The Art of Letting Go

The Art of Letting Go

The Art of Letting Go 1920 1280 Gary Ruelas, D.O., Ph.D.

We have all heard or been told by someone close to us “just let it go.” Sometimes we really appreciate the reminder. Other times we may feel irritated, not because our friends or loved ones are tying to help, but because we feel misunderstood. We might imagine that if they really understood what we were going through they wouldn’t be so dismissive. For if it was easy to let go, we would have done so, right?

More specifically, what is it that we are letting go of? An Injustice or wrongdoing? Would it not be better to hold on to it so we can try to correct the error? For there may be nothing wrong with our reactions, feelings, or logic. What most individuals are referring to is a painful state of awareness that manifests in the form of hurt, resentment, sadness, anger, or frustration. Whatever form it is manifesting itselfas, it is nonetheless an emotion that is unpleasant. When being told to “just let go,” one is experiencing an emotional reaction, and the friend or loved one is attempting to soothe the pain.

However, when we are in pain or discomfort, we at times cannot distinguish the difference between reaction and reality. We are in it, so what is there to let go of? We may not understand that all emotions are transient, perhaps recurrent, or prolonged, but nonetheless they will fluctuate and dissipate over time.

The art of letting go (as opposed to logic) is just that. It is like painting a new blank canvas as we put aside the finished one. To alter our perspective for our peace of mind and harmony (a sort of satori).

Letting go may feel like removing a splinter that has been hurting us. To remove a thorn is to move over from an uncomfortable seat and rearrange oneself to a state of balance and ease.

Beginning the process of letting go:

  1. Recognize that emotions are reaction. They are only one part of us, not all of us.
  2. Emotional reactions can be given a narrative. Self-talk or a stream of thoughts can continue to fuel negative emotions.
  3. Letting go is referring to the discomfort or pain of an event, and now we are holding onto it.
  4. Letting go is also referring to stepping aside from the logical part of our mind to create a space between us and the narrative we have been listening to within ourselves.
  5. Moving away from logic may mean to open another space within us that is not based on logic.
  6. Breathing is one of those other spaces. Take deep breaths, if you find yourself wanting to engage with the logical mind while you breathe, then count backwards.
  7. Breaths are best as long inhales and long exhales, separated by a long pause in between, that is where all the magic happens.
  8. Imagine as we inhale, we are bringing in nourishment in the form of oxygen and energy. As we exhale, we are releasing toxins.
  9. You can add color to your breath (another nonverbal element). A color you find soothing or pure white. As you inhale, add a color you might view as the toxins being released.
  10. Practice this often, even when you are feeling relaxed to prepare you for those moments when those dark waves of life may come.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way, there is just letting go.

NAMASTE. May the peace of life always be there for you to breathe in.


Gary Ruelas, D.O., Ph.D.

Dr. Ruelas holds doctoral degrees and is licensed to practice in both medicine and psychology. He approaches his patients by gathering and analyzing data differently from other physician’s moving away from a disease model to a holistic functional model. Read Bio

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