Repetitious negative thought patterns are not only hard to endure, but worse than that, they take us out of our creative life flow. They also stress out our bodies, hearts, and minds.
In many spiritual circles, you hear things like: “It’s in the past, so just let it go”. Please, give me a break! If you have ever tried to just “let it go”, you may have found that it is NOT always that easy.
From time to time, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to just set something that was bothering me down and it went away, but not always. This is a really complicated subject, which I hope to simplify.
How to Let Go – Steps I Follow:
- Use mindful awareness to realize that I am clinging onto some pattern of thinking that is causing me stress.
- Whenever the mind habit pattern comes up, I make the decision to let it go and put it in the past.
If it goes away, I am free of this bothering thought progression – Yay!
- If the negative thought pattern continues to arise, I try to set it down again.
I DON’T ever deny or try to sugar-coat my negative thoughts or feelings, for this only leads to DELUSION, which orders up more inner turmoil.
- If it continues to arise, it may be an indication that I need to address the problem with the other people in my situation. If I see the wisdom in this, I do my best to approach others with honesty, and skillfulness.
- If the negativity persists, I take some time out to investigate my experience. I do this by dropping the “blah, blah, blah, he said, she did” storyline, and instead give myself permission to feel the physical and emotional sensations related to the stress I am feeling.
- I continue to investigate these sensations every time the negative thought pattern arises, until it eventually dissipates – which it usually does in due time and with practice.
- I have also found that practicing empathy has been helpful, by imagining how the other people in my drama may also be struggling.
- If it stubbornly persists for a LONG time (years), I may go get some EMDR or Somatic Release therapy to untie these knots. Luckily, I have only had to go the therapy route for some really deep-rooted issues.
The negative mind habit pattern should go away. But if it persists, then it is important to:
- If you haven’t already done so, STOP complaining about it to others (stop throwing gas on the flames);
- Make sure your identity is not wrapped up in this pattern. An example of this may be: “All my girls friends cheat on me”. Let go of this story identification, for it just perpetuates this nasty habit pattern.
If you aren’t doing either of these mentioned above, and the negative mind habit continues to be a pain in your backside, you may be experiencing the effects of a mental or physical illness. Just to make sure, you may want to check in with some professionals.
Because “letting go” does not usually happen overnight, it is really IMPORTANT to be realistic, kind, and patient with yourself during the “letting go” process. We are just humans after all, and “letting go can be hard to do”! Isn’t that a song?
Written by: Ronya Banks
I’d love to hear what works best for you with “how to let go”?