• Richard Brydson

Changing the Conversation on “Letting Go”

The following practice of “letting go” has been a central product of my reflexive work and has led to much healing and personal and professional growth. Several shifts in perception had to take place in me for this to happen, the most important of which are as follows:


  • “Choosing to accept” is often considered synonymous with acceptance, and while it may be effective in the short term, it can never be complete.

  • Letting go is not something we do.It happens all on its own.

  • Letting go can only happen as we learn to welcome the painful feelings and memories from which we’ve previously separated ourselves.

Feelings are Temporary


Learning to welcome the separation we feel can become real for us if we’re first open to seeing the temporariness of both our positive and negative experiences. Although some feelings may last a long time, or return often, none of them are permanent. Periods of sadness and despair can be consuming – moments of clarity or joy may be easily forgotten in their midst – but are never fully beyond someone’s ability to overcome and feel okay, even happy, again.


This next point may be a bit more challenging. We need to ask ourselves how much control we really have over choosing our positive and negative experiences. When we were able to use our power to get what we needed, what were the consequences of getting our way?


In my experience the amount of control we have over the relationships that make up our lives is almost none. Although we can make deals and trades, use power to effect change and justify our actions, there is a fallout in the long run and an eventually undeniable loss to our happiness and sense of security.


Letting Go Can Lead to Conflict Resolution


As I described in my post about reconnecting with my father, the fear of facing my pain perpetuated the suffering I experience of suffering throughout my adult life. To fully understand and release ourselves from the pain of the past one needs only to start by dropping their attention in their body. By getting familiar with how it feels and bearing with the rush of energy or emotion, we learn to have less resistance to the beliefs and memories that drive our urges to fight with those we love.


Recognizing impermanence and releasing control can make us softer, and can also, in time, lead to a generosity of spirit and tenderness in the presence of adversity, which is essential to a good life.


Rooting our beliefs in impermanence is no easy task when we’re dealing with a family separation. There is hope for lasting change and renewed purpose for those willing to find a new way forward during the months after the mediated separation discussions are complete.


These and other insights I have shared in my other posts on Acknowledgement, Empathy or Powerlessness have taken me several years to put into practice, and this commitment has fundamentally shifted my views on myself, others, and the world.


To be less affected by conflict in the future, accepting its inevitability and viewing it as a teachable moment is essential for developing your own insight. Every time a memory surfaces, there is an opportunity to feel and find out what the full meaning our emotions have to offer us. This work will release the knots we have inside us as long as we stay curious about why these feelings keep returning, and as long as we believe that we can bear the experience.


Instead of running away from fear, we can step straight into it and allow it to pass through and inform us. Are you ready to let go of your fear of painful feelings and memories?


I have helped couples and individuals just like you throughout the various stages of separation. Contact me now for more information.

© 2020 by Aligned Choices Mediation.