We read many, many times to confront those things we perceive as negative to allow us to move on. I don’t find this simple yet I know it is true. Any suggestions other than to release and let go? –Rose, commenting on “How to Fall in Love with Life“
I am so, so grateful Rose asked this question and I’m honored to dive into it more deeply. This is something so many of us struggle with, is it possible there’s a quick solution? Are there a few steps we can follow in every situation to let go and finally be free? In my experience, yes!
I’ve let go of some horrible stuff, so I know that for many of us, “letting go” seems scarier and more full of pain than dealing with the un-comfortableness of the negative thing itself.
- When we think about “letting go” of the idea that someone has hurt us, we believe we’re opening ourselves up to be hurt again.
- When we think about “letting go” of an embarrassing situation, we believe we won’t learn from the pain and we might embarrass ourselves again.
- When we think about “letting go” of a debt someone owes us, we believe we’re giving them a “free pass” to continue to live irresponsibly.
- When we think about “letting go” of a memory, we believe we’re losing a valuable part of ourselves and our history, and it should be preserved simply because it’s ours.
All of these are even more negative stories (and fears) around the original negative story! As someone who used to think these thoughts all the time, I know how hard it can be to break the cycle and start thinking differently, but it is possible, even easy once you see how incredibly fun and joyful it is to get out of these ruts and start living in love.
Anytime we’re filling our thoughts with these stories and fears, we’re filling our minds with negativity. Instead, we can choose to fill our minds with positive things, things we love.
“The life purpose for each of us is to overcome negativity by choosing love.” –Rhonda Byrne
“Letting go” is simply choosing not to think about the negative. We “hang on” to the negativity and reinforce our feelings about those stories when we remember them and think about them again and again.
We tell ourselves that if we don’t think about something bad that happened, we’re being irresponsible and not learning from it. I thought this at first too. But I’ve found that spending my energy thinking about all the horrible things in the world is the single biggest waste of creative time and energy in my life– and isn’t that as irresponsible as it gets? Not only is it a waste of time, but also it’s creating a life of negativity and unhappiness, instead of a life of love.
I had to purposefully train my thoughts to think about what I love instead of dwelling on everything negative.
How to train your thoughts to “move on”:
1. Any time you feel pain, stop. This has been my biggest “trigger” in moving towards a more mindful, loving life. Anytime I’m not comfortable or downright hurting, I know I’m going down a negative mental path. If you pay attention, you’ll notice that every time you’re thinking about something negative that someone did, you don’t feel good. Anytime you’re remembering something about the past that didn’t go the way you think it should, you hurt.
Let those painful moments be triggers to you, and get excited because you’re about to feel a whole lot better!
2. Ask yourself, “What is good, loving, and perfect about this situation/person?”
One way to stay alert is to trick your mind by asking questions such as “What can I see that I love?” “How many things can I see that I love?” “What else is there that I love?” “What can I see that thrills me?” “What can I see that excites me?” “What can I see that I’m passionate about?” “Are there more things I can see that I love?” “What can I hear that I love?” When you ask your mind questions, your mind can’t help itself and it gets busy right away to give you the answers. It stops other thoughts immediately so as to come up with the answers to your questions.
The secret is to keep asking your mind questions regularly. The more questions you can ask, the more you will be in control of your mind. Your mind will be working with you and doing what you want it to do, instead of working against you. -Rhonda Byrne, The Power
Just by asking the question, “What do I love about this situation?” your mind begins to find the answer. By asking, “What is positive about this situation?” and “What can I love about this person?” you’re training your mind to fill with love. And a mind full of love has no room for negativity!
You can see that it’s not a process of “letting go” and “moving on,” which sound like you’re leaving something valuable behind, but it’s a process of finding what you love instead of focusing on what you don’t.
Now that I have this powerful tool, I have to tell you, I ask myself all the time what I love about a situation and what I love about the people I’m around. I notice things about people that I never noticed before. I see so much that is amazing and perfect with the world! Now, my mind is so full of loving, beautiful thoughts that negativity almost never takes hold.
3. If you can’t love that thing right now, think about what you do love. We’re human. Sometimes, we can’t immediately see what’s good or positive about a situation. Don’t sweat it. (In fact, the worse you feel about not being able to find the positive, the more negativity you’re creating.) Know that someday you’ll see the situation differently, and until then, you don’t need to waste your powerfully creative energy on it. Instead, think of what you love. Ask yourself what you love and are grateful for. Find the beauty in the world and don’t stress over what’s not ideal.
The bottom line? To “let go” of negativity, you need to “fill up” on love. When you’re full of love, there’s no space for anything that’s not love.
“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” -Buddha
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