While visiting my older brother in Italy, we were on the train to Venice and I was upset about an argument with another family member. In the middle of my tantrum, my brother interrupted and said, “Jehan, just let it go! She showed her character, so accept it and let it go.” The Capricorn in me, combined with the third child syndrome, kicked in and I rebutted, “I can’t let it go! It’s not fair.” My brother replied, “It’s not, you’re right. But holding onto it only hurts you.” Shocking words of wisdom from the overachieving scientist! This is the same guy who, when I first started my spiritual journey and would ramble on about energy, would say, “Yeah, and if I were to punch you in the face, you would feel that energy.” No, my brother has never hit me. He has, however, consistently been a thorn in my side when we discuss spirituality. He did redeem himself that day by treating me to gelato. Twice. That is after all, what are big brothers for, right?
As much as I hate to admit it, my brother was right.
When we hold onto a situation or a person who has hurt us, the only person who suffers is the one holding onto the pain. Often times, the reason for not letting go stems from the need to control the outcome and/or the person. Previously, my struggle with letting go was due to the fact that I felt my voice was not respected. I later learned this was a problem within me, because I allowed others to have that power over me. Neither our problems nor guidance come from outside, so why do we look there?
Perhaps you find yourself feeling stuck in life. Whether you are in a job that makes you miserable and the previous job you left, while was not as prestigious, made you happy. Or maybe you are struggling with forgiving yourself from giving into temptation. Whatever the situation may be, whether it’s holding onto the ‘what if’s’ and the choices that currently make you unhappy or something far larger – none of it is healthy. It is literally creating a vibrational bubble of negativity that is blocking you from moving forward in a positive manner. This is where the saying, “h/she has a dark cloud over him/her” comes from. For example, if you are still attached to an ex, subsequently that is blocking you from creating space in your heart for new love.
Life is a balance between holding on and letting go- Rumi
It is easy to allow yourself to open the door to the past. And it is ok to walk through, just do not stay there. If you allow yourself to stay in the past, the darkness consumes you and will keep you at a low vibrational plane. This energetic plane is home to depression along with similar unhealthy disturbances. Such as grief, anger, insecurity, and other forms of limiting beliefs. Even though we were created vulnerable, God did not intend for us to stay there. When we are stuck in this low vibration, we are out of God’s Divine alignment. We know from my previous post on the Law of Attraction, this wavelength stops you from manifesting new opportunities.
God intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship. (2:185)
Getting unstuck requires a few steps. First, reassess the negative situation and think of how to counteract that with positivity. Think back to an argument with a friend that resulted in the break up of the friendship. Look at it from the other point of view and be more empathetic to that side. Conceivably, by this exercise you realize your words came off harsher than you intended. I encourage everyone to briefly revisit the past for the sole purpose to learn your lesson, so you do not repeat it in the future. Have compassion for both yourself and the situation that took place.
For example, if you are still attached to an ex, subsequently that is blocking you from creating space in your heart for new love.
Second, recognize the emotions that surfaced within you. This requires authentic honesty from within. I like to do this after prayer. Prayer is calming and realigns my vibration, so when I am ready to look within myself to find the emotions I am experiencing, I am doing so while connected to my Higher Self and to God. I call this, my coffee hour with God.
Is there such a thing as, ‘too big to get over?’ Yes and no. Yes, in a sense that it may require a longer time frame. By way of illustration, I know a lady who was physically abused throughout her childhood by her parent. She is now in her sixties and she is now taking the steps to letting go of her past because she realized, she had been living her life in a vicious cycle of emotional torment. Through a combination of therapy, meditation, and self-reflecting – she learned she carried unresolved emotional trauma. She had never healed nor let go of her childhood. If you still believe your hurt is too big to let go, think of it from a spiritual standpoint. “God does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear […]” (2:286). We do not get over the past. We get past it.
Are you struggling with letting go of a past mistake you made? Nothing is a bigger block in your life for seeking inner peace, than forgiving yourself and letting your past go. After all, we are all human and we make mistakes. God tells us, “Forgive and let go. Don’t you like it if God forgives you? God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful” (24:22).
Certainly there are circumstances where we feel too hurt by someone and we cannot fathom letting it go, without their apology. When someone hurts you in this life and does not seek your forgiveness or pardon, you will be given justice in the hereafter. On the Day of Judgment, before God gives His forgiveness, He will ask you if you forgive the person who upset you. Therefore, the concept of justice also extends to a personal virtue, and one of the standards of moral excellence that a believer is encouraged to attain. “God commands justice and fair dealing” (16:90)
The resistance to letting go and moving forward is from your ego. Being in a state of compassion requires you to be open hearted. In spirituality, the core of your entire awakening resides from your heart. We know, with every sin, tarnish hardens your heart. Whereas with every deed, your heart is cleansed. Think of it like a rock. Rocks are changed by water crashing against them. Your heart is like the rock and it is softened and formed by the waves of deeds washing over it.
When someone hurts you in this life and does not seek your forgiveness or pardon, you will be given justice in the hereafter.
As your awakening begins, you will learn to detach yourself from material things or to people. Islamically speaking, not becoming attached to this dunya. This is when the ego rises, fear consumes us, sadness and sometimes anger eat us away. When you become attached to these emotions, you become attached to this dunya. This life is temporary. Why waste it on allowing your soul to be polluted?
When you let go, you are emotionally unloading. During meditation, have you experienced a twitch in your physical body? That is a release. Your body is physically releasing an emotional blockage that was stuck to you. Therefore, when you let go, you free yourself of the bondage. You give yourself peace. It does not mean you are justifying the circumstance. Letting go is the only way to freedom.
Every day is a golden opportunity to let go of a belief, a painful memory, or resentment that is holding you back. We can let go of resentment when someone gets a promotion we missed. We can let go of road rage when we are cut off on the highway. We can let go of thinking about the time someone embarrassed us in public. We can let go of believing we are not good enough. We can let go of beliefs about our body image. We can let go of past relationships that were not blessed to make it to our present. Letting go of the little things allows peace and compassion to grow within. Further, this creates space inside of us to replace the old thought patterns we held.
Lastly, remember God during these moments of weakness and see the blessing in it. He is more Merciful to us during our struggle. God said, “And God wants to lighten for you [your difficulties] and mankind was created weak.” (4:28). Surrender to Him and give up control. Recognize that your connection to and dependence is on God, the Creator of life.
Recap on steps to letting go:
2). Seek forgiveness and give compassion
3). Tawakkul (Divine trust)
The part you have all been waiting for …
4). Sing like Elsa and “Let it go!”
Recite each attribute 99 times on the tasbih: Astaghfirallah (I seek Forgiveness); Al-Waajid (The Finder) One who recites this name will have richness of heart. Al-Qahhad (The Subduer). Pray for God to show you what you need to let go. Pray for His guidance and support.