Recently, I read a post from the amazing Louise L. Hay, one my most favorite and inspiring people. She had a beautiful perspective on letting go:
Close the door on old, painful memories. Close the door on old hurts, old self-righteous unforgiveness. You might take an incident in the past where there was pain and hurt– something that is hard for you to forgive or look at. Ask yourself: ‘How long do I want to hold onto this? How long do I want to suffer because of something that happened in the past?’
Now see a stream in front of you and take this old experience, this hurt, this pain, and put the whole incident in the stream and see it begin to dissolve and drift away until it disappears. You have the ability to let go. You are free.
~ Louise L. Hay
It struck me personally because there are things that I hold onto. It was also a highlight for me because of all the hurt that I see around me, in friends and family and strangers, too. There are things that we all hold onto. Sometimes it is because we didn’t know that we were allowed let go of the hurt. Or we didn’t know how. Or it has been so long that it was too difficult to address it. Or that we blame ourselves in some way and hold onto the hurt as self-punishment.
There are so many reasons that we hold on to these past hurts, these “crimes” against us that we refuse to forgive. There are so many reasons, but rarely is there a reason that is worth it. The damage it causes is to ourselves. In fact, the damage of holding on affects us and it affects those around us as well. It fractures our focus and spreads our spirit around in a scattered and haphazard fashion. We are less able to be the healing part of this world when we refuse to allow ourselves to heal.
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and realize that prisoner was you.
~ Lewis B. Smedes
As we begin to forgive and release our old hurts, those old crimes that we have held for so long, you can see– you can actually feel –your attention shift forward to your present moment. Our focus is fractured when you refuse to let it go because we continuously look to those old moments. Our spirit and our energy is spread thin and scattered around because there is no attention on what-is and no gratitude for the great stuff. As you drop those painful memories, you are less burdened. You are weighed down less by the past and your freedom becomes the present moment. In fact, this is the way it has always been, but you can see now that the old things drew your focus away.
Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.
~ Hermann Hesse
Letting go is a task that doesn’t happen in an instant, understandably. Sometimes our hands are atrophied in the grasping position from so much time holding on and it takes a bit of rehabilitation to return the flexibility. It starts, however, with the decision to let it go. That decision is more powerful than you will ever experience. The decision to let it go is the beginning of your rehabilitation.
Decide to forgive and release. Release your old hurts in the fashion that Louise L. Hay described: “…put the whole incident in the stream and see it begin to dissolve and drift away until it disappears.” The visualization of that helps dissolve the fossilized structure of pain that surrounds it. Forgive and release your pain into the stream and have it float away to a place where it can no longer spread you thin.
Forgive and release and jump free into your present moment.
How have you seen forgiveness of the old stuff transform your ability to center yourself? Leave a reply in the comments section below and tell me how you live in your love!