You know the feeling? The heaviness on the chest, the guilt of a mistake or a disagreement with someone – it’s awful, isn’t it?
We live in society, and disagreements are to be expected with work colleagues, friends, or family. It’s normal: we’re all different, and we all have our own opinions and ways to live. Yes, our differences are interesting, but they’re often hard to manage. We want people to agree with us and do what we want, but of course this isn’t how reality works: as Mick Jagger and Keith Richards so wisely sing, “We can’t always get what we want”. And then we get disappointed, sad, or even angry. Often these feelings stay with us for a long time, and they can start holding us back.
I was talking with a friend the other day, and she told me about a problem she had about a year ago. A business deal went wrong, and she lost a lot of money: basically all her savings. Luckily she’s fine financially, but she’s still very angry about the whole situation. She thinks this feeling is holding her back, but she just can’t let go.
I thought a lot about my friend’s story, and on all the similar situations I’ve been through myself. I used to dwell a lot on my mistakes and I’d keep saying to myself, “How could I have done this? Damn!!! How could I?” But as I got older, I learned that such an attitude wasn’t really all that helpful. We all make mistakes. They’re part of learning and developing as a person. But how could I get over this feeling quicker? How could I let it go?
One of the things I do now when I have this kind of issue is to write on a piece of paper the mistake I made, then find a safe place to burn the paper. As I set the paper alight, I say to myself, “There…. Forgive yourself, Luciana, forget and move on!” I think human beings are creatures of habits and rituals. This little ritual has helped me to get over stuff I didn’t want to dwell on anymore. Of course it’s not an instant thing, but for me it’s a starting point for letting go. I’ve used this for other situations as well. For instance, if I get really angry at someone, I write the person a big bad letter, swearing, cursing, putting out all the bad feelings I have inside me! Then I destroy the letter. I know if I told this person all I was feeling, it wouldn’t help the situation. I also know that when our emotions run wild inside us, they cloud over our reasoning skills and we become stupid. Yes, you read it right: emotions make us ignorant. They cloud over our minds, making us take wrong decisions or say things that aren’t clever nor pleasant.
I think it’s important to address these bad feelings that sometimes appear inside us. As well as holding us back, they can build up so much that they make us ill. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, struggling to let go of a bad feeling, my suggestion is: write down the issue, then burn or destroy the piece of paper, as a sign to yourself that you want it to be over. I hope this simple technique will be as helpful for you as it has been for me. Have an awesome day and I look forward to talking to you next week 🙂