“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” ~ Pema Chodron
We all want and hope for a good life full of love, health, wealth and freedom to do what we want to do. However, it would be safe to say that at some point in our lives, an event we’ve lived through, or an unpleasant interaction with another human being we’ve experienced, has caused us much stress, grief and /or trauma.
Depending on our coping mechanisms, the result of this can have negative life-long effects on us, stopping us from achieving the happiness and success we strive for.
In my practice I work with adults of all ages. I constantly see a common denominator when it comes to why people are not getting what they want. Blocks are holding them back from being who they set out to be, or where they want to be in their lives. In many cases there is a pattern that begins with a traumatic experience occurring at an early age anywhere from 3 and 4 yrs old up to 8 or 9 yrs old.
What seems to trigger the pattern is a powerful experience that occurs in a child’s life, leaving them feeling scared and vulnerable, even threatened. It could be something emotional or physical. It could be experienced first-hand or witnessed. It could be someone trusted betraying trust in an unexpected and harmful way. Or it could even be bad luck and simply an uncontrollable life event.
“In many cases there is a pattern that begins with a traumatic experience occurring at an early age anywhere from 3 and 4 yrs old up to 8 or 9 yrs old.”
Once the action has occurred, then the re-action is to create a belief based around the action. This is put in place in order to protect that child from feeling as much fear, pain or suffering as possible. The basis of this belief rationalizes situations in one’s mind to make it easier to face life day by day.
After a while, maybe years later, once the child is a grown adult, this belief that at one point served the child, has now become a self-limiting belief. It never evolves, essentially freezing time, even though the scared, wounded child has grown up and may have consciously rationalized their childhood fears or wounds in order to break free of a bad time. Subconsciously the belief is lurking in the background, interfering with what kind of life one gets to experience as an adult.
Some of us can never understand why it seems so many others live the life they want, and yet the rest of us struggle just to get by day by day. For some people, life is a series of bad luck events. The running mantra beneath the surface is usually something like: “Good things only happen to other people, not me.” Misfortune, in many small and large forms, seems to seek out these unfortunate people.
There is hope, however. And it comes with learning how to let go. Done properly, it is a very powerful practice.
When you recognize self-limiting beliefs holding you back from being who you want to be, or having the life you want to live, then you have to do something about them. The easiest way is to uncover them, face them and then let them go.
When something — anything — in your life doesn’t serve your highest and best good, it only makes sense to release that energy. By letting it go you open up a space to be filled. And you get to choose what to fill it with. Once you let go of the negative then the space for the positive belief is created. Blocks disappear. Events begin to occur that move you forward through the area that you were previously stuck in.
“Through conversation and questioning, a path appears. We follow that path and eventually it leads us to the core issue and the root of the belief.”
Talk Therapy and energy work can be very helpful with uncovering beliefs that block us. Through conversation and questioning, a path appears. We follow that path and eventually it leads us to the core issue and the root of the belief. Once that belief is identified, then its old, limiting energy can be released, making room for a positive belief to take its place.
The power of this cannot be overstated. What is happening is you are essentially freeing yourself from an anchor that reaches all the way back into your childhood, and has been holding you down in essential ways ever since. You are now a much freer, confident, vulnerable (in a good way) and creative individual, able to overcome trials you previously weren’t able to get through.
However, Fear, capital ‘F’ — conscious or subconscious — is a big, big barrier for many to being able to Let Go.
So even as we are released from old childhood blocks, new things will eventually arise. Even the once-positive and useful belief that replaced that old block may need to be transcended at some point. This is all part of the process.
The idea, as stated in the quote at the beginning of this article, is learning how to be the space for all of this phenomena to come together and then apart, as it always will. Along the way, as you grow in your wisdom by watching these patterns, you’ll learn how to navigate by coming to know the right times to both exert control, and surrender it.
This is the power and the art of letting go.