Wyo4News Switchbacks: Make letting go easier

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October 2, 2022

By Ryan
Wyo4News feature writer

Sometimes, life hurts. People let us down. Circumstances don’t always work out. Someone else gets the promotion. And, to borrow from Zig Ziglar, “There are only about 10 really nasty people in the world, but they sure do get around.”

It is too easy to get lost in life’s many insults and hurts. They cast a shadow upon everything we do. So much so that often, even when we are happy, we are still sad.

But, everyone is not melancholy. Other people figure out how to enjoy their lives even though they have to deal with so much pain. And, you know what, I bet you can figure it out too. I know that your life doesn’t have to be the steady pressure of awaiting the next perceived tragedy. Nor do you have to keep living painful memories over and again.

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Don’t avoid it; embrace it.

Time does NOT heal all wounds. It infects some wounds and often leaves ugly scars. If we don’t address our disappointments and insults, they will put us in a mental health facility. But how are we supposed to do that? How do we wrangle these feelings and memories? They are like ghosts we know are there but can’t quite decipher.

Begin with an honest admission. It hurt. It was wrong. I was insulted, and I have powerful feelings about it. I can’t just will my feelings into submission. I am not being unreasonable. I am hurting. And, that is okay. It is normal to hurt when you have been hurt. 

How do you clean a wound of the soul? Give yourself permission to experience the pain you are experiencing. That’s a simple, powerful beginning. 

But, we don’t do it without help. For some reason, we don’t feel worthy of acknowledging our pain. We seem to have the unreasonable need to act okay when the last thing we are is okay.

Permission to hurt is an opportunity to heal. When you experience powerful emotions, that is normal. If you try and stop them, you will only infect the trauma.

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Don’t hide it; share it.

Being alone is not healthy when you are not well. When you are hurting emotionally, physically, or spiritually, you need help. We have ambulances for people who have been hurt in an accident or that have had a health crisis. The situation is much more fluid in matters of the mind and heart. There is no ambulance to call for insults, disappointments, or emotional traumas. You will have to be proactive with your own mental health.

We need good authentic friendships. We need someone to know that we are struggling. And, isn’t it true that if one of your friends were struggling, you would want to help? Your friends want to help you too. You aren’t being a bother. This is one of the many blessings of friendship.

Get what’s in you out of you. Share it with a friend and drain the venom from the sting.

Finding a counselor that fits is its own challenge. I’m sure most counselors would agree. The simple reality is that it is impossible to answer a question that you don’t even know to ask. That is their job. A good counselor asks the questions you are afraid to ask. They may have a few questions that you did not know to ask. Don’t be afraid to get help. If paying a counselor saves you years of emotional pain, that is the best money you will ever spend.

Take time for reflection. You are the only person who is able to mine the depths of all that is you. Your healing is your greatest priority. Refuse to live your life as a shadow of yourself. Finish with those hurts. Let them go. One more thing.

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Don’t seethe; breathe.

My apologies for the rhyme. But, I do hope it helps the idea stick.

Anger is everywhere. Almost everyone is dealing with it. It seems to me that the causes and excuses for anger are not going to dissipate anytime soon. We need to learn to let go of the things that are making us angry. 

Why do we waste so much energy and emotion on things that we have zero control over? Isn’t it exhausting? The overload of daily drama and trauma is taking an unbelievable toll. Let’s dial back our intake of upsetting things. We should learn to smile more. We desperately need a good dose of healthy laughter. Our children need our joy. They need to believe they are okay, or at least that we are protecting them.

So, let it go. Don’t stew on unwelcome and harmful events or words. Keep breathing. Breath deeper. Find a friend, get it out. Chat with a professional. 

Sometimes the best way to bring light into our world is to evict our own inner darkness.

Keep Breathing,

Ryan