?
Letting go is a challenge because of the memories stored, and the feelings we have surrounding those memories are expressed in various situations. Sometimes we feel the tension in our bodies which can be very hard for us to stop holding on as they seem to be who we are; we identify with them as if that's who we are.
Letting go does not happen overnight; it happens in phases. Imagine, some narratives are almost as old as we are, so it may take time to observe and break them down. When we revisit the past versions of ourselves that exist from any event or trauma, we can see how they remain alive in the present moment so we can do the inner work to free ourselves from the burden.
Letting go is a process
Letting go is not just something you say, and it instantly disappears in a puff of smoke; it does not work like that. We attach to things, building thoughts on top of each other like layers, and we need to break the attachment. We hold on to our habits, belief systems and belongings and find it hard to detach, even if these things cause us suffering. Most of us are terrified to the core at the thought of letting go without knowing what's on the other side. Who we will be when we let go of our past pain or situation that has been kept alive within us for such a long time?. Now, for most people, that can be a scary thought!
Firstly, letting go is a process where acceptance must come into play before anything can turn full circle. Understand that an experience has taken place and ask yourself, where do I need to grow now?. What part of me is still operating as 5 or 10 years old?. What part of me still exists that cannot come with me into my future?. Sometimes we take full blame for situations, and we shouldn't, but it becomes a story. Sometimes we blame other people, and this too becomes a story. We have no control over the past story, and we cannot change anything that has already passed in time, but we can let go and grow for our liberation and freedom.
Grieve the versions of you that you no longer want to carry and send them on their way with love.
Keep your mind focused on what you may have learned so you can move forward. Is there a silver lining shining brightly somewhere? Many techniques and methods can be applied to find building blocks instead of replaying the stories of our past. We can then focus on the future we would like to see whilst living and enjoying the present moment.
When we build thought forms from a situation, we can quickly analyse and reframe them or break them down. Sometimes I have to reframe the thoughts before I get to the point of just letting them fall away.
If you see a silver lining hanging around, hold on to it because that will drive you towards your future. When we let go and allow things to be, we make space for new things to come into our lives.
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