When you’ve been inexplicably hurt or betrayed by someone you trusted, letting go can seem like the last thing on your mind.
Sometimes you can be left feeling like they don’t deserve your forgiveness and that moving on means that they’ve won.
But here’s the thing. When you refuse to let go, you harbor resentment, anger, stress, and an abundance of other negative emotions that are going to impact your outlook on life massively.
That person in your life has already chosen their path, they have decided their actions, and it is now time for you to choose yours.
You can’t change what has happened, but you do have the ability to alter your future. Don’t hold onto unnecessary anger to prove a point, or to feel victorious.
Because as long as you are holding on tightly to what happened, you’ll always feel stressed, anxious, and incredibly angry. And it’s not worth it.
So, in this article, we’ll look at what it means to let go, how you can do so, and why it will ultimately leave you feeling much better in the long run.
What Does It Mean To Let It Go?
So, what does it mean to let it go? It’s essentially a bit like an epiphany where you realize that fighting or resisting a change is much more harmful than simply allowing and accepting the situation as it is.
To let it go, you have to allow yourself to find clarity, feel and recognize your emotions, and then understand that these emotions won’t influence the situation and put them to bed.
As an example, let’s take a break-up. Let’s imagine your partner has been unfaithful to you.
No matter how much you hate them for it, no matter what you call them, or how upset and stressed you get about it, it, unfortunately, cannot be undone.
And holding onto these negative emotions won’t change that. But they may change how you love and trust in your next relationship.
Letting go heals you. It’s not about them.
Why Is Letting It Go So Hard?
There is a tremendous amount of power in letting it go, but doing so certainly isn’t the easiest. There are a couple of reasons for this.
First of all, as humans, we tend to fight for what we believe in and we have a very good sense of morality.
When we believe that someone has done us wrong, we can become overwhelmed with negative emotions. This is especially the case when we know the intent to hurt was there.
Let’s use the same example again. When you’ve been cheated on, you’re left feeling massively betrayed. You know that you didn’t deserve it.
You know that it was morally wrong. And so, letting it go is difficult because it feels like you’re just accepting that wrongdoing. It can feel like you’re allowing it.
But you are not. You are acknowledging that you are worth more than that wrongdoing and that their actions should not leave you unable to progress your life in the way you deserve.
The second reason that letting go can be difficult is that we are creatures of habit and routine.
And we feel as if we know ourselves best within that routine. And so we cling to it, even to our detriment.
So, you may feel as if you only know who you are with your partner, and the thought of learning who you are outside of that, as someone who is single, is so terrifying that you stay in a relationship that you don’t actually want.
But this is going to leave you feeling trapped and isolated. And you are more likely to lose even more of your own sense of self.
The Power Of Letting It Go – How To Do It
Letting it go is so powerful and hopefully, you’ve already seen ways in which holding on can impact your anger and stress levels.
Letting it go essentially rids you of all that anger and resentment and allows you to move on freely toward a more exciting future.
But how do you do it? How do you turn that seething anger into acceptance? That stomach-churning stress for calm clarity? There’s no easy fix and no perfect answer.
But the way I see it is it has to come out somehow so that it stops being all-consuming. Below are some of the healthy ways I have been able to channel my stress and anger.
Write It Down
Whether you’re fourteen or forty-four, you should never underestimate the power of journaling.
Sometimes, it’s in no one’s best interest for words to be said aloud, yet they just need to be said. At least once.
Let all that anger and hurt pour onto the page. It can be extremely cathartic to just it all out. And it hurts no one.
You are the only person that has to know, but at least you can acknowledge and express those emotions. From there, you can then start to move on from them.
Sometimes anger bubbles over and starts leaking out into our lives when we can’t let go. A good way to get rid of that steam can be just to let it all out.
And if words are not enough to placate that teeming feeling, try something physical.
Nothing gets rid of pent-up tension like breaking a sweat. And you’ll be rewarded with a boost of serotonin. So, get kickboxing, take a krav maga class, or sprint on a treadmill.
But just put every last little bit of anger into it – you’ll be surprised how much better you feel afterward.
Once you’ve processed your emotions through either rhetoric or physical activity, you can then take some time to be mindful.
And nothing is more mindful than meditation. It is the perfect activity in which you don’t need to focus on your past or your future. All that matters is the present.
Meditation is also known to reduce stress massively and has been known to help with forgiveness which is also an extremely important aspect of letting go (see also ‘Self-Forgiveness 101: How To Make Peace With Yourself‘).
Final Thoughts – Why You’ll Feel Better After Letting It Go
When you can’t let go of all that anger and stress, has no outlet. It has no place to go, so instead, it grows bigger and stronger.
And it can get to a point where there is simply no room for any other emotion. All you can focus on is how angry you feel. And this then impedes every facet of your life.
You become so stuck in the past that you cannot separate it from your present or your future. That one action or instance of wrongdoing blinds you of all happiness and joy.
Once you learn to acknowledge your anger and stress, you can allow yourself to experience it and then move on from it.
You can accept the situation for how it is and understand that you need to move forward from it. It’s crucial to remember letting it go is something that we do to better ourselves.
It’s often easy to feel like we are losing a battle by letting go.
But letting go doesn’t mean we are saying what happened was okay.
It actually means that we are acknowledging that what happened wasn’t okay, but that it also cannot be changed, and because it cannot be changed, we must move forward.
Learning to become very good at letting it go is a tremendous life skill. Everyone deals with hurts and all levels of injustice. Letting it go before it has to begin to pay rent in your mind improves your health and your life.
Live a happier, less stressful and more fulfilled life by learning to let it go!