This is why people can’t let go: Ranjini Iyer Advisor
Nobody has said it better than Robert Frost, the American poet.
“Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Once people realize that “nothing gold can stay,” they may be able to let go of the past and learn to live for the moment….”
We all can see the bare truth in his words and yet how many of us can let go effortlessly?
Whether it’s deep in our DNA or just habitual, is a conversation for another day. But we all seem to be very well-versed in the fine art of holding on. Holding on to things that we know are past their expiry date. Be it a job, a failed relationship, a resentment, or any other setback that life throws our way.
Letting go is easier said than done
Meera Ramaiah an engineering student from Hyderabad, says, letting go is often easier said than done. “No matter how hard I tried to forget the person I loved the most, he kept creeping back into my thoughts repeatedly,” she admits. “It felt like a battle that I would never win. I kept bringing him up in all the conversations with my friends, kept checking my phone, and fantasized about the moment when he would realize his mistake and return,” adds the young student. It was only 6 months after her breakup with her fiancee, that Meera stopped resisting thoughts about him. One morning, she realized that she didn’t feel the pain anymore. “ I remember saying to myself that it was over and it was!” says a relieved Meera.
Madhavi Suresh, a 55-year-old homemaker from Bengaluru, recalls the pain she felt when her son decided to move into another house after marriage. “At first I beat myself up about not being a good mother or mother-in-law and spoilt my health,” she says. It was only later when her son had a heart-to-heart with her did she understand that he needed his space. “We reached an agreement, my son and I.” says the homemaker. “He kept reminding me gently that I needed to let go of control over his life, and eventually I calmed down and was happy for the couple when they finally moved out.
However, there are many people out there for whom life doesn’t sort itself out like Meera and Madhavi. No matter how hard they try, letting go is something they cannot do.
Why letting go isn’t easy
Gauri Tarneja a senior psychologist from Bengaluru says that people usually struggle with letting go of pain or unpleasant emotions because they consider those emotions to be a part of their identity. They think they may not know who they are without that pain and refuse to let go.
Ranjini Iyer another senior counselor from Chennai adds that people go into a panic mode when they are pushed out of their comfort zones. Familiarity keeps beckoning them and they keep trying and compromising with situations or people even when it’s not called for. It’s like a defense mechanism.
Randi Gunther, Ph.D. a clinical psychologist in California, shares some valuable insights in her blog published on Psychology Today.
According to her, ‘Some people experience unending grief, ruthless pessimism, and a deepening fear that love might never happen for them again.
If people are repeatedly abandoned in sequential relationships, others often judge them harshly. These consistently rejected lovers too often find themselves on the other end of well-meaning friends who push them to “just get over it,” or imply that they are somehow responsible for their relationships not working out. That is rarely true. Most who suffer prolonged grief have usually tried everything they could to make their relationships work. When they are once again left behind, they are in understandable confusion and sorrow, wondering if the pain will ever go away.’
To sum it up, she broadly attributes the inability to let go to the following issues:
- Childhood abandonment trauma.
- Fear of being alone and fear of failure.
- Innate insecurities.
- Relying on someone for self-worth
- Unreal romantic fantasies and misconceptions of undying love.
Tips that help in letting go
Ranjini Iyer advises that seeking professional help can assist individuals cope with their trauma or pain more effectively. Talking to someone can help them process emotions and gain a new perspective on the situation. Below are some tips she shares.
1- Acknowledging feelings without suppressing them or pretending that everything is fine. It is important to give oneself permission to feel sad, angry, or disappointed. This helps to process the emotions and move forward.
2- Accepting the situation without trying to change it. Fighting against it only prolongs the pain and makes it harder to let go.
3-Forgiving without forgetting, condoning, or excusing someone’s behavior. It means choosing to let go of the anger, resentment and hurt that one maybe be holding onto.
4-Focusing on the present instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Taking small steps toward goals and feeling more in control of one’s life.
5-Practicing self-care by eating and resting well. And engaging in activities that bring happiness and satisfaction.
“Remember, taking your time and going at your own pace is okay. Be patient and kind to yourself as you navigate this journey and emerge stronger,” concludes Ranjini.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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