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Releasing Resentments: Letting Go & Moving On

What does letting go actually mean?

Letting go means releasing grudges and resentments, anger, pain or any negative feelings from the past, which can keeping you from feeling good now and of course, in the future.woman reaching towards the sky

Think of it this way. Here’s an illustration of what this means.

  1. Take a large plastic bag and fill it with laundry.
  2. Everywhere you go throughout the next hour, carry that bag of laundry over your shoulders never putting it down. How would that feel? Heavy, you’ll feel burdened, tired, uncomfortable.
  3. This exercise is symbolic of what it’s like carrying around the weight of hate, anger, grudges and resentment. Be aware of how this baggage creates obstacles in getting on with your day. It is a burden to have to drag this baggage with you all the time and a huge price to pay for holding on to something you refuse to let go of.
  4. Now drop the laundry and let it fall to the floor. Notice how that feels.  That is what letting go will feel like if you just dropped all those negative feelings and left them behind you.  You’ll feel free, unencumbered, relaxed, and lighter.

Look, it’s not uncommon to resent the ones closest to you because they may have hurt you, intentionally or not, by violating your trust through a lie, betrayal, deceit or abuse.  However, resentment comes at a big cost to you.

When you can’t let go of hurt and anger, it builds into a long-lasting resentment or bitterness. That feeling can take hold of your whole life and all of your thoughts.  Resentments make it difficult to enjoy your present life.  They define who you are and how you act.  And grudges, bitterness are like mental poison that doesn’t hurt anyone else, but you.  When you hold on to these feelings and, it makes you bitter, it depletes you of your strength and reduces overall well-being.

What if You Can’t Let Go?

Is it that you can’t or that you won’t?  Of course you can.  It’s just that you won’t let go now because you are not ready to move on, not ready to forgive, not ready to release those negative thoughts, not ready to just stop ruminating over what has happened. You still want to wallow in your self-pity and misery for a little while longer. And that’s ok, because one day you will be ready.  Until then I want you to realize you are sabotaging your progress.   This means that you are getting some benefits out of staying in this negative frame of mind and holding on to the anger/pain. What could those benefits be?  A lot of attention from friends and family, the support and empathy to help you justify your feelings, people agreeing with your perspective of what happened — all those are benefits.

Why is it so important to heal the heart?

 Because all this negativity is affecting you, and not in a good way.  So you have to be aware of how your past is affecting your present and how you are letting that continue. On the one hand, you want to move on, but on the other hand you feel stuck.  Wouldn’t it feel good to not feel stuck any more?  Wouldn’t it feel good to just feel good again?



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