I wish I had a dollar for every time someone told me (or I told myself) to “let it go.” “Just let it go, Andria.” “Why don’t you just let that go?”
Because I can’t.
Why not? Because I don’t know HOW.
How do you let go of things that mean so much? Things that you desire? Things that hurt you or break your heart? What about the old fears and limiting beliefs that hold you back? Just let them go too, right? But, how?
I’ve spent too much time on this to not share the secret I uncovered of how to actually do this. What I first discovered is that it’s not necessarily about the “thing” you’re trying to let go of – it’s more about the feelings behind all those desires, heartbreaks, yearnings, and hurts. It’s really about letting go of the feelings associated with those things you cannot seem to leave in the past.
So here’s how you do it – you accept how you feel about them. Yes, you let yourself feel without judgment until your heart loosens its grip, until you release whatever it is you want to be free of.
For example, I have old limiting beliefs that I’ve tried to release for many years. They are things that can hold me back and keep me stuck. I wrote about some in my latest book, Fear to Flow, which comes out in July. I developed one particular belief during a traumatic time in my childhood. The belief was: if I am not constantly taking action and “doing” something, things will fall apart – I have to take care of everything or else I may lose something (a loved one, client, my business…) I’m super aware of this belief and each time it shows up, I’ve judged it:
Here we go again.
Haven’t I dealt with this already?
Why does this keep showing up?
Good Lord – it never ends.
Just go away.
But, it didn’t. The more I resisted it, the more it persisted. However, when I simply allowed myself to sit with the limiting belief and the fear it created in me, it began to subside. Instead of pushing against it and judging it, I decided to allow it to be. The voice track shifted to:
Okay – what am I afraid will happen if I say no to the new client because I need to focus more on my book launch?
I’m afraid I’ll never get another client and the efforts for the book launch won’t be successful. I’m afraid of what will happen if I say no.
But that’s okay. It really is okay to feel afraid when making a new choice that’s outside of my comfort zone…
Even if my fears were not based in reality or were made up stories, they still needed to be felt. When I allowed the feelings associated with my limiting belief(s) to be felt without judging them, they stopped showing up with a vengeance. They lost power over me. They eased.
It’s the same with old hurtful or angry feelings. I have an old wound. 34 years old to be exact. It’s from when my parents divorced and it reared its head after my dad passed away and continues to show up when various things surrounding his passing and him being gone trigger me. When I feel the old hurt and anger, my gut instinct is to resist it.
This again? Good Lord.
Haven’t I dealt with this?
Isn’t there a statue of limitations on Daddy issues?
But it doesn’t. The more I resist, the more it persists.
However, when I shift to allowing the hurt and anger to be felt without judgment and when I soften to it, my internal chatter changes:
It’s okay to feel this hurt and angry.
It’s just a feeling.
It’s here to tell you something, again, yes, it is here again and that’s okay.
Then the anger and pain soften. They loosen their grip on me and lose power over me. It’s the resisting and judging of the fears, hurts, and limiting beliefs that keep them persisting.
When we disallow our feelings, we cannot let go. When we disallow ourselves to feel disappointed about not reaching a goal or not getting what we desire that the yearnings persist and that’s why we are unable to let go. But, if we allow ourselves space to feel disappointed that we didn’t get the job we wanted or didn’t land the big new client, we can then let it go.
And that is how you do it: allow space for the emotion that’s behind whatever you’re holding onto to be felt. Once you do, you’ve begun the process of letting go.