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Five Steps to Letting Go
There is nothing quite so frustrating as going through an especially difficult time, and having a well meaning friend or acquaintance say “well, just let go, and let God.” Like that’s it. Oh! Okay! Problem solved!!
Recently I was talking with a friend of mine, and she said “I know I need to let go. But how do I do that?”
So I asked myself that question the next time I found myself wanting to hang on to something, which, as luck would have it, was the next morning.
I was driving my kids to school, and I pulled out in front of a car. I didn’t do it on purpose, in fact, I couldn’t see them because of other cars parked on the street, so I’d crept out slowly, and then pulled out. There was actually plenty of space; I hadn’t put anyone in danger, yet this other car took it pretty personally and had to gesture wildly at me.
I found myself, 10 minutes and several miles later, still fuming about their reaction. I didn’t want to let go. I wanted to continue to think they were a jerk for their behavior.
What I realized in that moment was that letting go was not a one step process. It was series of steps, each designed to help us change our perception so that letting go, or healing, became possible.
Step One: Be Pure of Heart
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” ~ Matthew 5:8
The first step, and key ingredient to letting go, is to be pure in heart.
To be pure in heart is to change our way of thinking so that we see Spirit as an everywhere present force, even in the situation that caused us pain or frustration. To see Light in every situation, and every person, helps us remember that they are not their body, nor their behavior. Beyond that, they are a Soul having an experience just like we are.
However, the way we think doesn’t always support this. If we are blaming, judging, or hating, these thoughts keep us separate, which brings impurity into our hearts.
We are all Eternal Beings, and to think and feel anything less than love is simply not worthy of our Divine Nature. To harbor unkind thoughts will cause the feeling of separation, because any judgment we express always involves our rejection of someone. This means we cannot see God as everywhere present.
When we are pure in heart, we see Light in every person, without judgment and without separation.
Step Two: Remember everything is in perfect order
“Know that everything is in perfect order, whether you understand it or not.” ~ Guy Finley.
For us to believe that everything is in perfect order, even those difficult situations, we have to remember there is universal intelligence working through all things.
This can be extraordinarily difficult when we are in crisis mode, but when we can remember that Source Energy is everywhere present, we realize we don’t have to control the situation – we only have to control where our thoughts are.
If something awful has happened, we cannot undo the event. The only thing we have any control over is how we choose to view the event. If we choose to the view the event as ruining our life, we get stuck in victim mode, which is disempowering. As a victim, we never make the best choices, and constantly look to something outside of ourselves to fix the situation.
When we make the choice to see divine order, even in the most terrible of situations, we are empowered because we free ourselves up to allow for our highest good (which can’t come to us if we are in victim mode). We’ll feel guided, directed and supported. We don’t have to like the situation, or be okay with it – not at all! But by making the choice to see universal intelligence as everywhere present, even in the difficult situations, we allow ourselves to open to Divine possibility, heal and express love into the world again.
Step Three: Forgiveness
“Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past, and is therefore the means for correcting our misperceptions.” ~ Gerald G. Jampolsky, Love is Letting Go of Fear
Forgiveness is something we practice with ourselves, others, and events, because it helps us to let go of the past.
Forgiveness, at its highest level, is where we totally and completely see God as everywhere present, and every person and situation as part of a divine plan. We see every experience as an event that allows us to express the next brightest version of ourselves.
It’s important to note that forgiveness is not about letting someone else off the hook; it’s all about us because it gives us an opportunity to let go of the past. It’s in our best interest to forgive because without it, we stay a suffering victim.
However, if we’ve really been hurt, forgiveness may need to come in stages. So we start by asking for help. When we meditate, or pray, ask “how can I see this differently.” The Universe helps us to open to seeing the situation in a different way. Then I like to imagine the person who I’m having trouble forgiving as a little baby. When we imagine someone as a baby, it changes how we see them!
It’s in our best interests to forgive, because it allows us to disconnect ourselves from any past trauma and tragedy that may be keeping us from expressing the brightest version of our Self.
Step Four: It’s an active process
“I can do nothing of myself; for I do not seek my own will, but the will of him who sent me.” ~ John 5:30
That last step in letting go is to remember that letting go is an active process.
Christ performed miracle after miracle, and told his disciples, repeatedly, what they actively needed to do so they could do what he did; perform miracles. Everything Christ shared with them was about helping them to let go of their fears and doubts so they could tap into the Divine Mind like Christ did.
Letting go is not about sitting back and doing nothing, and just hoping things turn out okay. Letting go is about opening to Divine guidance, and taking action. It’s about being diligent in doing what brings us into alignment with our Source; focusing on activities and a way of thinking that unite us, and moving our lives into that space where Spirit is at work.
Step Five: Remember who YOU are
“You find peace by realizing who you are at the deepest level.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
We were created in the image and likeness of God. Since God is not human, it’s apparent that we are created in the image of God’s Divine Nature.
We are an idea in the mind of God, created to allow the expression of God into the world.
You may feel ready to let go, and forgive. Or you may still need to move gently through the grieving process. Either way, by remembering you are an extension of divinity into this world, you allow healing to begin its work.
When we are unable to let go of suffering, we are unable to move to the next grandest version of ourselves – and this keeps Love from expressing in our world.
Letting go invites inner peace, compassion, love, creativity, enthusiasm, passion, hope, and joyfulness to work through us.
This is how Christ lived.
This is how Buddha lived.
This is how Lao Tzu lived.
This is how the Dali Lama lives.
They lived by letting go; because this allows us to see the divine design in our lives, and in our world.
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