By Jaime Kulaga —
Unfortunately, as we continue on this journey in life, we have to leave the fairy tale endings to Disney. Sometimes the bad guy does win, the cheater ends up marrying his beautiful mistress and your worst fear does in fact happen. Since this is life and we can’t realistically turn to Disney for the happy endings, we need to let things go and take control over what we can control, our actions and reactions.
Letting go isn’t easy. Even in a brief moment of frustration with a partner, letting go can be tough if you are trying to prove a point. But, when we have to let things go that are fueled by a human’s strongest emotions, that is when marching on becomes one of the hardest things to do. Anger, love and fear are some of the most powerful emotions a person can have. If love can lead to an entire life of fulfillment (happiness, health, true partner), and anger could lead to death (violence and murders), with such extremes, how can we let things go in the midst of our emotions ruling us?
Here are 3 tips that you can implement to help you Let Go, Today:
1. Challenge fear.
Often when we let go of the past we are actually letting go of comfort. I understand that anger, fear, pain, and a loss are not comfortable like your couch, but the body is used to acting, reacting and thinking in one certain way. It is easy to be the same way, it take energy and effort to change. Your mind wants to keep on in a direction that is familiar with, even though it knows it is not necessarily good.
Fear creeps up in your mind. Fear lets you know that if you let go of what is holding you to the past, you might not have a good future. We fill the unpredictable holes of our future with fear, not joy. I suppose the truth is, your future is not guaranteed and definitely could end up not in your favor. Fear tricks you into thinking that it is better to stay “as is” than move forward because of this unpredictability. But the reality also is if you are struggling to let go of something, you aren’t in a place you want to be anyway right now. So, take the leap and let go.
And, if one reason you are not letting go is for the fact that fear is telling you a “what if story” that is no excuse either. Often fear keeps you miserable because it convinces you “what if things get better?” “What if she/he changes?” “What if next go around, I get the promotion?” Instead, challenge fear and say “what if I leave and things go great for me?” “What if I let go and am finally happy?”
The outlook is much better for your future than your past because you can create the future, you can’t change the past. Living in consistent anger or fear destroys opportunities that come your way and ensures that your peace within is crushed. Prove fear wrong and challenge it. Try letting go and begin to embrace your future. Hold onto your future like you currently are holding on to your past. What you are currently doing is not working, so shift your actions elsewhere.
Make goals for what your body, mind and spirit needs and focus on that this week. If it makes you feel better to make a list of all your fears and pains and set it aside for the week to come back to next week, do that. Let it go for one week and next week decide whether or not you want to come back to the list of pains or continue on your new path.
2. Don’t let anger control you.
Literally see anger as a person that you are arm wrestling. When anger is consuming your decisions and taking away your happiness, think of him as pushing down harder on your arm. Fight back. No one controls you, no emotions control you. Take back the power and slam anger to the table. If anger encourages you to seek revenge, feel jealousy or become greedy he is pushing your hand further toward the table. Play him back by hitting the gym, doing something good for you, or moving your life forward. Don’t lose this battle.
3. Rid of the physical pain.
If you have pain within you, chances are it might also be around you. This week begin ridding of the physical pain- and by this I mean items that are reminders of a negative past. It is not easy to rid of physical items that remind you of pain, but neither is waking up looking at everything that reminds you of this pain (which in turn consequently elicits rage, anger or torment within you).
It is not fair that you have to start each day or week being reminded of hurtful things. Stepping your foot into the week with anger, fears or frustration puts you behind from the get go. If you have managed to rid of a person who hurt you, don’t let them linger around in symbols all day. Finalize the last chapter and start a new one. Will it be easy to physically let go of items? Absolutely not. Whether your mind tells you or not, you have the strength to move forward.
Got pictures? Toss them. If you can’t toss them for whatever reason, please don’t have them sitting in 8X10 frames over the fireplace mantel for God’s sake! Put them in a box and lock them away. If you have children, and they want certain photos out, explain to them your pain and allow them to put a couple photos in their room away from you. If there are certain clothes that remind you of painful events, donate them. You can buy more. If there are certain rooms that remind you of anger or pain, rearrange the room. Purchase new items for the room or hang up inspirational photos/paintings in that room. Whatever you do, this week, physically downsize your pain or anger.
When you ground yourself to the past, you are stuck there. This means that you are literally making your future, your past. Instead, this week, your goal is to select one of the tips from above and begin “Letting it Go, Today” and start creating a future that is anything but your past.
Dr. Jaime Kulaga is a Certified Life Coach, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Motivational Speaker. She is the author of the upcoming book “The SuperWoman’s Guide to Super Fulfillment: Step-by-Step Strategies to Create Work-Life Balance,” to be published in March 2015. She is the inspirational founder of the nationally known SuperWoman Workshops. Dr. Kulaga has been featured internationally for her expertise in Work-Life Balance. http://www.mindfulrehab.com