The Secret to Letting Go

Have you ever replayed a situation over and over in your head?

Have you thought, “Oh! I should have said that!”

Or wondered, “Why was that person so mean?”

The thing is, we choose to let situations live on in our heads. Playing a situation over and over again simply causes us to live in the past. The other person involved doesn't even know that something is bothering us, so why are we still obsessing about it?

The 6th principle of Compassionate Diversity® is Letting Go, and when it comes to diversity, there are a lot of things that we need to learn to let go of, like:

  • The belief that, “My way to see the world is the right way”;
  • Preconceived notions about other people;
  • Our ideas of colorblindness and gender blindness and any other blindness that minimizes our differences.

But, perhaps the most important thing we have to learn to let go of is when we think that others have wronged us.

 The best way that we can do that is through forgiveness.

 Before we go any further, let’s clear up a few of the fallacies about forgiveness right now.

Forgiveness is not about absolution or letting someone off the hook for doing something wrong.

It's not about giving them permission to have acted in the way that they did.

Forgiveness doesn't necessarily mean that we have to forget what happened. (In fact, I think it's more important sometimes not to forget, but we can discuss that another time.)

Forgiveness is not something we do for others.

Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves.

Forgiveness takes time and patience. It’s not something we arrive at overnight. But when we get there, we realize that it’s the best thing we could do…. for ourselves.

I’ve heard that a lot, and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably very skeptical about that statement. I know I was. But I’ve come to realize that it’s true. Here’s why. (I’m going to get a little geeky-sciencey for a minute, but bear with me.)

 When we experience any event, our bodies react. Sometimes we notice it, sometimes we don’t. It’s those reactions in the body, and how we manage them, that determine how well we bounce back.

Have you ever been so angry that you couldn’t think straight? That’s because your body is reacting to a situation and creating stress chemicals in response to what’s going on.

And, it’s not just the initial event that affects us. We tend to play situations over and over again in our heads. As we do that, the event is replayed over and over again in our bodies, too. With every replay comes a release of more stress chemicals.

Over time, we start to feel drained of energy. We lose our ability to focus. We get irritable.

In order for the situation to not drain us anymore, we have to let go of it.

We have to forgive.

More than anything else, forgiveness is a way to show compassion for ourselves. Forgiveness:

  • allows us to let go of perceived wrongs;
  • gives our minds and bodies space to recover; and
  • helps us to refocus on more positive things, so that we can build our energy up again.

Forgiveness takes time and patience. It’s not something we arrive at overnight. But when we get there, we realize that it’s the best thing we could do…. for ourselves.

Join me on social media to let me know your thoughts.


© 2017, Susan McCuistion

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