When I was in middle school I let one of my friends cut my hair. I can remember to this day closing my eyes as she took the scissors to my bangs and cut them nearly an inch from my scalp. My mother literally gasped when I walked in the front door. At the time, I thought I would never be able to forgive my friend. It took about six months for my hair to grow back. Looking back I think it was harder on my mom than it was me. Every time she looked at me she would be reminded of the situation. Perhaps it was the innocence of being young and naive which allowed me to shake off the little mishap within a day or two.
3 Reasons You Refuse to Let Go and Move On
This has not always been the case. There have been plenty of times in my life when words, comments and actions have left an imprint on my heart making it difficult to let go and move on. I remember going as far as writing things down so that I wouldn’t lose track of the evidence which supported the reasons for holding onto a grudge. I am happy to report things have changed. Not only do I no longer keep track but I am able to help others recognize and get to the root of what holds us back from moving on and living a full life.
Although it was pretty easy for me to resume my friendship, I must confess it took a bit longer to let go of the disappointment expressed by my mother. One of the ways I handled this was by feeling bad, brushing the back of my hair forward to hide my mistake, and secretly wishing I had chosen differently. After all how could I be so stupid to trust a twelve year old girl with a pair of scissors?
Over the years, I have supported countless clients who are suffering from symptoms of anxiety and depression only to find they too have been punishing themselves for something or someone they let down. As we dig into this awareness it is not uncommon to find the person we are most upset with is ourselves.
I have to admit I have been known to dig my heals in about certain things. I find this is one of the traits which can prevent us from letting go. For example, we may find ourselves at an event or party with someone we had a falling out with. Our heart may tempt us to let the past go while our heads say no freaking way. Resistance happens when we push away the moment in front of us meaning rather than feel what is happening we react to it. The less connected to the moment we are the more resistant we become. I say rather than make a quick exit use this as an opportunity to move through some of those deeper hurts and resentments. One way we can do this, is to give ourselves permission to breathe. Going outside in nature is one way to support the process. Before, during and after the party we can take some long, slow deep breaths in and out of our noses (from our lower abdomen). As this occurs, we automatically loosen the grips of resistance and pain.
I know it may be hard to believe but the third reason why we tend to keep ourselves from letting go is loyalty. This can take on different variations. Sometimes we stick to our guns because we are being loyal to other people who may not be ready to move on. We fear if we choose to let go and forgive then we might weaken or even lose people who are close to us.
Another variation of loyalty is somewhere along the line we have made an unconscious agreement to be more loyal to fear than love. I know this seems strange but I have found this to be the case on many occasions. When we are loyal to fear we strengthen our ego and disconnect from our soul. The ego is the one who say’s forget that, or screw them while our soul says, surrender.
In the end, no one can move through life without experiencing pain. We all have done or said things we wished we could change. The question is, if we could go back would we really do things differently? Or is it moments such as this which teach us the true meaning of love? It is our quest for love which allows us to truly let go and move on. Fear, sadness and guilt hold us back while love will always set us free.