“Let that shit go!” “Choose happiness!” “Find your inner peace.” “See your enemies as teachers.”
These are all great Insta-motivational lines, no?
And when encountered at the right moment, these affirmational thoughts can have the power to really transform our attitudes.
They can also result in gross oversimplification of the serious process it takes to arrive at any of these things – letting go, happiness, inner peace, forgiveness.
As the phrase “let it go” suggests, we each traipse around this planet holding onto false beliefs about how the world is, who others are, who WE are, or how we *should* be. Oftentimes, these beliefs are just not serving us. Happiness often means making a conscious choice to actively resist the power of pain, hurt, worry, stress – including the power of other people – to control our thoughts, feelings, moods, and decisions.
At the same time, I think the mantra “let it go” requires deeper consideration than it often gets. Sometimes this response can be a problematic way of dismissing a person’s need to process what they’re going through.
We need to hang onto our wounds, our hurt, our worries for as long as it takes for us to begin learning about ourselves through them. It is okay to be sad; it is okay to feel whatever you’re feeling right now.
But as Carolyn Myss says, “We are not meant to stay wounded.” At some point, we must make the decision to move on from pain and worry – to accept the lesson and move toward love and freedom. Otherwise we are trapped in a space where growth and happiness become near impossible.
Let go of whatever you can let go of today, and hold onto whatever you’re still learning from.