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Forums / Staying well / how to let go - ideas? resources?

Topic: how to let go - ideas? resources?

12 posts, 0 answered
  1. DannyG
    DannyG avatar
    76 posts
    3 July 2019

    hi everybody

    i'm not sure if i am posting this in the right section?

    does anybody have any advice of resources they have found helpful in letting go of something? i have lost something i am not going to get back and i am stuck I cannot get past it. my psych says i am stuck in the grief (?) phase?

    i have been trying guided meditations for letting go on you tube but im not feeling any better?

    thanks everyone

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Birdy77
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    4 July 2019 in reply to DannyG
    Dear DannyG,

    I can relate so much with your feelings if being stuck, not being able to get past the grief of losing something and not being able to get back.

    It's something I'm working on in myself at the moment and I wanted to reach out and say you're not alone and maybe share a couple of things in case they can help even a little.

    First off, it's a really loving act for you to be trying the guided meditations on letting go. Although you feel like you're not feeling any better, it may be working slowly on a subconscious level and i'd encourage you not to give up.

    I have been trying to open my heart to the idea of surrender - accepting the deep feelings of pain, grief, loneliness, hurt, fear etc that are present, and to stop resisting those feelings. Surrendering to them and gently holding each of them in compassion.

    My understanding is that it is only when I can accept this pain with love and compassion will there be a chance of it dissolving or being released. That which we struggle against will harden and remain, and repeat its presence.

    In lots of ways, it's about letting go of the image of how we want this moment to feel or to be, and accepting how it actually is right now. Which, for us, in our pain, is very difficult. So, can we let it be difficult? Let it be painful, surrender to it and accept it and hold it in compassion? Instead of thinking "let it go", it might he better to modify it to "let it be" just for this moment in time? Feel all the feelings.

    I'm reading some work by Jeff Foster (a chapter called "Held, not Healed") at the moment and he is talking about this split that occurs in us when we try to block our pain. One part of us is here, in the pain and another part of us wants to be over there, out of the pain (on the other side of the "letting go" , wanting to already have "let go"). He says the way through this is to say "yes" to our non-acceptance of the way things are - " surrendering fully to our inability to surrender". That we need to let go of the goal of letting go ...

    I'm in amongst all this right now and am feeling deeply touched by the teachings I'm reading, so i feel passionately about it and about passing it on, but I hope I haven't rabbited on too much for you. And I am more than happy to talk more with you.

    Sending you gentle compassion in your pain.

    🌻birdy



    2 people found this helpful
  3. DannyG
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    76 posts
    4 July 2019 in reply to Birdy77

    thank you so much Birdy77 - "One part of us is here, in the pain and another part of us wants to be over there, out of the pain wanting to already have let go". this is *exactly* how i feel. Part of me still is not able to accept the loss and i want it back even though I know i will never get it back. another part of me wants to let it go and be able to accept it but it's so hard for me to do this. i think this may be denial of some kind? even though logically i know this is gone another part of me is just so devastated that i can't let it go.

    thanks so much :)

    2 people found this helpful
  4. Birdy77
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    4 July 2019 in reply to DannyG
    Dear DannyG,

    I totally understand what you are saying.

    I have the same battle:
    wanting (in a way) to accept the loss and let it go, but also *not* wanting to accept it and *not* wanting to let it go (maybe because then my logic will tell me then it will be *really lost*).

    In a lot of ways, I think I wish for the acceptance and the ability to "let go" because I think it will feel better than the way I feel now ( which is actually just my wish to avoid suffering). I imagine myself, sitting "over there" (having let-go) and feeling a heck of a lot better than I feel "over here" inside the pain, inside my grasping, desperately clutching to what I can't accept is gone. "Over here" is really uncomfortable and I imagine "over there" feels a lot easier.

    In this way, the point in our stories where we have "let go" has become "the destination" we are seeking ... and sometimes in our eagerness to get "over there" we skim over what's right here before us. We're not paying proper attention to this pain and this loss nor do we give it the focus and compassion that it needs. In this way we are resisting it - and this is actually blocking our way to being "over there". Which obviously is counterproductive. (And a bit confusing). Does that make sense to you?

    You mentioned that maybe what you're experiencing is a bit of denial, and that may be true. But when I've been thinking on it today, I've actually been thinking that when we prematurely "let go" - that is, when we let go before we've really felt all the feels - then that also may be a form of denial? Like denying the pain that needs acknowledgement and just trying to "move on"?

    All of this seems to stem from this thinking that our life (or this moment) should be different from what it is - that all the moments of our life should be free from this fear, loss, doubt, grief, pain, that these things are wrong - when really, these things are part of life, and they are part of our path towards wisdom and the way that we learn to grow, strengthen and expand our compassion and love.

    If we can learn to hold this immense pain with love and compassion, and open our hearts to ourselves and acknowledge how hard this is ... I wonder if that is a better path for now? To accept the loss and pain as a companion for now, hold it with love and care, let it walk beside us, rather than trying to let it go? For now?

    (Sorry if I blabbed on, I've been thinking on this a lot).

    I'm here with you.

    🌻birdy


    3 people found this helpful
  5. Peppermintbach
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    5 July 2019 in reply to DannyG

    Hi DannyG (& a wave to birdy & all),

    I saw this as I was passing by, & thought maybe I‘ll add my thoughts. I’m not sure if this is relevant, but I‘ll still share...

    I sense your painful feelings of yearning, confusion & inner conflict...to occupy one emotional space but yearn to be in another.

    Whatever you’re missing clearly mattered to you, and what mattered is painful to lose. It wouldn’t hurt if it didn’t matter...

    I think it’s possible to sometimes never 100% “let go“ or “move on”, & that‘s okay. I feel it’s possible to function while a part of you still misses something.

    I don’t think it has to be strictly holding on versus strictly letting go...emotions exist in multitudes. An ongoing process, rather than a duality of only “here” or “there.” So maybe you don’t have to “choose”...

    In my heart, there are certain things that I will always miss (& that’s okay). I can get through life while still missing those pieces.

    I think lovely birdy is onto something there about how feelings call, sometimes even demand, to be felt.

    Feel it to tame it...

    From personal experience, the initial emotions were excruciating. But I think it can be 1 of the first real parts of healing/acceptance...

    There was vast emotional wreckage. Tears, unmotivated, the floor, distress, unpredictable mood ...you get the picture. I think letting it all out helped. Not in the 1 day but gradually...

    Over time, the pain subsided a tiny bit. Then more & more till my days became more tolerable. But to get to that point, those feelings needed an outlet.

    To get to the other side is maybe to realise that there is no other side/destination of “letting go”. That maybe it’s about learning to hold loss in our hearts a little better, so we can do other things in life. As I said, I still miss things , but it doesn’t incapacitate...

    These days, when feelings arise, I try to accept them. Try not to fight. Try not to intellectualise/analyse (that can be avoidance at times). Try not to think of emotions as positive/negative or good/bad. Try to simply feel without labelling, analysing or judging.

    It’s more of a moving goalpost than about letting go (for me).

    Sorry, that may or may not have been helpful & I understand we all deal with things differently.

    I’m happy you’ve built such a beautiful rapport with lovely birdy. There’s a real understanding between the 2 of you. I hope you continue sharing with, empathising & learning from one another :)

    Kindness and care

    5 people found this helpful
  6. DannyG
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    76 posts
    6 July 2019 in reply to Birdy77

    To Birdy77 and Peppermintbach

    thank you both for your kind words. I am not doing well. The last two weeks in particular I feel the grief (I think that's what it is) weighing me down so much I cannot function. I feel that this is something that I cannot over come.

    Like you said Birdy "All of this seems to stem from this thinking that our life (or this moment) should be different from what it is - that all the moments of our life should be free from this fear, loss, doubt, grief, pain"

    thats exactly how I feel. I don't know why I continue to feel all this fear loss doubt grief and pain. I feel that it is too much for me to take and I do not know why these feelings have been assigned to me. I feel that I do not have the strength to fight these feelings or to integrate them, either seems to be impossible.

    3 people found this helpful
  7. Peppermintbach
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    6 July 2019 in reply to DannyG

    Hi DannyG (& a wave to beautiful birdy & all),

    I know it’s really hard. I hear that you’re tired. I know you’re feeling a torrent of really raw, painful emotions. I know you feel it’s overwhelming. I have been there before...many, many times.

    I know there might be a very strong urge to fight it, rationalise it & understand the how & why, etc. But in my experience, all that does is it prolongs the sadness, grief, loss, hurt, etc. What you don’t face can often grow....

    So can I ever so gently suggest that you allow yourself to feel some of that pain? Perhaps not all at once, but let it out bit by bit...slowly...gradually...

    The thing is perhaps what you need to let go is not of what you have lost, but your “shoulds”/expectations of how grief “should” unfold. Instead, I would suggest you let grief to do its own thing, which I admit will l hurt a lot for a while. But I feel it’s all part of the process.

    You know, there’s a very famous saying about how things have to get worse before they get better. For me, that has often been the case with loss...

    To this day, the pain for me still surfaces & I feel a permanent weight/heaviness. But it’s much more manageable...to get there, I had to slowly let it out...it’s doable.

    Messy, painful, horrendous...but doable...

    Excruciating & takes time, but doable.

    It will be one of the hardest things you’ll do. But if I, as this unimportant average person that I am, can do it, you (who probably has many more wonderful qualities than me) can do it too...

    I‘m not sure what/who you’re grieving but I hope the following quotes offer some small comfort.

    I can’t vouch for everyone, but I have found the following to be true for me.

    The reality is you will grieve forever. You will not “get over” the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal & you will rebuild yourself around the loss you suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same.

    - Elisabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessier

    Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.

    - Earl Grollman

    Compassion, kindness & care to both of you from me.

    3 people found this helpful
  8. Birdy77
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    6 July 2019 in reply to DannyG
    Dear DannyG
    (hello dear Pepper),

    I am really sorry to hear that you are in such deep pain right now Danny, and that the last couple of weeks have been so difficult for you.

    When you say that you feel you don't have the strength to fight these feelings of loss and grief, nor able to integrate them, I am wondering if laying those two concepts (fighting/integrating) aside for a little while might help?

    I'm wondering if instead of trying to fight them, or trying to integrate them, could you try for now to just acknowledge them and hold them with compassion?

    So, instead of fighting or resisting the pain, could you, just for now, let go of the idea that this moment in your life is going to be any different than it is right now - could you maybe try to let go of the idea that it "should" feel better than this, and try to lean in to the actual experience, as it is?

    Acknowledging it is what it is ... something maybe like: "this sucks, this really really hurts so much right now and it feels so bad", and kind of saying to yourself
    "ok, this is what's happening, and it hurts so much - Can I be with it?"

    And then *be* with it. *be* with yourself, be present and give yourself compassion, and give the feelings or the situation a whole lot of love and compassion.

    (If visualisation is something that works for you, you could maybe envisage your pain, or your situation or yourself in a bubble of healing light or something similar).

    In this work by Jeff Foster that I mentioned, he is talking about the way that when we open ourselves to the painful experience as it actually is, we're not being passive, but we are cooperating with the energies that are being presented to us, and allowing something new to emerge out of the fertile ground that we have nurtured with our loving attention.

    So, in essence, we can't really start integrating this pain until we've really paid attention to it and allowed it space.

    But when we feel like we need to fight it, because it feels too big, too much, that we can't bear it, if we can just bring everything all back to this moment, right now: - we are actually already bearing it. If it was unbearable, we wouldn't be right here now, bearing it. Yes, it hurts like heck, but here we are, breathing in and out this moment, and we are bearing it in this moment, and this one, and this one.

    I am sending compassion through the airwaves to you - let your heartache be held and given the gentleness it needs right now.

    🌻birdy




    3 people found this helpful
  9. DannyG
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    13 July 2019 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Hi Peppermintbach

    Thanks for your post, i really liked those quotes you posted they were really great.

    I have a question for you and for everyone I guess. What are your thoughts about "suggest you let grief to do its own thing, which I admit will l hurt a lot for a while" I think I did that when it first happened but now I'm not sure what I'm doing?

    has anyone ever heard 'you should be over it by now" or something like "it was x many years ago you should just forget about it"

    do you think there's a time limit on these things? I feel like it's wrong for me to still be grieving this loss, like I feel I should be stronger or braver or something and be able to just make myself be over it? But I'm not really sure how to do that. Does this make sense to anybody?

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Peppermintbach
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    13 July 2019 in reply to DannyG

    Hi DannyG (& a wave to dear birdy & all),

    Thanks so much for writing in again, & I’m glad those quotes resonated/comforted :)

    Thanks so much for explaining a little more about where you’re at emotionally. Sorry, I thought that perhaps you had a lot of suppressed grief. But based on your latest post, it seems that’s not the case. Thanks again for clarifying. I appreciate that a lot.

    So maybe I’ll try answering one of your other questions instead? Bear in mind, mine is just 1 of the many experiences/perspectives on grief.

    Personally, I don’t think there is a “time limit” on grief. In my opinion, I think grief shrinks & expands at various parts in our lives (i.e. sometimes it’s raw & intense & other times, it feels more manageable, but it’s still there in the “background”).

    It’s just that I think remnants of grief can still linger or even last a lifetime (e.g. it can morph from raw grief to lingering feelings of longing, places/smells/things unexpectedly triggering memories, being fine one minute but then emotions hitting you the next, etc). I don’t think it’s this quantifiable experience where grief exists in linear “stages“ based on time frames (at least not in my opinion).

    I think this is because emotions fluctuate. Back to the emotional multitudes thing, which is partly why I don’t think there’s a time limit.

    I get that you have expectations about grief. But I don’t think still grieving means you’re not brave or strong. I think it just means that you lost something very important to you, & that some of that pain still lingers (& perhaps it’s normal & understandable for it to still linger).

    I know people who still grieve loved ones that they lost years ago. I still grieve a lot of things in my life and I’m not at the most “raw” part of grief.

    That said, I don’t really have a roadmap as grief is very personal in many ways. I will say this though, I don’t fight the grief when it surfaces. I just let it wash over me & try to fit in activities that bring me into the present (e.g. work, seeing friends, trying more new things lately, etc) in between the more painful periods.

    So I suppose I handle it with a combination of letting out the grief & bringing myself into the here & now via commitments/activities. Thus, I honour my loss but try to also live in the present too. I try to do both.

    I’m not sure if that was particularly helpful or not. But I’m thinking of you & understand that there is a lot of emotional turmoil right now.

    kindness & care,

    Pepper

    1 person found this helpful
  11. DannyG
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    76 posts
    15 July 2019 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Thanks so much pepper your post was really helpful:) I'm not sure what it is I'm experiencing it feels like grief in some form though. And it's like you described, sometimes it's in the background and I can sort of function with it being back there.

    then other times it's right up front, like a really loud voice going 'hello you thought this was gone well guess what it's back - here's some horrible thoughts and horrible feelings for you bam!'

    my challenge I think is that if like to be able to, like you say, live in the present but still somehow process the loss? I think I'm stuck in the process part, or it's taking a long time (it feels long) and because I'm still in that part I can't quite 'get to' the present, if that makes sense.

    thank you so much again, you've been so helpful I appreciate it very much.

    1 person found this helpful
  12. Peppermintbach
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    15 July 2019 in reply to DannyG

    Hi DannyG (& a wave to dear birdy & all),

    Thank you so much. I’m glad our posts have offered some small comfort to you. That’s really encouraging to hear :)

    I wonder if it might help to maybe just let your current emotions play out naturally...perhaps you don’t need to know exactly what you’re going through right this minute. Just a little idea...

    I understand that there’s maybe a sense of urgency/wanting to “know” & understand right now. But sometimes, I think things start making sense further along....sometimes it’s hard to make sense of things if a person is in the thick of it, so to speak. When there’s some distance later on, sometimes clarity comes.

    I think maybe we all have different interpretations of the “present”, but based on what you’re saying, I feel as though you are already engaging with the “present” (or sometimes at least). As you said:

    ...sometimes it's in the background and I can sort of function with it being back there.
    then other times it's right up front, like a really loud voice
    ...

    I think when it’s “in the background,” presumably you’re going about daily life doing whatever that might be (e.g. housework, “formal” work, etc). So in a way, aren’t you possibly already engaged with the present (so to speak) at times?

    About the “process” and “stuck” part that you mentioned, I’m not entirely sure if my understanding is the same as yours. My understanding is for a lot of us the “processing” is ongoing (sometimes even lifelong), and it’s a combination of hard hitting moments as well as softer moments where the grief is in the background.

    The pendulum, so to speak, swings back & forth between the intense and less intense. Again & again it swings. Many, many times (or at least in my experience).

    Fine one minute, teary the next. A period of deep grief then some relief then something reminds us and the sadness returns. I suppose what I’m saying is I feel emotions don’t stand still...it fluctuates...to me, the fluctuations is part of the “processing”. Grief circles, zig zags, loops and spins in my experience...

    Sorry, I’m not sure if that was very helpful or if I have been unclear and confusing. Regardless, I’m thinking of you, and if you feel like sharing anything else, you know we’re here :)

    Kind and caring thoughts,

    Pepper

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