Why is it so hard to let go of anger?
Everyone around us tells us to let go and just focus on the future we are creating. But how do you let go of the anger and actually get rid of it?
At 44, I find myself cleaning out my attic of emotions that I never dealt with. I have been through years and years of things I had to let go of and never knew how to. Nobody ever really teaches us how to do this.
Then came the divorce… and I let it go.
I let go of the hurt and pain. How did I do that? I am still reflecting on this. I just decided one day that it was time to let it go. It was a conscious effort and something I really had to work at. I had to redirect my thoughts. You know how thoughts can have a mind of their own. If I would have let my thoughts go where they wanted, my mind would have been full of nothing but bitterness, sadness, anger, and why-me’s.
I had to shift my focus. Each day I worked at focusing on only the good things. I focused on what I wanted the future to look like. I focused on everything my ex was doing right. I focused on the things that made me happy. I focused on being in the moment. I found every single little thing that was positive and I focused on that. And guess what? When you start looking for good, you will see that it is plentiful.
After reading what experts have to say, and adding in my own experience, here is my recipe for
1. Make the consciousness shift- You have to decide if you are ready to let go or not.
2. Say goodbye to your anger- I have found that writing out all the bad stuff and then burning it is really helpful. You can also vent to a friend or keep a journal.
3. Create a vision for the future- Be specific about what you want your future to look like.
4. Allow yourself to have emotions- They will come and go but refusing to acknowledge them will force the pain deeper in your heart. You must recognize the emotions and allow them an escape route.
5. Live in the moment as much as possible- This one can be difficult, especially without practice. I have been looking for a trick to put me in the moment right away, and not after 20-minutes of meditating. Lately I have been opening my eyes wide, stopping, and looking around me. Most of the time, there is nothing bad happening right then. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, my kids are smiling at me, the stew smells good, the cat wants love… there is good all around me. Taking the time to stop and acknowledge that is really important in the process of healing and letting go.