My friend Traci asks: “What do you do to let go?”
For me, it’s a formula that involves time, distance, and understanding.
Time, they say, heals all wounds (except for head wounds, which time doesn’t treat as well as medical science). The closer I am to a situation, the longer it may take for me to accommodate misgivings and move on. Even then, I often have to remind myself what it took to let something go – long after I had forgotten about it. Turning a hot memory into a lukewarm one is no small feat, but certainly cannot be done in a short period of time.
Distance, they say, makes the heart grow fonder (it also causes tooth decay, but only one out of five dentists believes that). I’m not inclined to romanticise the past. If anything, I tend to be a bit more logical with memories that are no longer as fresh as they once were. I’d like to believe that a move across the country could help foster forgiveness and personal growth – but that’s not always the case. Still, a mental / emotional disconnection usually only happens when I’m outside a situation long enough to gain perspective.
Understanding, they say, comes from years of misunderstanding (they don’t really say that, and I’m not really even sure who “they” is in the first place). If I’m faced with frustration and confusion, my first inclination is to try to figure out why I feel that way. Sometimes, however, the answers aren’t attainable through conventional (read: direct) methods. I turn, then, to research. I talk to friends, I read books, I watch videos, I write private journal entries, I listen to audio guidance, etc. I learn, and do my best to figure out what went wrong in any given situation.
I’ve been known to treat former enemies with kindness, too – but it doesn’t happen all that often. Ultimately, I let go when I realize there’s nothing else I can do…