What to Do When Holding On Isn't Working Anymore
All of us have at least a few outdated beliefs or habits or ways of thinking. By “outdated” I mean beliefs or stories or ideas about ourselves, other people, or the world that aren’t really true, but which we continue to hold onto out of habit or fear or the desire to be right.
I recently was stuck in a quandary myself and was talking to my acupuncturist about this dilemma during our most recent session. I would love to give you a concrete example but honestly I don’t even remember what exactly this “big” dilemma was anymore!
What I do remember is how he helped me work with this “problem.”
I was holding onto a particular way of thinking that I knew wasn’t entirely true, but that way of thinking was part of what I had built my world on. And when we build our world on a belief and don’t allow ourselves to revisit and reexamine that belief, our world can quickly become stale and shut down.
My acupuncturist sat with me and asked if I could let this way of thinking go.
“No, not really,” I said.
So we waited for a moment, and then he tried again.
The framework I was holding onto was something related to my acupuncture practice so he asked me to bring to mind one of my patients and see how this way of thinking might be impacting them.
Then he asked if I could let this go for the sake of my patient. I asked my heart again and somehow found that this answer shifted to a “yes.”
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a super excited or enthusiastic yes, but it was enough of a yes that I could put this conflict to rest. (And evidently forget about it entirely!)
I take this forgetting as a good sign. Often we think our world will shatter if we let go of too much, but sometimes just the opposite occurs. With the new spaciousness that arose from dropping this conflict, I’m able to move forward without hesitation.
When we’re stuck in a dilemma or holding onto a painful story about a situation, including stories of victimization, our first impulse is usually to cling hard to that story OR to try to force yourself to let it go.
Most of the time, forcing or coercing yourself to let go will often just cause more of a dilemma and more anger and blame. This self-shaming or a sense of victimization or anger or guilt ends up tangled in with the outdated belief, outdated relationship, or outdated dilemma, and will likely only make the whole situation even more painful and hard to untangle.
Sometimes it’s hard to let go of a situation for your own sake, but when you bring to mind the way a situation is also impacting the people around you, it can be easier to let go.
If you’re in a relationship with a beloved friend or partner, you’ve already learned how to let go. For the sake of your cherished friend or partner, you’ve certainly let some things slide over the months or years you’ve been in that relationship.
If you can’t find it in yourself to let go of something for your own sake, try extending your awareness to other people who are also being impacted by the situation or the framework/way of thinking you are bringing to the situation.
For their sake, is there a yes (even if it’s a thin, whispery yes) when you ask yourself if you can start to let go?
We’re in the season of autumn now, and this is a natural time of year to mimic the beautiful leaves and let yourself drop from the branch. Often there will be a softer landing than you expect!
Do you need help with a conflict in your life or in your health? Do you know that you should let go of sugar but aren’t sure where to start? Consider contacting me for a free consultation so that we can discuss your health and wellness goals and how to start getting you to where you want to be.
Without the shame or guilt. Both of which arise so easily and only hold us back.
In the next newsletter, I will be addressing the role that accountability can play in helping you let go. Until then, please contact me if you think that I can be of service to your life or to your health (which for me are really the same thing).