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Old 03-17-2019, 01:57 AM
Location: on the wind
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Maybe I'm just putting what others have said in another way...

It's not "letting it go" that matters, it's changing the way you think about IT that matters. IT can still be there, but it can be rendered powerless. You can then think about it occasionally and drop it just as easily.
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Old 03-17-2019, 08:51 AM
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
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Originally Posted by rogue.red View Post
My apologies. When you said "I do it" I assumed you were responding to my question "Buddhist philosophy?"

I see why you thought that....but while I might know some Buddhist philosophy,

..I meant that I do the thinking that allows words to flow over me...
(Without calling it a name...)

It's almost an out of body experience....I can hear or see difficult issues but
at the same time, realize I don't need to accept them or even respond...

BTW...I'm certainly no expert. I still struggle with things occasionally
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:02 AM
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I can let Something go as soon as I have made changes to my boundaries to avoid that Something in the future. As the old adage goes, I cannot change other people's behavior, only my reaction to it.

The more Somethings I encounter, the more simple it becomes. Not easy, but simple. Faster, for sure. I might get annoyed but it isn't paralyzing. I know what to do, and then do it as plainly as possible.
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jaminhealth View Post
There is a lot we can "let go" and continue to work on easing off "holding on" to something that does us no value. My daughter keeps telling me to let go of the botched hip replacement I live with and if only, it's changed my life in ways I never expected and I really really work on not talking about it going on 9 yrs later but it's always with me, bringing me down. There is so much others will never "get"....
Almost everyone has had something done to them that wasn't their fault. It's not fair. You DO have to suffer with something that someone else did to you.

What did you DO about the botched hip replacement?

Do what you can and that's all you can do. After that, it's simply something you live with.

I was molested from the ages of 3-8, almost every day. Attempted rape, almost every day, squeezing as tightly as I could to keep him out of me. I was too scared/ashamed/proud in a bad way afterward (i.e. "he will NOT affect my life!") to tell. When I was an adult, I told. It was too late. And he'd been a minor then too. There was no proof. I was stuck with it. But, I told. When I saw him in public, I told him to be careful with his behavior... because I would be a very good witness against him if any active case ever came up. I dealt with it. I told my children about it, so they would know what to do right away. I changed how I parented because of it. I cannot change what happened to me but I can try to prevent it. I have a 6th sense for sexual predators. There are several people we've encountered who are in prison for abuse... people who were trusted in the community. People who had throngs of parents who were their cheerleaders and said I was paranoid. People I told, point blank, that my children wouldn't be going to some activity/be alone with them without me, ever. "Why?," they'd ask. "You don't trust me?"

"Because I was molested and - right or wrong - I get funny feelings about some people... and that person is/you are one of them. That's just how it is."

I didn't care how offended they were. And I was right. One was the elementary school psychologist. Another was a soccer coach. Another two were parish priests - the pastor BELOVED - and the little old church lady in charge of religious ed class schedules was SO offended when I said I'd be present, reading a book, outside the glass-door classroom. She said no way. That if I couldn't trust those in charge to keep my kids safe, then I needed counseling. Heh. Another is a famous case that will give away my location... but I knew him in school, he creeped me out for the four years we were in the same rotation of classes, and he will never be released from prison.

What can you do that you feel would be healing to DO? Warn others? Tell people how it was botched? Who is responsible? Do that, and the pain will let itself go. You'll know that you've done all you can... your options are exhausted, and there will be no current regrets.

My mother-in-law has a husband in his mid-80s who is barely hanging on. He's a drunk. He is self-damaging. He skips his meds so he can drink. He lies about it. He has always been selfish. His children don't care what he does. She doesn't either, really. She calls to tell us about the booze when she finds it. She calls to say he took the truck to get more booze when he's not supposed to drive. She tells the doctor the truth behind her husband's back, so they have a factual history. She schedules tests and surgeries and he screams at her until they pull up to the door, where he turns nice and compliant. He isn't compliant in recovery. She has made keeping him alive her mission and expects people to applaud her for it.

She micro-manages everything and exhausts herself. She calls up everyone, to tell us all about it. We don't care. We've told her that his behavior shows that he's willing to die. LET HIM. To stop running herself into the ground for a man who doesn't care about himself, much less her. If he wants to die, LET him. She actually got annoyed that no one in the family threw him an 85th birthday party. Then, when she planned one last minute, we all happened to RSVP NO and no one went. Of course not. Why would we? He's a jerk. We have boundaries. We weren't all going to come from all over and pretend we care that a selfish jerk is still here. He'd said he didn't want a birthday party. She gave him one anyway and then called to tell us how disappointed he was that no one came. ??

At a certain point, she's just throwing herself in front of that bus. She wants to be seen as a martyr and gets upset that no one feels for her. Self-made martyrs don't get compassion.

YES, we tell her to let it go. And she gets so upset that we don't "get it." We don't know what it's like to "live like this." BUT, she doesn't have to. Her life is changed because of him but it doesn't need to be forever. She's wasted 25 years of good health and has had drastic physical downfalls as well, now. It happened, it's done. "If only I had...", "If only he had...", etc. are completely irrelevant and useless musings.

It's time for her to realize what she CAN do with the rest of it. She CAN'T do a lot but spending the rest of it complaining about it won't improve it. Us "getting it" won't improve it either. SHE is in charge, just as you are... just as we all are... of improving our lives, going forward, in whatever ways we can.

You CAN let it go. Make room in your life for happiness instead of dwelling on what you can't change.

Last edited by LieslMet; 03-17-2019 at 11:23 AM..
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:33 PM
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and wisdom ...to know the difference.

If I let go of some of the Causes I helped encourage "change" in our community...I'd be more upset at myself for sitting back and doing "Nothing". Some things are so worth NOT LETTING GO of.

Sitting around mulling over it...can have its advantageous...More so to re-direct and regroup.

There are some "instances" that Had I passively( Eyore style) shrugged with the "let go" attitude....Id' have missed the opportunity to change it.

If I have little vested in it...then letting go is dern near second nature.

For 7 years now I have wrestled and cannot LET go of an issue that forever has affected my family. It hits at the core of integrity and honesty. Does it empower me to have this toxic mindset? Nope. Would letting it Go improve the facts...Nope. So the quagmire continues. Yet each time I have to sit silently with this Toxic knowledge and pretend to support a lie that exists in our family. All because "the common good" is better then the "individuals" peace of mind. The elephant in the room dilemma.....
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
It's unclear how this discussion simply continues on as though "let it go" (and go hum one's mantra) is a viable response to every situation in life.

"Let it go" works if one is feeling a little offended by hurtful words -- or if one gets cut-off in traffic. But, there are a host of other situations that will leave one's family living in the bushes or worse if a universal "let it go" attitude toward life is adopted.

Is it possible for the OP to clarify this a bit ... or does that fit into the "let it go" category?
Some excellent responses. I quoted this one first because jg asked for clarification.

When someone hears the words "let it go" and agrees with that advice, or arrives at that conclusion unprompted, they're admitting that they're stuck. So I probably wasn't thinking of a minor insult, because that wouldn't likely keep you stuck, unless you're hypersensitive and frequently take offense over minor slights, which is more what I had in mind.

I wasn't thinking of an impending crisis either. Facing the possibility of being homeless shouldn't be "let go", but having been poor at some point in life might lead someone to feel stuck in the unfairness of things. If an adult who has made a decent life can't stop talking about their childhood poverty, or they feel guilt over spending a few bucks on themselves, then they may be stuck and might benefit from letting that go.

Several people have given examples of what letting go is, or what it looks like, and that's what I was most curious about. If being mentally or emotionally stuck is the thing that needs to be let go of, for me letting go looks like stopping the things that keep me stuck. For me to stay stuck I need to nurture the wound or feelings associated with it, where the nurturing keeps the wound open or the feelings fresh.

I had, I think, a more than typically miserable adolescence. If I leave it there I'm stating a fact. If I say it was unfortunate, or even unfair, I'm probably ok. But if I spend hours googling about experiences like mine, or I see myself as a victim over four decades later, or my story always begins with something like, "It all went wrong starting with the day of my 8th grade graduation breakfast", which seems eerily familiar, then I'm nurturing or resurrecting pain that would die and stay dead if I let it, or would at most be a rare and brief visitor. When I nurture my old wounds I'm staying stuck.

So letting go for me is most often accepting that I'll bump into those old wounds occasionally. When I do, if I acknowledge the old hurt or the current ache that remembering it may bring, but I then do something, almost anything other than ruminate about it, I'm letting it go. I don't stuff the feeling or the memory, but I try not to dwell on it.

Other ways to say that your letting something go are phrases like moving on, or moving forward. I think that's no coincidence. I find almost any kind of movement, even walking my dog, fends off that stuck feeling. I do most of the serious damage to my psyche when I'm sitting still.
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:20 PM
Location: on the wind
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One of the aspects of some bad thing that happened to us that is hard to let go of is that little inner victim's desire for sympathy, compassion, to be soothed and comforted. It casts a sort of glow around the whole thing and its easy to soak ourselves in it.

However, the event happened to us...no one else. Assuming we've shared it, other people can commiserate of course but the event is "over" for them a lot sooner than it is for us. When the worst of the crisis is over it is understandable that we don't want that level of attention to end. By reminding others of our horrible event we are trying to resurrect that feeling over and over again.

Other people are not necessarily being unkind if they stop rising to the occasion, they really have "let it go" in a different way than we need to. There are only so many times they can say they are sorry for us, that they wish it had never happened to us, that some evil or bad luck shouldn't happen to anyone. To get the imaginary hugs, get well wishes, etc. I think we need to remind ourselves it can exhaust and frustrate THEM to be endlessly dragged back into OUR past. Hearing the phrase "you need to let it go." is partly coming from this place we've put others into.

Last edited by Parnassia; 03-17-2019 at 06:03 PM..
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:05 AM
11,137 posts, read 8,548,081 times
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Originally Posted by Nov3 View Post
For 7 years now I have wrestled and cannot LET go of an issue that forever has affected my family. It hits at the core of integrity and honesty. Does it empower me to have this toxic mindset? Nope. Would letting it Go improve the facts...Nope. So the quagmire continues. Yet each time I have to sit silently with this Toxic knowledge and pretend to support a lie that exists in our family. All because "the common good" is better then the "individuals" peace of mind. The elephant in the room dilemma.....
Which facts are you trying to improve? The fact that this thing happened? No, letting go can't do that.

Letting go isn't telling lies or hiding truths. I don't know what happened in your family. Depending on the situation, you may need to discuss it publicly. Individual peace of mind is important.

If this is about sexual abuse or something like that, one won't have peace until it's brought to the light.

Letting go speaks more to confronting the issue and then letting go of the parts that can't be changed.
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:45 AM
3,062 posts, read 1,567,273 times
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Originally Posted by homina12 View Post
"You just have to let that go."

This seems to be common enough advice. It usually comes from someone who is either concerned with the intensity of someone's complaints or concerns, or maybe sick of hearing them. I have a couple of methods for letting go in mind, but I'm curious what other people think.
If I can't agree on the facts with the other person, then I let it go and try to express myself differently next time.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:52 AM
Location: Wonderland
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The more head space and emotional energy you give a person or situation, the more control that person or situation has over you. So pick your battles and let other stuff go.

Or as another old saying goes, "Do you really want to die on that hill?" That's just another way of saying, be cognizant of what you are choosing to think about or grieve about or worry about or be angry about.

For instance, I have a brother whose life is a mess. He is mentally ill and also an addict (not sure which one came first). I have to consciously LET GO of worrying about him and/or being angry with his activities or beliefs. The more I judge him and let him sit in my head, the more power he has over my emotions and my life in general. I choose instead to focus on people and ideas and things which bring me joy rather than angst.
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