Wellness That Works

The Real Reason You Are Struggling With Letting Go

By Celine Healy Struggling With Letting Go

“The key to being happy is knowing you have the power to choose what to accept and what to let go.” Dodinsky

Letting Go of a Toxic Person and Relationship

You know something is wrong.

You keep repeating reactions that no longer serve you. Over and over.

Someone says something that raises your hackles and you fall into the trap. You react. Again. 

It’s been there for a long time now for letting go and moving on.

Perhaps all of your life.

You’ve somehow learned this behavior. Yet. You don’t know how to change it to letting go of a toxic relationship.

Yes. You’ve read what seems like hundreds of lists of what to do to let go and move on. But. You’re still struggling to letting go of a toxic person.

You now feel like a failure. Yet. You appear to be successful in your job.

You’d just like things to be easier.

But. You don’t know how to let go and move on.

My personal journey and lessons of letting go

I remember when I was deeply stuck. Struggling with internal conflict about what to do. The conflict: will I or won’t I let go of the very thing that I thought was the source of my identity.  My work.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. It was the wrong type of work for my personality style. It constrained my soul. My very essence. My creativity.

It provided me with an income. Status. Respect. A place in the world I actually did not consciously choose. I fell into the career.

The struggle showed. On my face. In my body. In the self-punishing, harmful habits that I self-perpetuated, daily.   I was so overwhelmed with a tiredness that went deep to the bone.

I was becoming sicker and sicker. All the while trying to prop myself up with addictive substances.

I was afraid to make a decision. I was afraid to cut myself off from the known and plunge headlong into an abyss. Some scary unknown place.

Wondrously, angels have a way of finding you when you stop the busyness.

I decided to go on a retreat for a few days. To me, that meant on the first day: doing the bush-walk, going to the gym and participating in the water polo – all before lunch.

The receptionist took one look at me and suggested I have a lie down. They would ring the bell and come and get me for lunch. I crashed.

At lunch the group exchanged names, background and stories. When it came to my turn I couldn’t speak. I was beyond exhausted. I’d zoomed on by to burnout. And. Sadly. Didn’t know it.

The guardian angel sitting next to me said: “Whatever you are doing, it can’t possibly be worth it.”

Wow. What a slap in the face. I came to a dead halt.

You see. I was afraid to put up my hand and say that I wasn’t coping. I felt people would think I was a failure. Yet. Here I was, sacrificing my health for the sake of appearances.

I needed to let go of the job. A job which was totally wrong for my personality type.

I needed to let go of the perceived status.

I needed to let go of the internal conflict of feeling “not good enough” without that false status.

I needed to come to the realisation that whatever I was inside was who I was meant to be. Not some artificially “perceived” notion of being successful.

And. Sadly. I needed permission from a stranger to be able to stop. Let go. And. Move on.

You’d think that finally making the decision to stop, let go and move, would lead to some kind of happy place. It didn’t. I felt the agony of failure. Of being so tired that I couldn’t function. I was so overwhelmed with feeling of self-hatred that I still managed to punish myself.

Why? Because I could not see that letting go was a useful thing to do. It meant my values were all screwed up. I was living a lie.

What lessons did I learn?

That the signs are there. Your body/mind will tell you. You just have to listen and take appropriate action.

I learnt that I couldn’t do it alone. I needed to be honest with myself and others. I needed to be courageous enough to put up my hand and say: “I am not coping. I need help.”

I learnt that whatever else is important that my health and wellbeing is paramount.

I also learnt that to be healthy is to be happy. I learnt that being happy is being successful. And. To be happy in your work, you need to be doing work that is personality-style appropriate. 

Knowing the “what” of letting go doesn’t give you the “how to”

In my quest to help others from reaching overwhelm. Burnout. And. Repetitive self-harming behaviours and habits, I started on the journey of knowledge. Of understanding. Of trying to turn this knowledge into practical application.

How can I help others avoid this scenario? What are the best methods? What are the quickest methods of gaining back health and wellbeing?

I’ve read the lists. You’ve read the lists. The lists of the most effective ways of letting go and moving on. The best ways. The most desirable ways. Yet there’s always something missing.

Many people who write about letting go and moving on have found ways that have worked for them. They want you to trust in these tips and strategies and so they pass them onto you, in good faith. But. Will they work for you?

I remember reading a book by a well-known motivational guru who had come up with the 7 Steps to whatever…. It sounded great. All very simple. Just follow the steps and you too can magically arrive at the designated destination. You see. All of these remedies generally start off with three steps: work out your goal/what you want; make a plan; and take action.

Sounds good. The problem is that most people are weighed down with negativity from many sources: their thoughts; their feelings; their beliefs; their families, their partner; the circumstances they find themselves in; their jobs and so on. They don’t know what they don’t know.

They are used to being rejected as a person, or their ideas being discounted. In essence, their goals being sublimated. In the end they don’t really know what they want.

They may know what they don’t want. Unfortunately, starting with a negative will not lead you to a clear path of what you truly want.

So, if you don’t know what your goal is, how can you make an effective plan or take action?

Now. Throughout the guru’s book he kept telling us that he was receiving massages, going to counselling and visiting many therapists.

Eventually it dawned on me. The key I was searching for!

It’s not the 7 Steps to …. It’s the therapy that works! That’s the “how to.”

So, it’s not your fault that you have been unable to take action about effective ways to let go and move on. Why? In most cases, people do not understand what they need to let go of. Or. Who to go see about how they can do this effectively?

Create a new perspective- why not go about things differently 

When people talk about needing to let go of something, they tend to categorise it into different areas, subjects such as: letting go of a painful past; letting go of a toxic relationship; of someone you love; of anger; of regret; of negative self-talk, and so on.

Yet. Hopefully now, when people finally do realise they need to let go of something, there will be a dawning of a new perspective.  It’s not: the other person, or the job or the relationship. The common factor here is you. Yes. It’s you.

Intrinsically, letting go of “anything or anyone” means that there is something within you that needs to be brought to light and weeded out.

For me, that “something” was, a deep-seated self-hatred that I was  “not good enough”. So, I accepted the status quo. I forced myself to accept less than what I really wanted. What my soul truly desired.

You have to recognise the signs.

If you keep attracting the wrong people, the wrong jobs, or keep having annoying negative thoughts, feelings and perpetrating self-harm on yourself (by this I mean taking addictive substances, food or drink. behaviours or habits), intrinsically it means that at your core there is some element of you that needs to be “exorcised.” Not in the sense of witchcraft. In the sense of some basic belief that you are holding about yourself that is negative.

What is that element within that keeps you attracting these things to you? That has trapped you in a cycle of perpetual self-harm: negative thoughts, negative feelings and negative behaviours?

This has been my observation and experience over many years. Unfortunately. At our core, one of our primary negative beliefs is that we are “not good enough”. From there we adopt other negative beliefs around ourselves, our worth, the fairness of life and so on.

But. This is good.

“Knowing” means there is hope for a solution. And. This is half the battle.

Imagine being able to solve these issues

Okay. So, knowing that at your core you might have a negative belief that you are “not good enough”, what can be done about this?

You see. Letting go and moving on is not an easy thing to do. It takes time and effort. It can mean that it takes many goes to let go of the same or similar thing. Why would that be so?

It is because we have “learned” in our early primary years of development, when we were born into a particular environment, that our primary aim was to learn how to survive that environment and the work outside.

The prime responsibility of our parents or primary care givers was to help you download programs of survival.

Now. This is where it gets tricky. If your parents or primary care givers had faulty notions of how to survive, you, unfortunately, have picked these up. Those faulty programs have become embedded in your psyche. In your feelings. Your attitudes. And. In your actions and behaviours. These reactions have become automatic. They have become beliefs by which you live. They shape your perceptions. They shape the outcomes you have later in life.

This is how you get trapped in repetitive behaviour which you do not fully understand. Quite often people are not aware of what is troubling them and  why these issues are there in the first place. Or. How to resolve these issues.

So, part of the process of letting go and moving on is to be able to recognise your habits and behaviours. Your thoughts and feelings and attitudes. This is your “why”. Why you have these problems.

The good news is that underlying these repetitive behaviours/habits, there exist one, or two or perhaps three specific negative beliefs that are running your behaviour.

The even better news is that there are only nine categories of these deeply held negative beliefs, and pretty much, everything falls into one of those categories.

The other really good news is that there are therapists (remember, it’s about the therapy that makes the steps work) who can help you assess which negative beliefs are relevant and are driving your patterns of behaviour. They can help you release these negative beliefs.

How good is that?

And. My favourite kind of therapist is one who has a kinesiology background. Keep that in mind.

Having discovered the missing link, that there are specific negative beliefs that keep running these unwanted patterns of behaviour. And. Knowing that there exist helpful therapies to instigate the “how to” of letting go, the possibilities I can see for you, about finally being able to let go and move on include:

  • You will feel better
  • Your negative self-talk will decrease
  • You will be able to set and achieve goals
  • You will be more focused
  • You will have more clarity
  • You will be happier
  • You will begin to feel fulfilled…

… and a whole lot more benefits and possibilities.

But. Best of all.  You will finally be at peace.

You see. Knowledge is king. When you can understand “what” is driving your repetitive negative behaviours and habits, thoughts and feelings, you will finally be able to give up the struggle and take action. Your “why” comes from the childhood environment, the nega and all that entails. Action that will now be  effective in helping you let go and move on.

To do or not to do

If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Being overwhelmed. Being out of control.

If you’ve finally come to the decision that you need to give up the struggle. That you do need to let go and move. That there is a possibility that you will survive the abyss.

The. Perhaps it is time to take action. Different action.

If you want to feel better.

If you want to feel happier.

If you want to finally be at peace… then you now know your “why” behind your struggles. And. You now know your:” how” to overcome these issues.

It’s now just a matter of taking that first step.

To move on, as Elsa sings, you have to: let it go; let it go; let it go!


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