Forgiveness And The Art Of Letting Go

The following excerpt was taken from my book, “The Ten Commandments of Divorce”. It was written to help divorcing parents to understand the concept of letting go while still having to hold on for the sake of their children. Although it is targeted at this specific group, the steps one needs to forgive apply to everyone.

The Art of Letting Go

PerceptionThe process of letting go is not just about acknowledging that you don’t want to be with your spouse anymore, it is a four-part staircase with many steps to climb. The four parts are what we have already discussed; namely, the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects which you are comprised of. When we leave the marital home, we physically step out, but then we may have to let go chemically and sexually. When we decide we want to divorce or are being told our partner wants to go, we mentally have to adjust, but do we ever really examine what went wrong so we can learn and grow, or do we hold on to resentment and pain? Do we accept full responsibility for our actions, past and present, or do we play the blame game? Emotionally, we are letting go when we disconnect our caring energy and spousal love, but when we turn it into anger, mistrust, disgust, or any other negative emotion, aren’t we still emotionally attached? And when we have children, there is always a spiritual connection because a part of us is living outside of ourselves in the form of human beings we have helped create. If we disconnect spiritually from our former spouse, does that automatically disconnect us from a part of those little beings as well?

Alicia*, a spiritual healer and counselor from Brooklyn, New York, gives us an easy to follow, albeit difficult to sometimes achieve, synopsis of how to release one kind of love in order to transform it into another. I so appreciated her writing style and point of view, I asked her permission to share it with you. Use it as a checklist to challenge yourself. Have you accomplished the letting go process in a positive way? 

Be Decisive: If you have made a decision to leave ─ then leave! If the other person(s) has made that decision then let him/her go! It is to invite more pain and suffering into your life to hold onto something which no longer serves your highest good. 

Face Your Fears: Fears are created and manifested in the world, by you. Fear of financial ruin, loneliness, safety of your children etc… These fears won’t go away just because you chose to stay in a liaison to avoid them. Your fears will be addressed as you confront them. This alone is a good enough reason to let the relationship go. It can bring strength where there was once weakness and fear. Go into your breakup with courage; knowing all endings have beginnings! The trick is to welcome the challenge facing you. See it as an obstacle you can overcome which will make you stronger and then go for it!

Mourn! You are human. We are all human and we suffer when we break off relationships. It is within our nature to attach ourselves to others, things, concepts and yet our journey homeward is to let these things go in order for us to grow. So mourn! It is okay, have that good cry. Sometimes it can be so painful that we have to go into escapist behavior; drinking, over/under eating, shopping, internet surfing, TV-watching etc… to avoid the pain. Be careful for this can be more damaging than helpful. The pain is unavoidable. It’s going to happen. The more we hold it in the more damage it does to us. Let it out! If you can’t, then find someone to help you! The more you mourn and clear yourself of the heartache and disappointment the better you will be in your new life.

Take Responsibility for your part in the break-up, even if you believe you are completely innocent. You made the decision to have the relationship for some reason. Own up to that part! For example, if you find yourself in an abusive entanglement, what part of your own karmic energy is contributing to that condition? What part of the self allowed you to stay so long in such unloving conditions? This is crucial, for if you believe you are completely innocent and you haven’t done the necessary work of changing and healing yourself, you are bound to encounter the same type of person you are leaving!

Don’t send any negative wishes unto the person. No matter what they have done to you. If she/he is a cheat, liar, etc…, by all means call a spade a spade. But don’t wish bad things to happen. Why? Because what you send out into the world comes back to you! If you find yourself on the verge of cursing someone, pray to all that is good and holy not to send these negative thoughts. Don’t underestimate yourself. The more powerful you are the more damage you can do and thus the more you can do to yourself. Believe that the Universe is the one empowered to administer justice in a fair and equitable manner. In your darkest moments, rely upon its power.

Forgive! Now you are ready for the final act. Forgive yourself, for having made a mistake, for being stupid, weak, selfish, greedy, unloving to self etc... Send love to yourself. Mediate on it before you go to bed, asking your higher self to heal you. Begin to move away from your addictive behaviors; start to be proactive in your journey towards change and wellness. Love yourself, even if the other person didn’t. Don’t judge yourself by this failure. For it really isn’t a failure at all. It is an occurrence which transpired to help you to become a better person. Become that better person! Don’t let this opportunity be wasted on holding onto old ideas about yourself or others. Don’t become bitter or revengeful; making promises of never loving again. Begin to think about your new life, the new you and then use love to help you manifest this person. Once you have done this you are ready to forgive others. The circle is now complete - the debt paid! You have mastered the art of letting go!

You will notice that Alicia talks about forgiveness and she starts with, “forgive yourself”. This was an important step for me because I felt incredibly stupid as she puts it, for having brought in such an awful marriage. I kept asking myself, how did I not see it beforehand? Why did I stay so long? Why do all my friend’s husbands love and support them without hurting or intimidating them? What is wrong with me that I chose pain? After time, therapy, and a lot of research, I realized, why not me! I was the perfect candidate for the kind of behavior that I endured. Having low self-esteem and many emotional and physical (bio-chemical) challenges as a young woman, it made more sense that I would bring in negative behavior from men than it would for me to honor myself by marrying someone that would support and love me unconditionally. After all, I didn’t love who I was at all and that was the energy I was enveloped in.

When Alicia says to forgive ourselves for our “mistakes”, she is not saying we necessarily made a mistake. It is our interpretation of our actions that counts. When I was young and not aware of how I could change the past by reinterpreting it, I blamed myself for the state of my life. But how could there be blame for not knowing any better? After learning and growing, I realized that I became who I am because of the past and that (past) was my school; it is what brought me to this point and what gave me my children. I will never regret marrying my ex, most especially when I consider what I got out of it, and that modality and energy is what I use to this day to stay in love with him.