by Bulbul Beri
“To be happy, we must let go of what’s gone, be grateful for what remains and look forward to what’s coming next.” – unknown
I have known for some time now that the only way to real peace, happiness and health is by forgiving and letting go. I have been practising the art of forgiveness and letting go for close to 5 years now. This practice has lightened my mind, heart and body (I literally shed 10 kgs) by forgiving myself and others and physically, mentally and emotionally letting go of what doesn’t serve me and making space in my life for what does.
Though I have been practising this for a while, some days I am better at it than on others. When I first started, I thought I would forgive and let go, and that would be that: done and dusted! But I soon realised letting go and forgiving is not a single event, but rather a daily practise involving continuous decisions to forgive, let go and move on.
Small hurts and big wounds alike must be dealt with regularly, like taking a shower, brushing our teeth and eating our meals. Sometimes we feel we have let go of something and then are triggered by something significant or seemingly inconsequential and we realise there is still more to let go. I remind myself to practice and regularly read up on this topic as I have experienced the lightness and clarity in my life of when I consistently practice letting go vs the heaviness and fogginess in my life when I don’t.
“Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender“by David Hawkins
Recently, I read David Hawkins book “Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender” where he talks about the benefits of healing and letting go of old wounds that prevent us from attaining our higher levels of consciousness. In his book, Hawkins describes a simple, yet powerful technique called the ‘Letting Go Technique’ to help us process emotions and move towards a healthier, happier, freer state of being. I have summarised this technique as follows below:
- be aware of a feeling, let it arise and stay with it.
- allow yourself to have the feeling without resistance, fear or judgment.
- initially, you will notice your fear and guilt over these feelings; let go of the fear or guilt and then focus on the feeling itself.
- ignore all thoughts; focus on the feeling, not on the thoughts. The real reason for the feeling is the pressure behind the feeling that is forcing it to arise – the thoughts about the feeling are an excuse made up by the mind.
- notice all negative feelings are associated with our fear related to survival; notice the underlying motive behind the feelings.
- surrender to the event and let go of the emotion surrounding it; detach your emotion from the event.
- sometimes after we surrender a feeling, we notice that it returns or continues – this is because there is more to let go.
- when we let go, there is immediate lightness and peace.
- we must continuously let go to stay in that state of freedom.
- feelings come and go, and eventually, you realise that you are not your feelings and begin to see that you had been duped by feelings all along tricked by the brain into thinking they are necessary for survival.
Letting go and forgiveness means choosing not to let past adverse events define your present. Letting go and forgiving doesn’t mean to excuse, forget or condone an action or event. Rather it is ultimately about freeing ourselves from negative feelings of anger, resentment, guilt, shame and victimisation. A regular practice of letting go will transform you and allow you to learn and grow through life despite the surrounding circumstances continually.