Letting Go – Teaching How to Forgive

forgivecartoonDo you ever find yourself going along thinking you know something or that you’ve resolved something, letting go and all of a sudden there’s more to learn or you discover you just resolved it a bit more?

Sometimes I think an issue is resolved and then I discover there’s even more to be uncovered and resolved.

My ex-husband was in my life. We shared four children and five grandchildren. We lived a few miles apart. It’s taken a lot of work on my part to be in a state of forgiveness. A lot of letting go. We had a very difficult marriage. We were too young and too unsuited to each other to have anything but a contentious relationship for a good deal of the four years we dated and the 15 years we were married.

I had been going along thinking I had forgiven him for the hurt I felt but wouldn’t you know it, I learned just how much internal protection I was holding onto when it came to him. And I am sure he could feel that. I wasn’t letting go. I kept seeing him as ‘weird’ until it I clearly saw, “Your four kids are half his? Are they weird? Are they part you and part him which makes them somehow defective.” Of course not! So another letting go.

Maybe some people who grow up being abused never learn how to fully relax and fully trust others. Or maybe it happens in degrees over the years. I’m not sure but what I’m sure of is that I sat next to my ex at a holiday performance at our grandson’s school the Friday after realizing this and I felt completely open to him for the first time – probably since we met in 1961! And then again in those couple of weeks, another unfolding and another awareness and another letting go. We had the best conversation about a difficult family issue. It was the best conversation we’ve had in 50 years!

Life is a wonderful teacher and I felt lighter and better about myself with this burden dropped – or maybe they’ll be more to drop someday in the future.

YOU University Coaching/Life Coach Training and Life Coaching

Emotions and Feelings – Letting Go of Hurt Feelings

Letting Go of Hurt Feelings

I am a true believer of expressing emotions and feelings. I believe the only way out of emotions is through them. If your feelings have been hurt, pushing it down won’t work. If your feelings have been hurt, dumping feelings on the person who hurt them won’t work either. What works is letting go – appropriately. But how does one do that? In my YOU University program and other programs, I give you instructions to write Love Letters. Love Letters were designed to be used as a tool for appropriate expression of emotions and feelings.

John Gray and Barbara deAngelis taught me how to write Love Letters in 1982. I’ve been writing them ever since. I can do them in my sleep or in my head if I don’t have a computer or a piece of paper handy. I am an expert. I teach them. I coach them. I probably even nag about them. Love Letter used correctly are a great way of letting go.

love letterI was talking to one of my coaches this morning and I shared with her two little stories about what happens when someone isn’t open to your feelings and she suggested I share them with you all. Here they are:

Story #1 – I have a very good friend for 30 years. She has been totally instrumental in my life. She sent me to the first workshop where I learned about emotions and feelings and learned to write Love Letters. (I also happened to meet my lovely husband there but that’s another story.) She is also very unafraid of her own anger and can be very strong is expressing it. Growing up with the mother I had and just being myself, I’m not wild about being around that so when I was upset with her many years ago, I wrote her a Love Letter. She didn’t want to write one but assured me she could just do it verbally.

Well, it didn’t work out so well. I read mine to her – ending with lots of love and forgiveness that was truly in my heart. Then it was her turn. Because she’s so forceful in her anger and it is so easy for her to express, it about knocked me over. Because she wouldn’t write the letter, she was unable to gauge whether the love she expressed was at least as long or longer then the anger she expressed (one of the vital rules involved in Love Letters).

My questions to you: How does it feel to you when a whole load of anger is dumped on you with no resolution of forgiveness and love and understanding.

Story #2 – In my past I worked for years in a couple of personal growth organizations. Love Letters were used in the culture of the community surrounding the group but the leaders refused to receive them even though they taught them. I strongly requested that I be allowed to use one to communicate my upset. I was given the OK verbally but the person to whom I read the letter had their heart completely closed to what I said – even all the love. If I had know then what I know now, I would have stopped as soon as I realized this. But I did not. I kept going. It felt as if all of the feelings multiplied by 10 bounced back off that closed heart and fell all over me. It was very painful.

My question to you: If it is so painful to not be heard and understood, what is stopping you from finding a way to do it so that you are heard and understood or at least feel peace within yourself?

YOU University Coaching/Life Coach Training and Life Coaching

Why I Won’t Call an Old Friend One More Time

Drinking From An Empty Well

Dedicated to All Mothers Who Have Trouble Letting Go

letting goI hate to let people go from my life – particularly ones who are fun, smart, emotionally connected and with whom the love flows back and forth. But sometimes people want to leave and I have to let them go.

Oh, I’ll keep figuratively knocking on their door for awhile with email and phone messages but when I get no response over and over, what else can I do? I’ll try to take it personally for a little while also. My mind will keep going ’round and ’round with “what did I do” or “what is about me they don’t like”.

But I recognize those old self-defeating tapes – the ones I used in the past to keep myself from having a fulfilling life. They aren’t real. I know I didn’t do anything to them and I am fine just the way I am.

They have their reasons for leaving. Maybe their life has become so busy that my importance in their scheme of things has  changed. Or maybe something is happening in their lives they think I’ll disapprove of (people often make me and my husband into “parents”). Or maybe they are overwhelmed with some big, hard thing and can’t manage to reach out. Or… Or… whatever!

I love them. I still miss them occasionally but my life has moved on too. And I meet the most amazing fabulous people almost every day of my life.

My trick for relieving myself of pain as soon as I can is to look for what’s good about what’s happening or how I can grow from it. How I can grow from letting people go is I can continue to feel a flow inside instead of tight spots that could blossom into physical pain or illness. If I continue to learn about letting go, I allow many new experiences into my life. Are you holding onto anyone or anything that wants to leave?