Hold On or Let Go?

perfectionJennifer Hoffman – We are living in challenging, confusing, and troubling times, on a personal and on a global scale and portals for transformation are opening in every direction.

On a personal level we can feel like we are being forced to accept and adopt changes that we are not ready for and maybe didn’t want. Our resistance to change can be high and sometimes we refuse it entirely.

It’s not a character flaw to want to maintain the status quo but rather than looking at what we are not moving towards, I think it is more beneficial to look at what we are trying to hold on to and why, rather than blame, shame, criticize, and judge ourselves for not being able to release it.

Why do we hang onto something even if we know it isn’t useful, helpful, or know that the situation or person is not going to change? And we will go so far as to sabotage ourselves if we venture too far away from the status quo, doing anything to avoid change.

Whether we open that portal to change or it is opened for us because a situation ends or someone decides they are ready to move on, our resistance to change can surprise us. We can become very feisty when we feel we’re backed into a corner and we are convinced that we need to hang on to what we have even though it is not working for us, we aren’t happy, and we don’t see a future in it.

There is no way we can explore the benefits of transformation if we believe we are not willing or ready to make changes. And contrary to opinion, everything we hang on to does serve us, it just doesn’t serve us in ways that help us move forward. Instead, it serves our need to be validated, vindicated, to be right, to be acknowledged, to not lose, and to avoid failure.

Somewhere along the way we decided that every situation had to have a positive outcome. That every relationship turns into a happily ever after, every ending has to be harmonious, and all of the time, effort, and energy we put into every person and situation would be rewarded with gratitude and appreciation. When was the last time that happened for you? I’m not being cynical, this is the reality.

So why do we resist transformation and hang onto people and situations when our intuition tell us to let go and move on but we just can’t? Or the people who care about us tell us we need to move on and we just can’t? Because we are not finished with that situation and we want our happy ending, validation, and vindication and most of all, we do not want to fail.

Notice I didn’t say that we want to win because this is not about winning, it is about avoiding failure. There is a big difference in mindset between wanting to win and avoiding failure.

Most of our relationships are not random, we are attracted to people we have unfinished business with. Yes I am talking about the karmic relationships and situations that we unwittingly enter into because that attraction is so strong we cannot resist it or they just walk into our lives one day. This happens for a purpose.

It’s fate, we think, and it is. This is our destiny, to meet this person and go through a relationship with them. We believe it’s to heal them because we notice their flaws, their broken bits, their sadness, fear, and their trauma. It is so obvious to us that they came into our lives so we could make them whole and, determined to take on this mission and see it to its glorious, congruent, happily ever after ending, off we go on our healing journey together.

Don’t limit the word relationship to romance because this applies to every relationship you have, family, friends, partners, acquaintances, and everyone you meet, as well as every life situation you create, whether it is for 5 minutes or a lifetime. It is all based on an attraction that is created by some kind of energy connection which involves the unfinished emotional, mental, and spiritual business we call karma.

Meanwhile, our healing journey with our karmic partners isn’t going so well. Instead of being appreciated, valued, and praised for our efforts we get rejected, betrayed, abandoned, abused, victimized, and ignored. So we try harder, we hold on more tightly, we put more energy into the relationship, we give more, do more, become more, and push harder. The irony is that what we try to hold onto the hardest is our biggest lesson in letting go.

We can’t let go for a variety of reasons but there are four that I have found to be the most common:

You feel that letting go before you are finished is a sign of failure. But you already feel like a failure because you are not accomplishing what you believe to be your healing mission and you’re afraid to fail if you do not complete this mission. So it’s a lose/lose situation for you no matter how much you try.

You believe it is your mission to heal others and that is the reason you continue to attract these kinds of people and situations into your life, instead of those who are whole, complete, and do not need healing.

You are trying to heal your own trauma through others and you believe that if you can heal someone else, you can heal too. It’s your need to have proof that the trauma can be healed in someone else before you try it on yourself.
You hold significant anger and resentment around your trauma so you re-traumatize yourself with every relationship and every life situation. This is how you show your abusers what they did to you. Your trauma fueled anger becomes your source of power. Unfortunately, it only serves to be a huge block to your own healing and progress.

So when do we eventually let go? When the situation becomes so impossible that we simply cannot hold on any longer?

When the other person leaves or does something that makes it very clear that we must move on?

Or when we lose the toxic job that we have forced ourselves to go to every day?

The choice of when to let go is up to us but it is not a choice we can make lightly when hanging on until we get the outcome we want that becomes our green light to success and transformation.

If you’re seeing yourself in this article, and it applies to everyone in some way, then you know that you hang on for valid reasons. You’re not being stubborn or foolish or non-spiritual, you are trying to fulfill a mission you believe is yours to accomplish. Or you are working through some very challenging personal situations that can only be resolved if you do eventually let go. But if this is your source of power you are going to have to find something else to replace it or you are going to find yourself in a big energy vacuum.

As you can see, this is a one-sided perspective because while you’re trying to heal someone else, where is the healing for you? Often, the healing for you is in learning when to let go with grace and dignity and a substantial amount of courage and self trust. The person you are trying to fix is the mirror of your own wounding and the pain and trauma you notice in them is triggering your own pain.

I know it is not easy to admit you can’t change someone but here’s the big secret to getting to the ‘let go’ point. You cannot heal anyone, or change their mind, or fix them, or control their behavior or their energy. You can’t heal yourself if anger and resentment are your power sources.

And if that knowledge gives you the strength and courage to let go and move on, that’s a big step in the direction of your own healing and release.

If you’re wondering how the resistance to letting go manifests, here is a list of the top ways I have seen this in my clients over the years:

1. You still grieve over the ‘one who got away’ decades ago and feel you could have worked it out eventually.

2. You believe that ‘one more time’ will result in success so you tolerate bad, abusive, and disrespectful behavior from people.

3. You secretly hope that all of your hard work and effort will be acknowledged ‘some day’.

4. All of your relationships and life situations follow the same pattern.

5.You believe that the only reason someone is in your life is so you can heal them.

6. You are secretly angry with yourself for not being able to move on from these situations and yet you also sabotage your efforts to move on.

7. You resent the person, people, or situation that you believe you have a mission to heal and may even think that it is their fault you cannot resolve the situation.

8. You want validation of your feelings by the people who hurt you so you embrace people and situations who will hurt you.

9. You truly believe that if you heal others you will be healed yourself.

What’s the solution? I can tell you that it is not forcing yourself to engage in transformation you are currently resisting, or resisting transformation. The solution cannot be found in finding yet another person to heal. The solution can be found in surrender. Not giving up but in not resisting, either the blocks, the limiters, and your own spiritual, emotional, mental, and energetic needs.

There is no rush to transform and move on, there is no force that can make you do this until you are absolutely sure it is the right thing for you and you are absolutely ready for it.

In the meantime, learn the value of surrender, of giving your own trauma and wounding the attention it needs and deserves. Take some time out for some much needed self attention, self care, and self awareness so that you can learn to understand, appreciate, and value your trauma and its lessons.

When you understand these connections and you no longer seek validation, vindication, approval, and healing through them, then you will be ready to take on your biggest lesson, letting go and moving on no matter how many healing opportunities come in to your life. You can be content to let someone else take on that challenge, you have new potentials to embrace and new levels of joy to achieve.

Copyright (c) 2021 by Jennifer Hoffman. All rights reserved.

SF Source Enlightening Life Oct 2021

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