The Importance of Letting Go

“Everything you blame, you’re stuck with. Bless it. Wish it well. Wish it its own freedom, and it will be very powerful in the way that it will not come back to you. If you don’t forgive it, if you don’t bless it, if you don’t wish it well, the energy will just be magnetically drawn back to you because it’s looking for resolution. All negative energy that we’ve inherited it’s there because it’s looking for resolution.” —Adyashanti

The following books explore the long-term effects of generational pain, or trauma, and the effects of resisting the healing process and the power of stepping into it.

In her book, One Hundred Years of Exile, Tania Romanov explores the relationship she has with her father by researching her family history back to her grandfather and grandmother.

Her father’s fears and resistance to assimilation leave her with deep resentment toward him and her Russian heritage. Decades later, his unexpected death exposes Tania’s open wounds and a host of unanswered questions about him and his story.

As she travels to Russia and slowly discovers her father’s story, she realizes that it is her father’s pain that she needs to heal from.

Illuminating Quotes

“I adored my father when I was a little girls, but as I grew up in America, I was mostly angry with him. My memory of meals at our house were of raging fighting about everything.

“Finally, I had no more battles left. I gave up the fight and simply stopped communicating with him. It took years for me to forgive him and many more to understand.”

“[As I learned about their history], my compassion for what my grandparents gave up overwhelmed me. They had lived in their home for ten years when their world fell apart. Daria went from being a migrant worker, to a landowner’s wife and partner, then to being a homeless refugee in such a short time.

“For the first time, on that trip, I saw the Campo—where I had been happy as a child through my father’s eyes. I imagined what a successful man in the prime of life had to deal with. Only then did I begin to understand the reasons for his fear. Papa rarely talked about his difficulties in life.

“He fled a homeland twice. First, he and his family escaped to Yugoslavia where he grew up and married. And then, in his early thirties he lost everything again. He was evicted from that country for the simple reason of being Russian by birth.”

“My trip to Russia was gratifying beyond any of my expectations, and I struggled to process all I had learned. I wonder if this is how wisdom finds its way inside us. I have been making peace with my father for some years, and I sense he has forgiven me.

“But now, after researching his and our grandparents’ history, I feel a new, deeper connection with him, a woman ready for redemption and forgiveness, a women ready to be reconciled with her father.”

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John-Roger and Peter McWilliams explore every concept related to overcoming the habit of negative thinking in their book, You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought.

Negative thinking is seen as a debilitating illness that will slowly kill your spirit – and for some people leads to actual physical disease. This book
is packed full of inspirational, funny, and moving quotes.

Illuminating Quotes

“The primary emotions generated by the fight or flight response are 1) anger, the emotional energy to fight, including thoughts of hostility, resentment, guilt (anger at oneself), seething, or depression and 2) fear, the emotional energy to flee, including thoughts of terror, anxiety, withdrawal, or apprehension.

“The repeated and often unnecessary triggering of the fight or flight response puts enormous physiological stress on the body. It opens us to diseases, digestive troubles, poor assimilation, slower recovery from illnesses, reduced production of blood cells, sore muscles, and fatigue. The emergency chemicals, unused, eventually begin breaking down into other, more toxic substances.

“For many, negative thinking becomes a habit, which over time, degenerates into an addition. Negative thinking is addictive to the body, the mind, and the emotions. Negative thinking must be treated like any addiction, with commitment to life, patience, discipline, a well to get better, and forgiveness.

“Why do we use the power of our mind to create a negative reality? The wellspring of negative thinking of unworthiness. It’s a ground of being, a deep-seated belief that ‘I’m just not good enough.’

“To overcome a fear, here’s all you have to do. Realize that the fear is there, and do it anyway. Move—physically—in the direction of what you want. After you do several times the thing your fear is protesting about, the fear will be less. Eventually, it goes away. Fear is something to be moved through, not turned away from.”

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The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Eger is an inspiringly-written memoir, and a gift: one of those stories that has the potential to leave you forever changed.

Her book is a universal message of hope and possibility to all who are trying to free themselves from pain and suffering.

Whether imprisoned by bad marriages, destructive families, or jobs they hate, or imprisoned within the barbed wire of self-limiting beliefs that trap them in their own minds, readers will learn from this book that they can choose to embrace joy and freedom regardless of their circumstances.

Illuminating Quotes

“Bela and I don’t talk about what we’ve lost. I thought it was a matter of survival. Only after many years did I come to understand that running away doesn’t heal pain. It makes pain worse.

“In America I was farther geographically than I had ever been from my former prison. But here I became more psychologically imprisoned than I was before. In running from the past—from my fear, I didn’t find freedom. I made a cell of my dread and sealed the lock with silence.

“What if telling my story could lighten its grip instead of tightening it? What if speaking about the past could heal it instead of calcify it? What if silence and denial aren’t the only choices to make in the wake of catastrophic loss?

“Each moment is a choice. No matter how frustrating or boring or constraining or painful or oppressive our experience, we can always choose how we respond. I too, have a choice. This realization will change my life. And no one heals in a straight line.

“Suffering is inevitable and universal. How we respond to suffering differs. We can reframe negative feelings and the self-defeating behaviors that follow from these feelings. The truth is, we will have unpleasant experiences in our lives, we will make mistakes, we won’t always get what we want. This is part of being human.

“The problem—and the foundation of our persistent suffering—is the belief that discomfort, mistakes, disappointment signal something about our worth.

“Anger, however consuming, is never the most important emotion. It is only the very outer edge, the thinly exposed top layer of a much deeper feelings. And the real feeling that’s disguised by the mask of anger is usually fear.

“You can’t feel love and fear at the same time. If I understand anything about the whole of my life, it’s that sometimes the worst moments in our lives, that threaten to unglue us with the sheer impossibility of the pain we must endure, are in fact the moments that bring us to understand our worth.

“It’s as if we become aware of ourselves as a bridge between all that’s been and all that will be. We become aware of all we’ve received and what we can choose—or choose not to perpetuate.

“What will we power with the wheel of our own life? Will we keep pushing the same piston of loss or regret? Will we reengage and reenact all the hurts from the past? Will we make our children pick up the tab for our losses? Or will we take the best of what we know and let a new crop flourish from the field of our life?

“The past isn’t gone. It isn’t transcended or excised. It lives on in me. And, so does the perspective it has afforded me; that I lived to see liberation because I kept hope alive in my heart. That I lived to see freedom because I learned to forgive.

“Forgiveness isn’t easy. It is easier to hold grudges, to seek revenge. When we seek revenge, even nonviolent revenge, we are resolving not evolving. The hardest person to forgive is someone I’ve still to confront: myself. Do I have what it takes to make a difference? Can I pass on my strength instead of my loss? My love instead of my hatred?

“Doing the inner work has set me free—learning to survive and thrive, learning to forgive myself, and help others to do the same. When I do this work, then I am no longer the hostage or the prisoner of anything. I am free.

“Our painful experiences aren’t a liability—they’re a gift. They give us perspective and meaning, an opportunity to find our unique purpose and our strength.

“Time doesn’t heal. It’s what you do with the time. Healing is possible when we choose to take responsibility, when we choose to take risks, and finally, when we choose to release the wound, to let go of the past or the grief. My patients taught me that healing isn’t about recovery; it’s about discovery.”

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Letting go can be challenging and easy to resist. It’s a process of becoming aware of what’s no longer serving us. There is a payoff for staying angry and it’s not good for our bodies. Letting go of our fear, anger, as well as learning to forgive is a healing practice and frees us to live life more abundantly.

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