For the past few months, my four year old has been walking around the house belting out the lyrics from a certain movie featuring certain “frozen” princesses. Even my toddler joins in, although his contribution mainly consists of matching consonant and vowel blends in time with the tune. After catching myself murmuring “let it go… let it go…” along with them for the bajillionith time, I started to think about the power of those words.
Learning To Let Go
Not the message from the actual song, mind you (although here is not the time or place to argue about the messages behind such lyrics), but the simple act of letting go, as applied to our lives. There is so much that we carry around with us, things we might not even be consciously aware of, that nevertheless affect our day-to-day happiness, as well as our relationships with the people in our lives.
It is expecting a lot out of ourselves to think we can decide to let go of all our baggage and, once the decision is made, simply snap our fingers and do it. (That kind of magic generally only happens in the aforementioned cartoons.) We run the risk of simply choosing not to address emotional issues that need addressing, and burying baggage is a sure-fire way to ensure it springs up again.
On the flip side, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut regarding issues that really do need to be let go of, dredging them up over and over again for a variety of reasons – because we have not dealt with them appropriately, or because we are afraid to face our lives without the security of the excuse that they give us for certain behaviors.
It is up to every individual to acknowledge an issue in their lives that drags them down, be it a memory of a traumatic event, a past anger or regret, or a current, unhappy situation. Just as every acknowledgment will be different, so will every response.
Some people may choose to write through their emotions, listing their reasons for sadness, anger, confusion, and then throw this list away, symbolically ridding themselves of things they have carried.
Some people may re-write an ending they would have preferred, bringing positive closure to a past situation and helping prepare themselves to respond more appropriately next time, if they should need to.
Some people may choose to remember or think about what’s bothering them and get their emotions out in a physical way – shouting, running, air-punching, responding to someone they need to, even if that person isn’t there.
Some may choose to remember or imagine a past or present scenario just the way it happened, with one significant change – they insert themselves into the scene and respond in a different way, either with humor, compassion, forgiveness, or a simple act of closure.
Some may even choose to make positive changes in their current life based on past actions or regrets, and when these changes are constructive, made in a spirit of release and coming from a genuine place, they can be beneficial for both an individual and the people around them.
Some people may realize that what they are carrying is too great a weight to bear without outside help, and give themselves permission to seek that out.
Learning To Grow
When we let go of issues, past or current, that weigh on us, we don’t have to negate them or pretend they never occurred; we can simply clear the space their negative energy was occupying in our lives so that there is room for healthier things to take root and grow. By working through issues and releasing them, we learn a healthier way of dealing with negativity, as well as what really works for us. And letting go of things doesn’t mean they won’t pop up again from time to time; it means that when they do, we can take a deep breath and allow ourselves to acknowledge them – “Yes, that happened, it’s over now” – without dwelling on them, moving on to the present.