Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Letting Go

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Recently I've come to this place in my life where I don't want to harbor anger or bad feelings for anyone. And it's not like I ever wanted to, but I wasn't at a place where I understood how important it was to just let go. It's hard though, to just move on. And it's especially hard for someone like me who has a tendency to obsess and obsess until I feel crazy! But somehow over the past year or so I've managed to become someone who can just let go. It seems almost impossible, and it absolutely seemed impossible when I first started on this journey, but over time it has become easier and easier.

So anyway, while trying to avoid getting all Oprah-y/Dr. Phil on you, here's what has worked for me:

1. Realize you cannot change anyone else's behavior but your own- everyone lives in their own reality.

So many times I've thought to myself "why does he/she do that?!" and become so frustrated that this person was reacting in such a way. First things first, I had a long, hard look in the mirror after reading this quote- "We have a tendency to want the other person to be a finished product while we give ourselves the grace to evolve." Did that hit you as hard as it hit me the first time I heard it? I'm sure many of you can relate when I say that this really applies to the way I think sometimes. I'm absolutely guilty of not understanding how on earth someone could do this, think that, say whatever, and wonder why they just don't get it. But not only can I not change someone else's behavior, but I should try not to judge it, as if my way is the only way or the right way. And that's not to say if someone is especially rotten we should just shake our heads and say, "oh, that's them!" and excuse bad behavior. But in day-to-day encounters it's important to remember that everything does not revolve around us or our way of doing things; each individual has their own reality they live in, full of their own truths and reasons for their actions. When I remember this I am able to accept that not only can I not change someone else, it's futile to even try, because we will always be coming from two different places with two very different ideas about the hows and whys. And a disclaimer here- I don't want to discount working through something with someone different than ourselves; I'm talking about simply accepting that there are many ways to do something, and to recognize that our way isn't the best or only path even though it certainly may feel like that from time to time.

2. Put your energy in the right place.

Have you ever found yourself telling yourself not think about something, yet continuing to think about it, over and over? Or maybe discussing and rehashing with a friend, talking in circles about the same thing the entire time you hang out? What an epic waste of energy! I'm not successful all the time, but I actively try and remind myself "This is what it is. You have done what you can. Going on about it in your mind (or with a friend) with no new information isn't providing clarity, you're only giving the negative thoughts more power." Yes, I talk to myself. And yes, it works! By being firm in not allowing myself to devote any more time to this or that, I allow myself to move past it and be free of it. It might be visualizing a stop sign in your mind whenever your thoughts start going there, or just getting up and physically moving yourself to a new place, leaving your old thoughts behind, but find a tool that works and use it!

3. Forgive.

Easier said than done, right? For many years I would be having a great day but then out of the blue I'd be reminded of a person/situation and my stomach would immediately hurt. It sounds so silly typing that out, but it's true- my negative thinking was physically affecting me. So one day I decided that I was done. Holding onto these feelings wasn't making me feel good, and completely holding me back by keeping me in the past. By truly forgiving, even if you're only able to do so in your mind, will bring an immediate release. In my own life it's something I had to work on continuously, but after awhile I felt free and I was able to be in the present, and move on. Awesome.

Before I go I should also add that I might sound like I know what I'm talking about here, but I don't, really. I'm figuring this all out just like anyone else, and I just wanted to share what's worked for me. I'm still learning everyday how to be better, and even though these things have helped, I still have to remind myself of them regularly. Being an emotional person has its downfalls (like worrying or thinking too much about feelings), but at the same time I love how passionate I am about everything and how much I feel, and I'm sure many of you can relate to that too. Just wanted to end on a positive note.

I haven't written a post like this in awhile, and it was fun. Thanks for reading. :)

xoxo

26 comments:

  1. Posts like this are my favorite, so I'm glad you felt the need to get this stuff down. I understand being an emotional person--I love the way you reframed us as PASSIONATE. (Are you a Pisces too?)

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  2. Re: Realize you cannot change anyone else's behavior but your own- everyone lives in their own reality: I recently took a group psychotherapy course and the professor was just an incredibly wise counselor who gave us "free" information about life sometimes. One of the things I heard on a weekly (at least) basis was that many people make preferences into moral issues, i.e., opinions vs. a true right or wrong. I don't like how my boyfriend squeezes the toothpaste tube, but that doesn't mean he does it the wrong way, he just has a different preference than I do. This has been such an eye-opener in not only my romantic relationship, but in friendships as well, and reading that first point of yours, I thought you'd like it, too.

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  3. This post really could not have come at a better time. I can relate to being pretty emotional when it comes to just about anything and I don't count that as a bad thing on most days but on others, man, well, I can really beat myself up by dwelling on things too much. Thanks for sharing! xoxo

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  4. "Realize you cannot change anyone else's behavior but your own" — yes! And related: No one can make you happy except you. I remind myself of that often.

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  5. Oh. my. gosh. Dani! Thanks for this. I so needed it right now. I am 100% such an emotional person... it can be my downfall, BUT, I also love how passionate I am. #2 is what I am going through right now, relishing the same thoughts with no new info, over and over and over again with myself and my best friends.... This post was perfect for me tonight. Thank you again. <3

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  6. I've always been the type of person who gets angry and then ten minutes later is completely over it (unless it's something really, really terrible and hurtful), and I think I was like this because my mom is the complete opposite. She can remember every little insult for years and it's always annoyed me. I just want to yell at her at times, "Get over it! Who cares?" I think letting go of anger and hurt is so much better. You're not thinking about the past, you're not thinking about what that person did or said, you're just living your life. I'm so glad you're doing this! Life is so much better when you're not dwelling on things you can't control! Good luck! :)
    ~Sara

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  7. Hey. Wonderful words. Thank you.

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  8. You're such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. -Jina
    www.beautyblogmark.com

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  9. I've been trying to self reflect a lot lately and something I was thinking about today was basically the gist of the quote you posted. It feels like validation! My mindset is moving in the right direction, thank you for sharing that. =]

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  10. i always tell myself not to think about soemthing or someone but i end up doing it. although i did find a cure for it, is getting extremely busy doing something else. it takes your mind of things

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  11. This was wonderful and it came in the right time for me. I am an over thinker and try to make sense of a situation in my head. I think I need to practice more on number 2.
    Thanks again!

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  12. "We have a tendency to want the other person to be a finished product while we give ourselves the grace to evolve."

    ....WHOA.

    That hit me like a ton of bricks! It's so true, and such a great lesson to keep in mind. Thanks for another wonderful post!

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  13. You're absolutely right on all this! I'm working through letting go of some pretty major stuff right now and you're right on with all these points...and you're right it is a process of just learning how to do these things day by day and moment by moment.

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  14. boy, this is so true. It's human nature to feel this way at times but, it does take effort to just let go. We are emotional creatures and it's easy to get riled up by things that don't seem to go right. I know it's very tough for me! Wise words.
    xo,
    nancy

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  15. Thank you for this Dani. I have such a hard time with ALL OF THIS. So much in fact, that the second tattoo I ever got, is of the words 'Let Go' on my right wrist so I could see it all the time and be reminded to just relax and let it be. Doesn't always work but I still love seeing my daily reminder. :)

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  16. Wow. This post came right at the perfect time...and some definitely perfect words too. Trying to realize I can't change someone else's ways...thank you for sharing your words. :)

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  17. That quote is brilliant! I'd never thought about it like that before but it can be oh so true of myself for sure. I guess we have this idealistic image in our minds of how people should be and act and do, but, when it comes down to it, the way we each know is definitely not always the best way and I think we're always growing, and I do hope that that is the case. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Danielle.

    Anna xx | The Girl In The Moon

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  18. Love this! I need to learn how to let it go.

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  19. I felt compelled to share this on my FB page. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I felt a little more human after reading this. Thanks, Dani!

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  20. I've been thinking about this topic a lot lately...NPR had a fantastic show addressing it the other day. Your advice is solid...forgiveness is freedom.

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  21. Thank you for this post. I really needed to read this.

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  22. great post - exactly what i needed to read right now. thank you!
    xo, cheyenne

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  23. Great post. That quote really did hit me hard. Thank you for sharing.

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  24. Stumbled upon this post and it has really helped me to see the kind of person I want to be. I've always spoke of change and evolving and yet I almost always go back to the way I was before. Recently, I just went through a break up and am now on a journey to self discovery. Thank you, for your words have helped me.

    Love from Malaysia,
    Syafinas.

    www.rain-all-day.blogspot.com

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  25. I'm in tears reading this! My post are so transparent, and it's blessing me to see how it's blessing you! I totally get that this is a journey, and some days are better than others, but you have to keep moving forward! I am so beyond proud of you at this moment, and I know your making your momma proud!

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