Week 3 (continued):
"Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure." - Oprah Winfrey
Maybe you have had a chance to sit down and consider all of the things that you might be holding on to, or maybe you haven't had a chance yet. Either way, I wanted to give you a few ideas and ways to help you "let go". Sometimes it's easy to pinpoint the issue, but difficult to come up with a strategy to overcome it.
Clearly it is much easier to suggest ways for an exact situation, but since everyone's situation is different, I figured that it would just be best to throw out some general ideas. [If you're struggling with a certain situation and would like some more specific links or ideas, you can always email me.]
Possibilities for situations that involve another person:
- You could sit down and have an honest conversation with that other person. (This could also be done over the phone, but in person is usually best.) Explain how you feel and what you have been keeping in/holding on to. Sometimes this is all it takes to get past it.
- Perhaps you need to own up to and apologize for something that you have done. By not apologizing, you live with the guilt.
- Does it deal with someone who has passed away? Clearly you can not have a conversation directly with this person, but you could write a letter expressing your feelings and details of the situation. You could go to the grave site or another place where you feel connected to this person and privately read your letter out loud to them. You don't know how therapeutic it will be until you do it.
- Most importantly, maybe the answer lies within you. Perhaps all you have to do is look within and forgive yourself for whatever it was. (Usually this one is the hardest to do.)
For issues that are personal and do not deal with others:
- Clearly for these issues, the "problem" and the "answer" lies within you. But it is important to realize that you are not alone. There are people around you who can help -- family, friends, God, professional help, therapists, etc., all you have to do is look. There are several different methods that you can use, you just have to figure out what works for you:
- Journaling your thoughts and struggles.
- Map it out. Literally draw out a mind map of what issues you can work on. You can then visually see what changes you can make and track your progress towards addressing those issues and setting yourself free.
- Write a letter to your future self. You can do it here and have it sent to you at a later specified date (ie. a year later). Sometimes it's motivating to see how far you have come!
- Talk it out. Sometimes it's easier to see a solution to an issue when you're not the one directly involved. Scout out a friend to confide in; the answer might just be easier than you think! After all, what are friends for anyhow?! Trust and lean on them.
- Forgive yourself. As I mentioned above, and will repeat again because it's that important, perhaps all you have to do is look within and forgive yourself for whatever it was.
- Lastly, sometimes it's helpful to do something symbolic as you let go of the past. Here are some possible ideas:
- Once you have worked through and realized your exact, concrete issues. You could then write them down with a sharpie on rocks and physically throw them into the sea/lake/forest/etc. Perhaps your struggles deal with weight gain. Consider carrying those rocks by foot in a backpack for a certain distance to the tossing site. After physically throwing your worries away, you will literally feel the weight off your shoulders. I can guarantee the walk back will feel liberating.
- Plant a tree as a symbolism of a "new start". You can bury that letter you wrote, or your journal pages (or photocopies of your journal pages) that you wrote with the tree. As the tree grows, you will be reminded of your personal growth as well. [Note: Do not us an annual plant for this process!]
- Perhaps you have been keeping some secret that, for whatever reason you can not tell a soul. Why not send it in anonymously to Post Secret? Or you could write it down on paper and burn it immediately. [Careful not to start a fire!] Perhaps it would be liberating to anonymously write your secret on a public sidewalk using sidewalk chalk?
Finally, here are some other helpful websites that you might find useful:
Have a helpful link or idea? Feel free to post it in the comments section as a resource for others!