Monday, June 27, 2011

Not Detachment, not Avoidance: Just Letting Go

Letting go is another way to deal with stressful people, stressful situations. Here's a common situation for women. Someone has done something that hurt your feelings plus made you mad. e.g. started dating your ex-boyfriend, accused you of being a terrible sister, said she's going to "weed" you out of her garden of friends, didn't call or send a card for your birthday, gossiped about you unkindly and never apologized. Weeks pass with no additional information, comments, or questions from the individual. This is a relationship that you value.

You've tried pretending nothing was wrong — avoidance. You've tried detachment, which worked for a while, but then you started rehashing again, spending mental energy at a high rate.

Time to let go. Letting go means literally, letting the situation go off into space, taking with it your emotions. You don't have to forgive. You don't have to forget. You just let it go, whatever "it" is.
• You breathe it out.
• You visualize it sailing off into space
• You turn the volume on your brain rehash, ruminate radio station to OFF.
• You mail it away from your senses and your emotions.

Why would you want to do this? Because you realize that you have no control of the situation. The person or sister or coworker has made a decision over which you have no control. Whatever you might say or do isn't going to work. Generally they need to take the next step.

This is an advanced technique and takes practice. "It" still comes back at times for me, but I check with myself to see if I really want to take action now. Have I acquired added control? Do I have new information? If not, I let it go again. After about 6 months, when "it" comes back in my mind, it only stays a minute or two and disappears on its own, leaving no bad thoughts or feelings.

Give it a shot and see what happens with letting go. You can always change your mind, but you might as well see if you CAN let it go. If you can, you will feel a tremendous relief. One less interpersonal problem on your agenda.
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1 comment:

  1. Needed to read this! Thank you for such lovely articles!


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