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5 Simple Steps on How to Let Go

Written by: Debbie Gill, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Do you harbor resentments allowing them space in your mind? Do you have stress, anger, or other negative emotions that weigh on you? Or is there something else that blocks you?

Do you want to let go of them, but you just don't know how?

I have taught, led, mentored, and coached hundreds, if not a thousand, people over the past 20 years, and there's one thing I find that occurs more often than not; people think they've let go of resentments when they haven't. To go a step further, many believe they've forgiven an abusive parent when all they've done is rationalize it.

A client of mine said she had let go of her resentment toward her husband for something he did. When I asked her to recollect the occurrence and reply how she felt about it, she acknowledged she still experienced an unfavorable reaction. I told her she had not let it go; she only told herself she did.

You know you have let go of something when you recall the event, and you have zero emotional reaction to it. Although they've been hurt, some people have made the decision to view the incident as a factual event that occurred, and you can't do anything about it. Others may stay victimized and never heal from their wound.

When coaching a young woman whose mother physically and verbally abused her, she told me she had forgiven her. She knew her mother was only repeating a behavior pattern she endured as a child. I agreed but said to her that although she forgave her mother, the 4-year-old little girl inside her didn't; she didn't know how to. And it prevented her heart from being open. (I would then lead in the process of Rescuing the Inner Child, where she learns to re-parent herself.)

As a recovering alcoholic, I learned the importance of letting go of anything, and it was challenging—everything I ever let go of had claw marks on it! I tried to control everything in my life: people, places, and things. When I decided to let go, and it is only a decision, my life began to change.

Miracles that occurred regularly became apparent to me. My anger drained; I was thoughtful, secure, and grateful. I lived more in the present time. I didn't react to other people's actions that triggered me; thus, there was no need to let go of them.

I began to change.

And you can, too.

Here are a few simple steps to begin the process of letting go of an emotion, relationship, or incident you no longer want to wreak havoc in your head:

  1. Identify what it is you want to let go. Do you want to let go of anger, resentment, fear? Perhaps it is anger at someone who did something you thought was out of line and was hurtful. Where in your body do you feel the rage? Ask yourself, "Do I enjoy this feeling of anger in my heart (or another body part?)." You've got to name it to claim it.

  2. Know you have a choice. You can choose to hold onto your anger, negative emotion, unhealthy relationship, etc., or you can consciously decide to let it go. If you've been wronged, put yourself in that person's life at the time. Consider that they are coming from a place of pain themselves. Remind yourself of one or two of their redeeming qualities.

  3. Forgiveness is the key. Develop and expand your forgiveness and compassion. End the blame game. Give up the reason to know why things happen as they do; they just do. When you choose to forgive and then consciously take action to let go, you are not doing it for them, nor are you condoning their actions. Forgiveness is a vital process for opening your heart to love. Be better, not bitter.

  4. Acceptance of what is. Accepting something doesn't mean you have to like it, but it does make life easier. Acceptance is the answer to all of your problems today because the problem isn't with someone or something else; it lies within you. You can't change anything except yourself: your attitudes and outlook on life, your circumstances.

  5. Finally, live in the present moment. When you hold onto something, you allow it to reside in your mind, making for deeper, more painful wounds. In essence, you are creating a fantasy that doesn't exist. If you dwell on past grievances, you're living in the past. Don't sit on the sidelines watching the game of life; be a participant down on the field, living in the present.

I have found that these steps are simple but not always easy. The following poem, She Let Go, by Safire Rose, beautifully sums it up.

She Let Go

She let go.

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear.

She let go of the judgments.

She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.

She let go of the committee of indecision within her.

She let go of all the right reasons.

Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn't ask anyone for advice.

She didn't read a book on how to let go.

She didn't search the scriptures.

She just let go.

She let go of all the memories that held her back.

She let go of all the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.

She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn't promise to let go.

She didn't journal about it.

She didn't write the projected date in her Day-Timer.

She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.

She didn't check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.

She just let go.

She didn't analyze whether she should let go.

She didn't call her friends to discuss the matter.

She didn't do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.

She didn't call the prayer line.

She didn't utter one word.

She just let go.

No one was around when it happened

There was no applause or congratulations.

No one thanked her or praised her.

No one noticed a thing.

Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort.

There was no struggle.

It wasn't good, and it wasn't bad.

It was what it was, and it is just that.

In all the space of letting go, she let it all be.

A small smile came over her face.

A light breeze blew through her hair.

And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

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Debbie Gill, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Debbie Gill is the founder of Go Within Spiritual Coaching and Go Within Yoga. She integrates her knowledge and experience as a spiritual coach and yoga teacher with the wisdom of Caroline Myss, a Medical Intuitive and five-time New York Times bestselling author, Anodea Judith, an expert on the Chakra System, somatic therapy, and yoga, and Lion Goodman, creator of the Clear Beliefs® Process.

As a Certified Clear Beliefs® Coach, Debbie can assist you with clearing core beliefs that hold you back from becoming your true self and living your true purpose through the Clear Beliefs Process® (CBP). The CBP is a set of tools and techniques that frees you from past limitations so you can freely choose your beliefs and live an empowered and more fulfilling life.

Debbie is the author of, Struck by Lightning: My Journey from the Shadow to the Light, where she chronicles her life’s struggles with her shadow aspects and addictions. The spiritual memoir reflects her emergence from the shadow caused by traumatic wounds to the light where truth brings awareness and healing.

A grateful recovering alcoholic since June 6, 2000, she lives the 12-Steps of AA and practices its principles in her daily life, and continues her study at CMED with Myss and Judith, and Goodman.



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