Lately I’ve been seeing the phrase “let it go” quite a bit. Even my friend texted me, “Let go of the struggle”. I know the universe is guiding me to release past toxic and traumatic experiences and associated feelings. Easier said than done right?
It’s can be hard to let go of pain, but it is absolutely necessary if we want to have the full life we deserve. Emotions have to run their course, but at some point, we have to let go of the disappointments, the difficulties and the experiences with people who hurt us. And that doesn’t just happen – we have to make a decision. And we have to follow up that decision with action. Here are some helpful tips:
Stop talking about what happened
It happened. It SUCKED. But it’s over. Get it out of your system, but don’t prolong your healing by continuing to dredge up the event way after it’s over. Every time you talk about it, you relive it and re-traumatize yourself. (This does not include not discussing it in therapy. But a good therapist will move the conversation forward to focus on resolution instead of the event.)
Stop allowing toxic thoughts to steal your joy.
When you find yourself thinking about the harmful experience, stop yourself. Recognize that these are harmful thoughts and redirect. Work, clean, dance, whatever–DO something to distract and redirect your thoughts.
Stop re-traumatizing yourself
Remove toxic people from your life and limit exposure to toxic and traumatic environments. Yes, get new friends. Yes, get a new job. Yes, cut that toxic family member off or at least limit contact.
Decide to feel better
This isn’t easy especially if you’re dealing with depression. Please seek help with that if needed. And tell yourself you deserve to feel content in life unburdened by emotional baggage. You don’t deserve to walk through life feeling wounded. You deserve to feel strong, confident and loved–even if the only love you receive right now is the love you give yourself. Head up, walk tall!
Take your power back!
Set your boundaries. Can we be real for a minute? Some of the toxic treatment we have received or experiences we’ve had that created trauma is because we have not set appropriate limits with folks! (This obviously doesn’t apply to childhood trauma inflicted by adults when the child was not able to defend themselves.)
Also, in taking your power back, do what needs to be done to begin your healing. Decide you are going to take control of your emotional health. This begins with the awareness of what’s brought you pain. Look at the areas of your life where you feel you aren’t content, figure out why and create a plan to address them. You know here on Carbon we love therapy, and a good therapist can be a great resource to help you map out a plan of action. You can start with a great session on boundaries with this Therapy for Black Girls podcast.
Letting go of the struggle isn’t easy. Experiencing consistent and traumatic challenges can leave a deep imprint on our psyche that is not easily erased. But it is worth the fight. You are worth the fight. Spring and Easter usher in a season of resurrection and renewal. So this can be the perfect time for a rebirth of your spirit.
Yes, it’s been a long, hard climb. But I believe the mountain top is near. But in preparation for your arrival, put your bags down. Let it go and travel light.