How to Let Go

Being in control of our emotions can be a slippery slope. Emotions are meant to be felt and there are no right or wrong emotions. However, how we decide to express them with the actions we take can be helpful or harmful. Having a loud, sobbing cry, screaming into a pillow, or taking your anger out on a punching bag in boxing class are all healthy way to express intense emotions. Abusing people verbally or physically, harming animals, destroying property or punching holes in walls are examples of dysfunctional ways to express ourselves. You get the idea.

Giving ourselves permission to feel through emotions, as they come up, allows us to work through and process them. It can be extremely challenging and confronting, no doubt, but the more we push them aside and ‘deal with them later’, the more likely we are going to experience even greater discomfort and more dis-ease (disease) at a later stage.

Self-management is your ability to regulate emotions. It’s knowing when being emotional is resourceful and when it can be harmful. Some of us wear our heart on our sleeves, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but you’re far more likely to get burned out if you always operate in this way. Having strong self-management skills is knowing the time and place for emotions.

The pain we feel in our neck, back, jaw and shoulders is directly related to the stress in our lives. The poison of stress and negativity manifests in our muscles and fascia (connective tissue fibers beneath our skin to attach, stabilize, enclose, and separate muscles and other internal organs.) Our body is a direct reflection of our mind. Yoga is an amazing way to work through the tension caused by stress. Trying letting go of how you control your emotions and allow them to come to the service as needed. The more we work with emotions, the better we get at regulating them, nobody’s perfect. It takes plenty of practice.

Ah, perfectionism – a convoluted myth full of hurt and despair. Perfection isn’t real and is actually un achievable. Nothing in our world is perfect. I completely agree with Brene Brown when she says that we are perfectly imperfect. Brown says we’re imperfect and wired for struggle, but we are worthy of love and belonging. Trying to be perfect doesn’t make us belong. It isolates us from ourselves and our own abilities, as we chase something that isn’t real. Striving for perfection is like a dog chasing its tail – a tail that doesn’t exist. Have you ever achieved perfection? I didn’t think so.

Perfectionism is an avoidance tactic, much like procrastination. When we set our standards so high – creating expectations, which are un achievable; we don’t bother doing them at all. Why not give it your best shot and understand that no matter what happens you WILL learn something? The more you learn, the better you’ll do next time. Our best teacher is our last mistake.
Perfectionism gives us no space to fail, and we all know how I feel about failure. Damn right it’s necessary and damn right we need it to succeed.

Lastly, I’d like to look at expectations and how they are also a mythical concept loaded with hurt and despair. The root word of expectations is expect – something that is likely to happen. Again, this is where the need to control things comes into play. When we expect something to happen, we aren’t allowing any room for error or failure (which we all know now that we need!).
Expectations are completely inflexible, so why do we create them? Life doesn’t care about your expectations, so you shouldn’t either.

Goal setting is more adaptable to our everyday lives – there is room for error and improvement. Setting short-, medium- and long-term goals allows us to learn as we go and readjust what may not be working. Three cheers for goals, see you later expectations.

With flexibility comes maturity. When we are staunch in our own ideals and beliefs, we are from achieving emotional maturity. Emotional maturity enables us to build positive relationships and develop deep connections. Emotional maturity isn’t the triumph of heart over head; it’s the combination of the two. Emotionally mature people are able to use and regulate emotions in order to solve problems. Some would even argue that Emotional Intelligence is now more important that IQ. Being smart does not necessarily translate into success.

So, let go and go with the flow. Just try it. What’s the worst that can happen and can you handle it? Just remember, when going with the flow, you can still be in the driver’s seat. You don’t want to be up shits creek without a paddle. Just think of it as going on a road trip and only looking at the map – sometimes.