What are you still holding on to? Letting go is probably the most powerful lesson I learned in my life, and we are all aware of some things we should be letting go of. What surprised me the most is the discovery of the thousands of life’s circumstances that I have still not released because I was not even aware I was carrying them with me. I discovered those false beliefs, people, issues in meditation and thankfully have been releasing them one by one.
Many of those things I was holding onto, I have been stuck on since childhood, so imagine my surprise when I discovered they are now an accepted part of my life. In the process of letting go, don’t analyze the past problem (that will make it worse), don’t blame other people, simply acknowledge you are stuck on that person, event, or false belief, understand how it no longer serves you, then release. Releasing past energies has been like peeling an onion. In daily meditation, I discover old energies that don’t feel good, and I now understand how holding onto them has been making me sick, but worse, attracting repeated situations and patterns. Releasing them has freed me up, and I actually see movement in my life.
There are things we are aware of, and things we are not aware of that we are holding from the past. Self-awareness is the most important aspect of being a goddess. Regardless of whether you meditate, it is a humbling experience to recognize how we shape our own life, and how we choose to hang onto things. Every time I have let go of something big, I assumed it would be painful. But release actually feels good, empowering, and like a burden has been lifted off. We fear letting go, but fear is only an illusion. Every release was a blessing.
People often criticize me for letting go with ease. It is assumed that if a woman walks away easily, she must be cold, uncaring, heartless. We are expected to suffer through it, and if we don’t, there must be something wrong with us. On the contrary, most friends and people who know me openly say that I am the most caring friend they have ever had. I am not cold, I have had more practice letting go than most people, and have resolved a long time ago to make letting go a lifelong commitment.
One of the toughest blocks to the letting go process is the assumption that it will hurt. And yes, it can hurt if we don’t understand that just because we have broken up with a person, we haven’t actually let go of anything. Often, we remove the person from our experience, but their energy lingers. And the issue that we think we broke up with remains in our life. For example, if the relationship was toxic, we tend to hang onto that toxicity long after the person has walked out the door. Well, the pain is not only in the missing person, it is in the remaining toxicity. The longer you dwell on the toxicity of the failed relationship, the longer that toxic energy will hurt you. So, the pain is in the unresolved conflict, the lingering issue, and the more we focus on what went wrong in the relationship, or what was wrong with him or her, the longer we remain stuck
To release the energy requires some practice. The more you practice letting go and resolve to become committed to it, the easier it becomes. I meditate as a daily practice and have been doing so for twelve years. It is how I have learned to get a grip on my mind, hold it sill and become aware of energy. I now see energy and read it. If you are not aware of energy, you can still make letting go an easier process.
Understand that the value of any relationship is not in the person, it is in the experience. A person is just an entity that is no longer present. The experience of the relationship, how it felt, how it altered your self-perception, the impact it had on your soul and your psyche is very much still present. And how you perceive that impact has everything to do with how you deal with the loss, and whether you allow it to fester. In fact, you decide whether you are going to be the victim or the victor, whether you view the circumstance with a positive or negative outlook, and whether you blame the other person or fully accept the responsibility for being in the situation.
I always accept responsibility for everything that happens, because I alone create my reality. It may seem that certain things are beyond my control. The painful car accident, the death of a family member, or an illness, seem like things we have no control over. We do. I am not going to go into how or why we choose those situations, that is a topic for a future post. We do decide how we perceive those incidents, and we chose how we process those emotions.
Long ago in my self-awareness practice I resolved to become more adept at letting go, and to master it. I learned to let go of all relationships that do not serve me, not just those meaningless flings, but those people I have been bound to since the beginning of my life. Each time I learned that the pain was not in the person, it was in the perceived loss. With practice I realized that the actual person was not the problem, it was my commitment to the toxic issue that was keeping me stuck.
I was committed to many toxic beliefs and circumstances such as fear, victimhood, suffocating in relationships, the horrible feelings of being controlled by others. Those beliefs turned into anxiety and panic attacks to which I became committed to even more. The anxiety continued and my fear of suffocation by overbearing people turned into asthma, an actual disease that feels just like suffocation. Can you see the parallels? I then became committed to asthma, because I was on a quest to beat the shit out of the disease with steroids. Fifteen years later I was a victim of inhalers which I was sure were going to kill me, the horrible side-effects which I became even more aware of, and the panic and desperation of having to deal with new ailments.
Years later, when that suffocating relationship ended, I was meditating, and somehow that past experience popped in my head. I became aware of my lungs and the slow oncoming feeling of wheezing and suffocation. As my lungs became tighter, I became aware of the energy in my chest. Long before the struggle to breathe started, I was already aware of what suffocation would feel like. Hmm? My awareness of suffocation preceded what my lungs were doing. So first came my recollection of the relationship, then my awareness of what suffocation feels like, and only then did my lungs respond. Could it be that simple? My lungs are responding to how I am feeling emotionally every time my brain pulls up the past issues of that relationship.
But when did I have my first asthma attack? The very first time I remember experiencing suffocation was shortly after I moved in with my now ex-husband. I was young, in my early twenties, and living with a man I was very much in love with. We were planning a wedding, and back then I wasn’t nearly as self-aware as I am now, so I had no tools to understand what was really happening. My doctor blamed the asthma on allergies, but prior to that day I was never allergic to anything in my life. Suddenly I was allergic to 12 different things and found myself with a growing dependence on steroids to breathe.
When was the last time I had an asthma attack? It started to disappear when I started to mentally and emotionally let go of people who were suffocating me, like my abusive in-laws, and when I let go of my commitment to maintaining a marriage that no longer served me. I became okay with the marriage not working out, I became okay with letting go of the love of my life, I became okay with moving on and creating a life on my own terms. As soon as I let go of being stuck on people who were killing my spirit, draining my energy, sucking the life out of me, I started to breathe and no longer needed the inhalers. To be fully honest, I was practicing both Ayurveda and meditation at the time, and both definitely helped. But I have never had an asthma attack since 2009, when I finally decided to let go.
Oddly, today I am super sensitive to the energy of control. How do I know when I am talking to a controller, a manipulator, or in a situation where my hands are slowly being tied? I feel it in my chest, my heart chakra tightens up. And if I ignore that warning, I start to wheeze, that feeling of suffocation now alerts me this is not a situation that I should be in. So, I walk away. Today, walking away is easy because I am aware of that release we all feel when something that was blocking us, not letting us breathe, is finally gone.
But what were the consequences of not letting go for all those years? Obviously I developed a disease which mimicked the emotional symptoms I was experiencing. But also, by being attached to the suffering I was experiencing in my relationship, I actually carried that energy with me for years. I was projecting it into other relationships, and wondering why am I always finding myself in situations with other controllers. Every single person in my life from family members, best friends, bosses and lovers was a control freak. By remaining stuck on the issue of control and victimhood, I became a magnet to more situations where I was being controlled. This plagued me for decades.
Though being controlled had plagued me most of my life, I refused to accept it. Instead I became committed to releasing it forever. I became aware of the people and situations that made me feel powerless and said goodbye to all of them. I said good-bye to my own father. Do you think that was easy? As painful as we all know that is, I decided to do it anyway because I am not willing to be controlled by invisible demons for the rest of my life.
But, what happened next was astounding. I was terrified of what might happen when I sever my relationship with him. He threatened me many times. He even threatened to destroy my relationships with other family members I loved the most. I walked away anyway.
But, as soon as I honored that commitment to myself, and walked away from him, I felt release. I felt free, I felt powerful, I felt like I can finally breathe. What I expected was the excruciating pain of loss, instead I felt freedom, immense love, relief.
How did the separation from my ex-husband feel? In the weeks leading up to the separation, I felt depressed, anxiety, nightly panic attacks. But, the day he moved the last box out of our home, I felt clear. If you’ve ever experienced it, you know what a beautiful feeling clarity can be. The home was mine (not legally, but spiritually) and I was now free to decide how my life was going to be.
Each time I focused on the impending doom of loss, I was overcome by fear and panic. But when I got the courage to finally let go, I felt nothing but peace. Once it’s over, we are all free.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that it is never the other person, it is the experience that we truly must let go of. Just because he or she is gone, doesn’t mean you are now healthy. What you truly must let go of is that energy of the relationship, the stress that it was causing you, and whatever pain you felt while experiencing it. That is the actual disease we often carry with us, which if not released will become real. For me, I had to let go of the feeling of being manipulated by others, the feeling of panic when another controller starts messing with me, the anger I feel when I notice someone else unjustly controlled, the powerlessness I feel when I sense my options are running out. Those feelings are the essence of the toxicity, and if you don’t release that essence of the relationship, you will drag it with you into every future relationship.
If you have ever wondered why relationships and circumstance keep repeating themselves, this is why. You have probably been dragging a lifetime of relationships behind you and laying them on the table of every new person in your life. Your baggage and their baggage combined are a chemical reaction that will just explode and spill toxic sludge all over the new situation. There is no fresh start, when you are still feeling old energies. There is nothing to do but to let go of your baggage. If you don’t let it go, new relationships will be worse than the old ones. This is what it means to release karma- release the energy or the essence of the relationship, release the pain or the suffering, and thus you release the karmic tie.
This is why I never allow exes, old friends, old circumstances back into my life. If you allow an ex to remain as a friend, even if it is a good person, the energy of your relationship stays. Whatever wasn’t working in your relationship as lovers will fester now in your relationship as friends. Let them go. Keeping a controlling ex in my life, only keeps me aware of being controlled, so I will always attract more situations like that. Let him loose!
Energy is more contagious than ebola. Long after the body is dead, the virus lives and invades your future experiences. Rather than worry about the pain of letting go, understand that sometimes you must chop off a limb to survive. In my last relationship, I had to drink poison to kill the virus. It took more time to recover my Self from the energy drain than ever before. Just because I cut the person out of my life, didn’t mean that I was free. I was mentally stuck on every problem we created together. I knew if I don’t disconnect and let go of what killed that relationship, I was going to kill the next one with the same virus. Sometimes you have to burn the body to prevent the virus from spreading.
So, to let go easily, we have to let go of the actual experience of that relationship. Each experience is just an energy. The pain in your heart is an energy. You can soften your heart by focusing on love. If you can’t love your tormentor, love your pet instead. Direct your focus away from the painful situation, to anything that feels like love and your heart will soften. Direct your commitment to pain and suffering onto new experiences that feel like well-being like exercise, travel, meditation, whatever makes you happy. Commit to staying focused on the new, and turn your back on the past. The past never came back to anyone, so what is the value of turning back?
My usual practice is to start every new ending with a new beginning. I delete all physical evidence of the ex. I give away every gift, every article of clothing, every photo. You might think you would like to save the memory, but once that photo has been deleted, the essence of the person and the problem, goes away with it too. I guarantee you will never miss it, you simply expect to miss it.
Next, I block all energy portals between me and that person. Social media is an access point through which a pining lover can still send you energy. You might not think he or she is checking up on you, but any time we look at anyone’s profile, we send them energy. You know how his Like or careless comment on an old post triggers an emotion from you? That emotion is your energetic connection to him. It is alive and well, and if you are struggling to release old energies, you must block all windows to your soul. Again, the thought of doing that is more painful than the actual act.
Whatever was the essence of that relationship, you must not fester in it. If it is a repeating pattern for you, it continues because you have turned that repeating relationship issue into a lifestyle. By experiencing it over and over, you have become it, just as I had once become a victim of controllers. I was angry about being controlled all my life, until I forgave them and decided to not be focused on being a victim of control. I focused my attention on new and better things.
It is perfectly normal to mourn the loss of a relationship. Give yourself a little time, but make sure to set a deadline for ending the mourning period. When my father died, a Hindu pandit conducted the ceremony. He said that depending on a family’s caste, the family is allowed a specific mourning period. The highest castes are assumed to be the most enlightened or most experienced, therefore the shortest mourning time is allowed to them. We had twelve days during which we were allowed privacy and encouraged to have solitude. During this time we were not to share our grief with people outside our home, to avoid spreading bad feelings and energies to others. We were allowed to talk about the deceased, but not in a negative way. Regardless of how I felt about my father, I was not going to spread my negative feelings to other family members. They had different experiences with him, and I respected that.
At the end of the twelve day period, we were to come out of mourning and stay committed only to good memories. The grief was to be replaced by healing. It worked. I allowed myself twelve days of rage, anger, and tears in private. I actually didn’t need the twelve days because on the first night after he passed, my dad was holding my hand and sending me loving energy. In that moment I understood the nature of our relationship and its purpose.
All those horribly painful experiences we had, we created them together. He wasn’t the only monster, we tormented each other- we were each others’ demons. But there was a purpose to this karmic tie. This man was my life’s lesson. Everything I am is because of him. I am resilience, I am a fighter, I am fearless because at a very young age I learned how to stand up to the strongest man I ever knew in my life. My biggest tormentor was my dad, and once I learned how to fight the world’s toughest man, and kill him with my words, I realized that no one can mess with me. After my dad, no one ever has succeeded in keeping me bound. I walk away easily from everything. He was my biggest lesson about letting go, and the day I walked away from him, I acquired my superpower. I owe everything to him.
All relationships are simply lessons. You can learn them or you can repeat them over and over again until you do learn them. If situations keep repeating it is because you haven’t learned your lesson. Want a better lover, a better job, a better life? Learn to release your karmic ties, learn to let go of old beliefs, stale energies, and people who you think you need, but actually are keeping you stuck. It’s not that you can’t live without that old friend or family member, it is that you are not alive with them. The fear of loss is far greater than the actual loss. The release is the most empowering feeling of one’s life.