Why is it so hard to ‘let go’ of what other people have said?
If you’re anything like me, you set yourself great affirmations to move forward and be the version of yourself that you want to be but no matter how long you spend getting a positive attitude. .
The crappy thing a teacher said in 1992 comes flooding back and stops you in your tracks!
The patronising words of your mum echo through your head.
Your ex-partner’s words of disgust make you question your worth.
Arghhhh!!!! I’m sure I let that shit go years ago. Why the hell does it keep wanting to drag it’s sorry butt back into my world AGAIN?!
Now, I could go all woo woo on you (and I do love myself a bit of woo woo) about soul contracts or karma or past life stuff. But that doesn’t help me right this minute and its not going to get my lazy ass off the couch and onto the task at hand.
I want to be happy, I want to move forward, I want my new life.
So you do the hard work by forgiving and forgetting, so you can move on and it goes alright for a little while. Then the universe sends something to poke and test that you’ve done the work. “Nope you’re not finished,” the universe smirks. Whack! Big slap in the face. Still have more to let go.
Damn it! I did let it go!
Or did I?
I think that’s where we all get caught up. Thinking that letting it go is letting the anger go and forgiving but I actually think there’s so many more stages than that. You see, I can let the anger go and forgive but their voice still comes back and rattles in my head or another trigger sparks the memories of how they hurt me and off the loop goes again.
How we hold onto stuff. .
When we learn something we need an emotion with a thought to spark and create a neutral pathway (nerve pathway in the brain) so that information is locked in our memory. Think of it this way, you can remember your first wonderful kiss and all the details that went with it because the strong emotion of passion is there. You can probably remember the song that you played when your heart was broken or the food you ate at your family Christmas or celebrations as a child. Once we have a strong neural pathway created in our brains that memory can last a lifetime, plus the more we have thought that thought the more ingrained it becomes and the harder to let go. Which is why we all remember the Vegemite song! “We’re happy little vegemites as bright as bright can be. . “ (sorry).
Lets go back to that crappy thing someone has said to you and why its so tricky to let that go. The situation you were in had already created a strong emotion or vibe. You may have been angry in an argument, or relaxed and your defences were down or even vulnerable and willing to connect and then WHACK. They say it and it comes as a surprise, something you just weren’t expecting. . did they really go there?!
Now you feel a range of emotions. . anger, hurt, pain, disappointment
Then of course the words play over and over in your mind and you think of a billion things you should have said in return, but didn’t, so then feel disappointed in yourself for not speaking your truth. Over and over it plays and stronger and stronger that neural pathway becomes. When work to let it go it can be really hard because you have spent a long time developing this memory.
How do you let go?
Letting go involves letting go of the emotion around the thought. You are not only forgiving the ‘action’ or the ‘words’ they have said, you have to forgive your response and meaning that you have given it.
Your response is unique and so letting go of the one emotion with the situation just wont be enough! Over time you will need to make peace with all of the different ways that you’ve been hurt by those words and as each is let go there will be no more emotion around them. If you are still getting triggered and the loop of thoughts return, you have another emotion to let go of.
There’s lots of ways and each person will find ones that suit. Some people will have great success by talking it through with a trusted other. If not, here are some ideas that help. Remember ‘letting go’ is removing emotion around the thought about what has happened.
3 Ways to Let it Go!
#1 Reframe: what is a gift you got from this situation instead? For me and the crappy things my friend had said, I was finally able to stand up and cut off the friendship. I was running old patterns for too long and thanks to her nastiness I finally had the courage to walk away and put myself first. Now I feel grateful because I wouldn’t have done that by myself.
#2 Burn a letter: Write long, detailed letter to the person explaining all of your emotions and all of the things you wished you had said. Take responsibility for your part and in the letter, make them take responsibility for theirs. Read it out aloud. Burn it!
#3 Cut the cords: Imagine that you are connected to the other person by a series of invisible cords which are binding you together. Close your eyes and have a conversation in your mind with the other person. Explain how you feel and how you forgive them but how they are not welcome to do that again. Thank them for the lesson they taught you and then imagine cutting each cord (scissors, axe or whatever you like) and once released wave them goodbye with love. Now some people like to hang on tight so you may have to do it a few times. An extended idea is to do one emotion at a time if you still don’t feel released: angry cords, love cords, jealousy cords etc.
If you can’t do it by yourself you can have Timeline Therapy: or other similar therapies like Hypnosis that can help unwind the memory and disconnect the emotion. Contact an NLP practitioner or Hypnotherapist that will help you.
Jeepers it can take time to let stuff go but what a blessing when it does! Nothing like being free to be you and to free up space to allow more great stuff in.
Have a fab day xx
After 20 years Performing Arts Specialist and Educator i have taken my skills in Peak Performance and relationships to a new level. Trained in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) as a trainer and practioner from the internally renown, ‘The Coaching Institute’ I am excited to let the change work begin! With a tool box full of techniques and processes from my career and education (Bachelor of Education and Graduate Diploma Special Education) I am thrilled to integrate with the wonders of NLP to give you the power to create your compelling future. Are you up for the journey to begin!?
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