Let me ask you a question, and please try to picture in your mind what I'm asking you.
Do you have a bin in your kitchen, which you incrementally fill with food scraps, general waste and the soggy, washed out remains from your sink and dishwasher strainer? Yes? Okay, next question.
What do you do with that bin when it becomes full? You empty it and dispose of it into an outside bin for an eventual refuse collection, right? You dispose of the waste that no longer serves you, or any purpose of any kind, and is actually likely to be become toxic and hazardous over time? Okay.
Do you, or have you ever, found it impossible to throw away used teabags, or the carcass from your roast chicken dinner? Do members of your family have to watch you embrace these teabags, as you hold them tightly to your chest, vowing never to let go? I'm guessing that's a "no"? Of course you don't behave this way, because you take out the trash when the need arises. You let go. There is an unemotional separation, for the greater good.
So now we need you to apply the same kind of detached logic to the emotional commitments that have you holding on to i.e.: anger, fear, hate, regret and pain. Now I'm not saying this is easy. I understand how you have an emotional attachment to the circumstances in your life, which led to your anger/fear/hate/regret/pain hangover (where obviously no such emotional commitment exists between you and the used teabags). What I am advocating here is that you gradually reduce the impact your big issues are allowed to have on your day-to-day life. We need you to do away with what no longer serves you, which will ultimately free you from any anger/fear.hate/regret and pain hangover. This is a process however, and all processes take time. There are no permanent quick fixes in life.
Aidan's father died many years ago, leaving everything to Aidan's mother. About two years ago, Aidan's mother died, leaving everything (money, house, car) to Aidan's older brother, (and estate executor) Liam. Aidan was to have the contents of the house. However, after some crafty maneuvering, Liam was able to persuade his solicitor to have the house contents removed, ostensibly so the house could be sold. The contents - which had been bequeathed to Aidan, were sold to the financial advantage of Liam. Aidan was understandably upset by these underhand and ruthless tactics, as many of the items from the house were of precious and irreplaceable sentimental value. Aiden and Liam no longer have any contact with each other, and Aidan seethed, unable to afford legal representation to realign the balance of the situation.
As you can guess, Aidan has been carrying a lot of anger, hurt and resentment since the apparent betrayal by his brother. These were times of heightened emotions, following the passing of their mother, further exacerbated by a series of questionable choices and behaviour, but carrying around these toxic emotions was not a realistic, or healthy, long-term option. Aidan had to let it go, but he seemed determined to hold on to the resentment of having his "memories stolen". So how did I persuade him to let go?
ACTIVE LISTENING & TALKING THERAPY
Aidan needed to first let go of his pent up emotions, which began with grief for his Mum, and ran the gamut of emotions through to anger and resentment towards Liam, who he believed had "trampled" him. By letting himself express himself freely, Aidan was able to process some long-established subconscious thoughts. Some people talk to think, whilst others think to talk, and Aidan needed to talk to think, so I let him talk, whilst employing the virtues of active listening. It was essential Aidan felt heard and had his feelings validated, following Liam's dismissal of them.
Then I had Aidan tell me about the items from within the house, which had had so much sentimental value to him. I asked Aidan to describe their physical attributes so I could visualise them, and I asked him to tell me about the times when they brought him the most joy. Aidan became noticeably more animated and happier whilst tapping into these memories, and he eventually came to one critical realisation; he didn't need the physical mementos in hand to access his true treasure, the memories themselves.
This realisation lifted Aidan, it had empowered him. Having previously believed himself to be the victim of Liam's actions, he now felt invincible, realising Liam had zero power over him. Yes, the sentimental items were gone, but that was a matter for Liam's conscience and karma. Furthermore, as time progresses, what was the likelihood of these items being boxed and stored, rarely seeing the light of day again? Aidan acknowledged this to be largely true, so it's not just what you look at that's important, it's more about what you see. Aidan could have chosen to focus on what's lost (the sentimental mementos), but instead he chose to focus on what remains (his untouchable memories).
Whilst his brother's betrayal was a painful shock, why would Aidan choose to carry such a heavy burden of painful emotion until the end of time? What genuine purpose would that serve? Who would it help, who would grow as a result of Aidan harbouring such negativity? No one. Who would it hinder? Well, Aidan himself. So why tether himself to such an energetically negative anchor? It takes a vast amount of mental and emotional energy to maintain any kind of grudge towards someone, and I have to ask you, are they worth it? Would you let someone, who had treated you so contemptuously, live rent free in your house? No. So why let them live in your head and your heart? Ask yourself these two questions: 1) Are they worthy of me? 2) Do I deserve them, and all they have done to me? Answer these questions honestly and you won't go far wrong.
TIME TO FOCUS FORWARD NOW
Imagine standing in a clean and clear babbling brook on a warm summer's day. You're feeling the cool, soothing water flow around and over your feet, and it feels gorgeous. Now let me ask you this: do you stand there, feel a beautiful 30 seconds worth of water wash over your feet, then arbitrarily decide that no other 30 seconds worth of water could ever feel as gorgeous again, so you go legging it downstream to recapture what you once had? No, what a ludicrous suggestion on my part, right? But it's what we all do when we hold on, when we fail to let go of what has passed.
Putting it another way; would you bottle that 30 seconds worth of water and never step into a stream again; because you enjoyed this 30 seconds worth of water so much? Do see how much you are denying and limiting yourself with this kind of thinking? You cannot stand in the same river twice, because it is always flowing and changing. This is true of your life too. What you once had may well have been great and wonderful, but why are you assuming more - different - great and wonderful is not on it's way? Whatever has passed, let it go and focus on what's on it's way. The possibilities are endless. By holding on to something that was once great and wonderful is akin to you not throwing out used teabags! Why would you do that when there is a limitless supply of new teabags?! Your life, your work, your relationships are all packed with abundant joy and possibilities, but how can you pick them up, when your hands are full of slowly rotting debris?
HOW TO LET THAT SH*T GO
Wouldn't YOUR energy be better spent directing it towards something positive for YOU? When you hold on to anger, fear, hate, regret and pain, your energy is focused out, towards the people or circumstances that caused them. You have to let that sh*t go! Focus in on you, your needs, your growth, your joy, your goals, your dreams. Visualise blowing up a red balloon, and with every breath fill that balloon with your anger, then let it go - watch it float away, high among the clouds and out of sight. Then visualise blowing up a yellow balloon, filled with your fear of what will happen if you let go, and then let go anyway. Please remember how you have survived 100% of the worst days of your life, so there's nothing to stop you. Except you. You can stop you. Is that okay with you?
If you feel you need some help and support with the specific issues in your life, then I'm here to help you, so please reach out to me. In the meantime however, turn the focus of your attention and energy onto your needs, goals, desires and dreams - because that will automatically have you facing your future. By turning your face to the sun (i.e.: your hopes, dreams and future), your shadow (i.e.: anger, hate, fear and pain), can only fall behind you. But you MUST make a conscious and concerted effort to choose life!
You absolutely can do this. You're stronger than you think you are, and you're certainly stronger than they think you are!
Illustration reproduced with kind permission from:
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