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Letting Go

Letting go is adifficult thing for most of us. Whether it arrives upon us due to the loss of afriend or loved one through death or break-up, or the passing of a beloved pet,or having to let go of a job, or the place we’ve grown up in or lived for along while – whatever the reason - inevitably the letting-go process involvesgrief on some level.


The letting go ofsomeone or something that didn’t work out can be a very testing thing,depending on the depth of the feelings involved. Sometimes it can be literallyheart-breaking. You don’t mend a heart that’s been shattered into a thousandpieces – it’s been broken open for ever – no going back. There is no easy fixat times like these – we just have to go through the process of letting go andallow the grieving to run its course. The worst thing to do, in my experience,is bottle it up inside and pretend everything is OK, and not allow those deepfeelings to surface. They need to come out, in order to be acknowledged and cleared,so that healing can occur. It’s not OK if we’re appearing normal but dyinginside! Best to allow ourselves time and privacy to go right into those deephurts and feel them totally, allowing our heart to break if necessary in theprocess, however much pain we are in.

Sometimes we can’tkeep it all together – we just have to dissolve in the tears and grief, howevercaused. At one point, during my own letting-go process, I poured myself into mywork with such fervour, to escape the emotional pain, that I severely depletedmy energy reserves, resulting in my immune system being overwhelmed, and Ibecame unwell for a short time – unheard-of for me. That’s no good either – weneed to keep a balance and be kind to ourselves. There are occasions of course whenwe have to put a brave face on to go out into the world and do our work. Butafter those duties are done, it’s essential to have time in our own peacefulspace to allow ourselves the opportunity to grieve – to come to terms withwhatever has happened, in our own time and in our own way.

Letting go has manylayers – have you noticed that? It doesn’t happen all at once. You get throughone layer and think - thank goodness, I’m getting back to “normal” (whatevernormal is!), and then another layer appears, triggered by something quiterandom or accidental, and you’re back to square one, finding yourself apparentlyback in the same place - still grieving and unable to let go. As time goes on(and time is indeed the healer here), and you work your way through the manylayers of attachment, letting them go in their own time as they surface, yourealise at some point down the line that things are getting better, and you’re startingto get somewhere and come out the other end. Not unscathed of course, but astronger wiser person than before, lessons learned. Grief has this way ofbubbling up when we least expect it.

And that’s part ofthe process – we just have to allow it to surface in its own time. I speak fromexperience having lost both my parents and stepfather some years back, plusseveral friends, and having also gone through the intense pain of brokenrelationships. Grief can be disabling and the instinct is to armour plateourselves emotionally and close up the heart so that we won’t get hurt in thisway again. The opposite needs to happen - we must keep the heart open and notbarricade ourselves in behind a wall, keeping others out for fear of being hurteven more. We need to allow ourselves time to go through this letting go process,without trying to push it away or block it, or otherwise pretend it’s all OK.The healing process takes its own time and cannot be rushed. And we neverreally get over it completely when our loss involves very deep feelings – it becomesan integral part of the person we become further down the line. We gain depth,strength  and understanding because ofthe pain and suffering of these experiences.

Letting go is noteasy at all. But it is usually necessary in order that we are able to move on,honouring whatever has happened, and at the same time acknowledging that lifegoes on, and we need to flow with it wherever it is taking us. And eventually,that does happen. It can take many years in some cases, but it does start toget better if we treat ourselves kindly and allow things to run their coursenaturally. Self care and self love are key here – we are the priority. We needto put ourselves first in order to fully heal from any major loss. And eventuallywe may also be able to see the higher picture – that life has a lesson for usin everything that happens, and it is all for a reason, although we may neverknow what that reason is. That can be the hard part. And finally, we may findourselves in a place of trust and acceptance – that whatever happened wasindeed for the Highest good of all. When we reach that place, the letting goprocess is complete.

Sheila Whittaker27.8.15

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