Just Let It Go!

Hello Beautiful Humans


How often do you waste time dwelling on what you could have said or done? How are you suppose to move on when someone extricates you from their life unexpectedly? Why do we sometimes cling to those who pass on and allow it to affect our lives so dramatically? Why can't we just let it go?



There are so many levels to this topic and I am sure that I will not be able to cover them all in this blog, but I will do my best to address as many as I can from my own journey of learning and self-discovery, although it may not be as in depth as I have in the past.


Confrontation


I don't care for confrontation. When I was younger, it was a different story and sometimes it still creeps its way into my everyday life. When I finally acknowledged how I show up and react to the words and actions of others, I started realizing that it's usually best to just let it go.


In a confrontation, I know that I become frustrated. The angrier I get the looser my lips become and the less I think about what I'm saying before I say it. My words begin to hurt others and, just like an animal trapped in a corner, I will begin to fight back by any means necessary to protect myself. On a subconscious level, you're hurting me so I'm going to hurt you to make you stop hurting me.



Most disagreements center around two or more individuals wanting to be 'right'. Whether they are or not, doesn't matter. It's often an unreasonable response when we feel offended or when we 'know' the other party 'has' to be wrong and it's up to us to convince them of it. This doesn't mean that I don't take a stand for my beliefs or defend myself and others when necessary, but before I engage in conflict, I try to take a step back and ask myself three things:

  1. Will being right or proving my point in any way change the situation for the better or solve the problem?

  2. Is it worth being hurt or hurting the other person to continue?

  3. Am I prepared to lose the friendship/relationship of the other person?



Just taking that moment to step back and ask myself these questions can diffuse the animosity that I might be feeling. If I'm answering "No!" to any of the questions above, then it's just not worth being right. If no one is being harmed, then there is no point in continuing to try and convince someone that they're wrong. It doesn't mean that I am always saying that I'm wrong just to keep the peace. It's about knowing when to step up and when it is sometimes better to just let it go.


Dwelling


I'm an overthinker! According to Forbes Health (cited below) more than half of the population are chronic overthinkers. I will analyze and criticize and over emphasize every last detail of a conversation, situation or action. My mind is trying to figure every possible outcome, every possible meaning behind words and gestures. It's very difficult to quiet an overthinking mind, but that's a depth of this topic that I will save for a future blog perhaps.



Rumination isn't always a bad thing. Ruminating in a positive way is reflecting. Reflection is a good thing. Reflection is the 'I can, I will, I am' side of ruminating. It helps us to see how we show up. It can help us define our actions and reactions, gain insight into our own behaviors and allow us to make better decisions moving forward. Reflection can help us to grow and better ourselves as human beings.


When we begin to dwell on things (especially those that are beyond our control), we are evoking the negative side of rumination. The should've, could've, would've side of overthinking. "I should've said this..." or "I could've done that...." This is when ruminating becomes dwelling. Where we think and re-think and overthink about the way things occurred without attempting to learn from the situation and move on. This is where vengeance and similar negative emotions are born. Dwelling on negative thoughts in your own head serves no one and can be a detriment to your over all health and well-being.


When I feel myself ruminating, I do the best I can to phrase my thoughts from dwelling to reflecting. This takes complete honesty with yourself. You need to be able to hold yourself accountable for your actions, admit to yourself when your actions and reactions were inappropriate or may have been perceived as such. For example:


Dwelling: How could that (insert choice adjectives) call me selfish! I should've said (enter explicit retort here)!


Reflective: I may have been a bit selfish. I will react differently in the future to avoid giving the perception that I am selfish!



Reflection is not about always accepting blame or finding yourself at fault. It's about accepting responsibility for who you are and what actions you take. When you can do this, like I said, in "complete honesty" with yourself you may find that dwelling and overthinking will begin to decrease and you will be able to let things go.


Toxicity


I hate, I mean absolutely despise the term 'toxic people'. It implies that a person is manipulative, self-centered, intentionally harmful, etc. While, yes, there are people like this out there, in today's society we throw this term on any person who doesn't mesh with our personality, lifestyle and life choices and frankly, that's just wrong. Just because we don't get along with someone or agree with their opinions doesn't make them a bad or evil person. Their attitude and behaviors may be a result of situations in their life that you know nothing about. That being said, it doesn't mean you have accept them in your life, but let's lose the 'toxic' labeling.



There are times when a person in our life is creating havoc. Sometimes even chaos. We've set and expressed our boundaries, but for whatever reason their behaviors and actions cause a disruption to our peace of mind, body, spirit, etc. It's time to extricate them from our lives. It doesn't mean we wish them ill. It doesn't mean we hate them. It doesn't mean that they won't be welcomed back into our life at a later date. It just means that for this moment, we would be happier without their influence.


Sadly, this type of action rarely occurs without conflict, especially when the person is a spouse, close friend or worse, a direct family member. Regardless of how you try to avoid it, the situation seldom ends well. It does help to understand the emotions and feelings that the other party is having. So to continue down this road a bit a farther, let's switch persona's and take a look at this from the other person's point of view.


Let's say that you are the one being removed from someone else's life rather unexpectedly. It hurts! You want to understand why. What happened to cause this? It feels like a betrayal from someone you trusted, cared about and maybe even loved. It makes you angry! People often lash out with words and sometimes even physically. It's the reaction ingrained in us from centuries ago when our fight/flight (aka Limbic System) kicks in and tells us to fight back because "you're hurting me so I'm going to hurt you to make you stop hurting me".


These emotions and feelings are NORMAL! It's important to know that no matter which party you are. Expect them!


Now that we understand both sides of this hypothetical fence, here are some tips on how I choose to handle situations like this. Are these the best possible solutions, for me, yes, but they not be for you. Also, please keep in mind that situations of abuse or danger where someone risks being hurt or injured are EXCLUDED from this blog and all of my opinions herein.



Removing someone from your life:

  1. Let them know, in person if safely possible (preferably a neutral place) that the relationship is not working and for now I am choosing to go my own way.

  2. Let them know that I don't wish them ill, this is just what I need for my life to move in the direction that I want it to go.

  3. If they persist on knowing why, I am honest with them. I have boundaries that I have expressed to you and they are continuing to be crossed.

  4. I remain calm and do not raise my voice. I do not call them names. I do not play the blame game bringing up the past or specific situations. I do not put them down or tell them my life is better off without them.

  5. I leave and let it go.

Being removed from someone else's life:

  1. I ask why, but I do not expect or demand an answer.

  2. I wish them well.

  3. I remain calm and do not raise my voice. I do not call them names. I do not play the blame game bringing up the past or specific situations. I do not put them down or tell them my life is better off without them.

  4. I do not linger. I do not stalk them. I do not seek revenge.

  5. I leave and let it go.

*Side Note ~ I feel it necessary to mention that I would be lying if I said that I never engaged in negative actions and reactions when a relationship has ended. I have! I can only say that I continue to regret those decisions to this day!


Will this work for you? Maybe, maybe not. I'm not advising it or suggesting it. I'm just letting you know what I choose to do.


Death


This is the most difficult, especially when the loss is someone that you are so close to. I have had to deal with the loss of a parent, a best friend, a partner, a child and a grandchild. I can tell you that it is not easy. It will never be easy. The pain does not stop or go away. It changes and eventually becomes more bearable, but it does not ever leave.



I won't say that there are only 5 stages of grief, because I believe there are more. I also will not say that you will feel them in any specific order or that you won't feel different stages more than once. Everyone is different, but it is helpful to know what the stages are by looking them up and understanding how to work through them. Ignoring them will not help you.


Having said all that, 'letting go' of someone who has passed is a fallacy. You don't just let go. If you truly loved this person, you will never just let go of them, your feelings for them, your memories of them... What is necessary for you to let go of is the fact that you're the only one to ever feel this way. Let go of the ridiculous notion that you have to brave and not let anyone see your emotional struggles. Let go of the idea that you are all alone because you're not. Use the support of family of friends around you. Understand that your emotions are valid and perfectly NORMAL! Let go of pretending that no one else on the planet has ever been in your position. There is comfort in letting go of this foolishness.


Entitlement


I'm sure you have heard this before, but if you haven't, grab your boot straps on slip on your big girl panties. You are entitled to nothing! As a society, we seem to have fallen into this idea that just because we are alive we are entitled to whatever we want, but the truth is that there is a price for everything. We do not deserve special privileges or special treatment as much as we would like to think that we do.



Whenever I say this I am always bombarded with examples of things we are entitled to according to others. I'm here to tell you, it's nonsense. Here are some of my favorite examples over the years:

  1. Education - Wrong! You have to work at learning to have an education.

  2. American Freedoms - Wrong! Men and woman fought and died and continue to fight and die for those freedoms.

  3. Promotions/Raises - Wrong! You have to work to earn your raises and promotions.

  4. Welfare - Wrong! We work to earn a paycheck to pay taxes to provide for welfare.

  5. Social Security - Wrong! You work to pay into Social Security.

  6. Respect - Wrong! Respect is given. It's not due you just because you have a specific title or are in a position of authority.

The sooner you realize that there is a cost to everything the sooner you will realize that you are entitled to nothing. Let it go!



I think I have drug this blog out long enough. Yes, there are a ton more things that we need to let go of in our lives (like the Blame Game, tolerations or our own insecurities) and perhaps I will one day write a part II, but for now start shredding that negativity. Gain some understanding of yourself and others and you will be able to just let go of what doesn't truly need to be in your life, what isn't serving you and helping you to reach your full potential as a human being.


Challenge:

Find 1 thing that you have been harboring that is not serving you. One thing that is hindering you from moving forward into your better self and Let It Go!


Morals of the Story:

  1. Let go of unnecessary confrontations.

  2. Let go of dwelling on things that aren't worth your time.

  3. Let go of people in your life who continuously and knowingly cross your boundaries.

  4. Let go of the people who let you go.

  5. Let go of feeling like you are the only one to lose someone or that you are all alone in your grief.

  6. Let go of the entitlement.

  7. Let go of what sucks your energy and doesn't help you to reach your full potential as a human.


Citations:


Overthinking - https://www.forbes.com/health/mind/what-causes-overthinking-and-6-ways-to-stop/












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