Updated: Oct 28, 2022
Letting go and the trouble we might face when we try to.
Sometimes letting go happens so unconsciously that it seems that there was never a "trying," merely a "happening." Sometimes we just can't shake the thing no matter how hard we flail around. If you've ever asked yourself why can't I just let go of it or if someone has said to you "you need to let go of that," then this might be the post for you.
Below are some potential reasons why letting go might be hard. Why explore these reasons? Why do they matter? As I often say, the solution is always in the cause. If we know why, we have a better chance of resolving it.
The body is still storing "it." I was once speaking to a (Reiki) client about why the body would store trauma. This was in a conversation that started with my explanation of how the chakras can become blocked or imbalanced and why we see imbalances in certain areas. I had listed trauma as a potential cause of the disrupted flow of energy. My client was curious to know why, if they had consciously let go or worked through something, would the body hold on. One of the reasons the body might store trauma is to remember it in an attempt to prevent a similar situation from happening again. Perhaps in some cases, the physical body is afraid to let go because it doesn't trust that the conscious mind will protect it. It's like when you take notes in a class and write down everything the instructor says verbatim because you're worried it will all be important. This can be addressed through developing self-trust (i.e., not betraying yourself). Solar plexus work. See also: somatics.
There was an intense energetic exchange. When we look at letting go of something like a romantic relationship, it's helpful to consider it in terms of energetic exchange. Becoming intimate with somebody means exchanging energy on a very deep level. You might've heard this before: the energy of a sexual partner stays with you for at least seven years. SEVEN years. Almost a decade. This could definitely cause a person to hold on and it makes sense. So what do we do with that? We learn to honour that energy as being symbolic of a past experience that helped us to evolve. We hold that energy but we don't identify with it any longer. Acceptance. Heart work. Bear in mind, that it is hard to "get over" relationships. Sharing a portion of your life with somebody (no matter how small) and then having this connection be severed can really hurt. So please, stop judging yourself and each other for taking extra time to do it. Give grace to that. Don't plan to dwell on something because it's hard but be patient with yourself.
You've done no work towards letting it go. Yes, there is sometimes work involved. When it means something to us, typically we have to work to disconnect in a healthy way from it. If you've done nothing in the way of processing the thing you're struggling to let go of, how can you expect it will fall off easily? If you've compartmentalized it, just shut the door on it like a messy bedroom you'll deal with later, it's going to keep coming to the surface.
You've made that thing part of your identity. I did this for years, almost as a way to safeguard myself. I assumed people would know it about me when they looked at me and that's all they would see. I thought that if my story was xyz, there was no room for other bad stories to define me. If I just let this category of victimhood be my persona, then maybe I'd create a sort of armour or a wall there for other crap to bounce off of. Of course, this logic was/is weak at best and inevitably that's not what happened. But even then, I failed to separate myself from those stories. I didn't know who else I was outside of them. I had spent so much time thinking of and reliving them that I didn't have the confidence in myself to build an identity outside of what had happened. More solar plexus work.
Most often, our inability to let go is caused by a complex combination of reasons. But the more we explore our why, the more will be revealed to us. Gaining self-knowledge is a powerful tool in the journey of moving on. Right now, if you're having trouble letting something go...even just a comment somebody made to you...I want you to take a few moments to ponder why that might be. Reflect on it.
I love you.
You are worthy of all the best things in the Universe.
As always, if you’re interested in speaking more about this topic, feel free to comment or use the contact box at the bottom of my home page. I also always welcome requests for content.