She sat in the chair, shoulders slumped and head in her hands, as she sobbed. “I don’t ever want to see him again. He’s bad for me but I can’t get him out of my mind.” Her practitioner said, “If you mean that, then every time you think of him, say, “I bless him and release him to his highest good.”
It worked! It took almost a year, but she followed the suggestion and one day she realized she hadn’t thought of him in days. What’s more, from that day forward, she was a happy woman. One day at a time.
This is a true story and it is demonstrates a simple but quite wonderful technique for letting go of any long, tortured issue or relationship.
Despite her original feelings, she blessed and released until she truly felt the words. It worked for several reasons and the first of these was she wanted change. The second reason it worked was that she got support and help.
When we have lived with a problem long enough to know that we need to move on and we do not have the courage to do so, we really should seek help. It is out there. Ministers and practitioners in churches are a good place to start your search for support.
It is usually very helpful to talk over your problem with someone who is trained to listen. It may enable you to clarify your position and you may be able to come up with a next step that makes sense. If you seek a religious counselor, you get the added benefit of prayer.
Of course, you should also pray for yourself but sometimes when we are deeply emotional about an issue, it is difficult to pray effectively. Having a minister or practitioner pray for you can be very helpful because the practioner is not emotionally involved. He or she will see you as perfect, whole and complete even when you are despairing.
There are also other avenues of support available. Sometimes your pastor may be able to refer you to a respected psychologist or grief counselor. You may need to get a physical checkup if you are depressed to make sure your health is optimum.
Twelve Step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Debtors Anonymous, Alanon, Gambling Anonymous, C0-Dependents Anonymous, and Narcotics Anonymous are extremely valuable if you are struggling with an addiction. There is something wonderful about being with a group of people who are also recovering from an addiction. You will hear some real “down home” wisdom there. The Steps and the Traditions are a great platform for a new life.
There are many ways to let go of activities and relationships that no longer are working. Of course you must want to change to do much but you can always begin where you are. Even if you don’t want to change, you can pray to be willing to change. Your prayers will bring you further guidance.
It is important to remember that we must truly let go and move on. It does little good to let go of a bad marriage if we carry our story with us for the next ten years. The purpose of changing to feel better is to truly release the problem and move on. We must let go emotionally as well as physically.
In the beginning of this article, the woman learned to say, “I bless you and release you to your highest good.” She didn’t understand why she should bless the person she was angry at, but in time, it became clear. If we hold onto the anger, we are holding on to the past. We must move into the present to be happy and fully functioning.
Do you know people who carry their “story” with them wherever they go? They cannot enjoy life or live fully because they are still trapped in negative feelings about something that happened in the past. Certainly, it is bad to have a dreadful childhood. It is worse – it is tragic – when a person retells the story of his past so often that he creates a dreadful adulthood as well.
We must be willing to release the past and live in the present if we are to create a happy life. We must not be stuck in the past or so busy planning the future that our lives slip by without our active enjoyment.
Many great religious teachings, including Buddhism and New Thought emphasize the need to be fully present. We must be aware of the present moment in our hearts and minds as well as bodies.
There is a wonderful old story about two travelling monks who walked until they came to a river. They met a woman there who needed help to cross. One monk carried her across and put her down on the bank. She thanked him and the monks continued to walk. An hour later the other monk said, “You should not have carried that woman! It was forbidden!’ His companion answered, “True, I broke my vow but I put her down an hour ago and you are still carrying her.”
What are you still carrying? When we carry bitter childhood memories or nurse grudges against old bosses or fromer spouses, we are like the monk who continues to carry the woman. Let’s not hold onto the burden or we will feel like Marley’s ghost dragging his chains as he visits Ebenezer Scrooge in Dickens’ Christmas Carol. Let’s put the past down and walk freely into the moment. The past is gone forever.
Think about it. The past is over. It is gone. The way the past continues to harm us is when we choose to remain angry or sad. If we use the past as an excuse, if we feel self-pity, or if we are mistrustful, we are allowing the past to intrude on today’s possibilities.
I own a battered copy of a book by Ram Dass called Be Here Now and I treasure it. The book looks as if the cat dragged it through the swimming pool a couple of times, but it contains great wisdom. We are here now and we need to realize it, mentally, emotionally and physically.
Here’s a physical exercise to use as a reminder to be open and present. Take a moment and close your fists tightly and squeeze hard. See how that feels? That is what holding onto the past feels like. Now, slowly, open up your hands, stretch your fingers out and cup your hands into a receiving position. That is today’s possibilty. Which do you choose?
Is there anything I want to release in my current life?
Do I carry negative feelings about anyone from the past?
Am I willing to bless and release that past?