Letting Go, Week Eighteen in the No Longer New Abnormal


When I was younger and I upset someone, I would replay the incident over and over again. I found it intolerable that someone would be upset or angry with me. It felt devastating. I would apologize again and again, becoming a nuisance. Sometimes people would be more upset with my groveling than they were with the original upset. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It felt like anything I did that hurt others was unforgivable. There was no fun to be had.

As a new age devotee in my late teens to early thirties I had embraced the idea of letting things go. But I didn’t know how to do that. I couldn’t let discriminatory situations go. I was beyond upset when I was judged unfairly. And, as explained, I couldn’t let things go when someone was upset with me.

In this time of polarization, and post-pandemic frustrations, we are seeing more and more people hold onto ideology that is not being played out on the world stage. It’s easy to look at the dismay and think that they should just let go of their fury. But that is easier said than done.

How many times have we been told, “Just let it go?” I think that usually tells us more about the person who is advocating for letting it go. I have found that letting go is a process. It is not something you can simply do at a moment’s notice. Though that seems to be the desire of others. We have not expanded our tolerance for differences, so it can play out that others tell us to let go so they can feel more comfortable.

Let us have patience with ourselves and others. Let’s work on soothing ourselves when we’re uncomfortable. That can be essential in the letting go process. When we aren’t fighting how we feel or how others feel, there is more space to let go. Or, even better, there’s more acceptance of what is. These are hard times. Let’s see what we can gain from the discomfort rather than continually trying to shut ourselves and others down.

Though I have no definitive answers, I do believe that self-compassion, compassion for others, as well as patience and kindness can be revolutionary acts in times of intolerance.

Self-Care Tips:

  • When you are working on letting something go, ask yourself,  “What am I experiencing?”  Then see if you can care for yourself as you go through it.
  • When you are upset with someone else’s stance, ask yourself, “What am I feeling in response to their stance?”  Then see what you need to care for yourself while not disparaging them.  
  • Do one small thing you’ve been putting off.  Today I mended a torn glove.  It’s not quite as good as new, but it’s done, and I can let it go.