Why is letting go so hard?
Why do we have so much trouble learning how to let go of someone we love ? We like to hold on to things, situations and especially people because it fulfills our need for certainty . Certainty is one of the six human needs that drive every decision we make. Letting go and moving on from a relationship often entails a large amount of uncertainty. Even if your relationship had reached its conclusion or one or both of you were very unhappy, there was still an amount of certainty there that was comforting.
Sometimes we use the past to justify our current decisions , and that’s why we can’t figure out how to let go . Remember when you were rejected by several potential mates in high school or college? Those instances could make you hold on to a partner – even one who is not good for you – because you are afraid you won’t find anyone else. Those memories justify everything for you. When you’re unable to let go, those memories become a part of your “story” and work against you.
Let go of Anger and Bitterness
11. Feel it fully. If you stifle your feelings, they may leak out and affect everyone around you—not just the person who inspired your anger. Before you can let go of any emotion, you have to feel it fully.
12. Give yourself a rant window. Let yourself vent for a day before confronting the person who troubled you. This may diffuse the hostility and give you time to plan a rational confrontation.
13. Remind yourself that anger hurts you more than the person who upset you, and visualize it melting away as an act of kindness to yourself.
14. If possible, express your anger to the person who offended you. Communicating how you feel may help you move on. Keep in mind that you can’t control how the offender responds; you can only control how clearly and kindly you express yourself.
15. Take responsibility. Many times when you’re angry, you focus on what someone else did that was wrong, which essentially gives away your power. When you focus on what you could have done better, you often feel empowered and less bitter.
16. Put yourself in the offender’s shoes. We all make mistakes, and odds are you could have easily slipped up just like your husband, father, or friend did. Compassion dissolves anger.
17. Metaphorically throw it away. For example, jog with a backpack full of tennis balls. After you’ve built up a bit of rush, toss the balls one by one, labeling each as a part of your anger. (You’ll need to retrieve these—litter angers the earth!)
18. Use a stress ball, and express your anger physically and vocally when you use it. Make a scrunched up face or grunt. You may feel silly, but this allows you to actually express what you’re feeling inside.
19. Wear a rubber band on your wrist and gently flick it when you start obsessing on angry thoughts. This trains your mind to associate that type of persistent negativity with something unpleasant.
20. Remind yourself these are your only three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it. These acts create happiness; holding onto bitterness never does.
More Tips for Letting Go
2. Question your patterns. Do you find that you often struggle to let go? Or, do you struggle to let go of something or someone in particular? What are these patterns and how are they helping or hurting you?
3. Ask your inner child. As we get older, we rely more on our brains and often leave our emotions or intuition out of our decisions. So pause when contemplating letting go and ask your inner child what he or she wants. See if you gain any unknown insights from the answers you receive.
4. Understand that reality is often not what we expect. TV and movies often portray an unrealistic view of what relationships are like or even what living is really like. So many of us grow up thinking and expecting that things will be different than they are. And once we discover reality, we fight it. If this sounds like you, try to let go of the ideas you once had and replace them with your understanding of reality now.