Let It Go, Let It Go, Let It Go-o-o-o-o!

When you can’t let it go, validate it!

When something is precious to us, it is hard to let it go. We hold onto it with both hands grasping it close to us for safekeeping. We mistakenly think we can lose it. But what is most precious is the meaning of it. And that can never be lost.

When someone expresses a complaint or a problem, there is always something in the shadows of that. Not shadows in the Jungian sense, but shadows as in there is something implicit in the expression. (Michael White called this the ‘Absent but Implicit’ and I wrote a book about it: Understanding Pain, Anger and Fear) The expression, be it of worry or pain or anger, tells multiple stories. It tells of the worry, pain and anger, yes, but also of something we hold precious that has been lost or threatened. The intensity that we are upset is a testimony to how precious that is and the circumstances of the loss (i.e., betrayal vs. accident).

It’s OK to let it go!

This concept can be applied to so many things, but today I want to mention when it is hard for us to let go of something we KNOW that we need to. For example, forgive someone, or let a relationship go that is not in our best interest.

I am suggesting that these things are hard to let go because of some bit of preciousness that is attached to them. We can see from the big picture that the situation is making us suffer more but there is this little “thing” that we don’t want to give up on. Often it is not even clear to us.

Unfortunately everyone else in our life is telling us to let go, get over it, move on, forgive and we are stuck thinking, they just don’t get it. (But then again, sometime we don’t even get it.)

Their comments and our own self judgments for not being able to “move on,” actually keep us stuck. This further invalidates what we held precious, making us hold on more!

When people say to us “Don’t make a big deal out of it.” It is so invalidating that we make an even bigger deal out of it than before. We want to be heard and if we are not, we speak louder. Even if it didn’t matter too much to us in the first place, being invalidated makes it matter.

Validate what is precious

This is touchy for me because as an Italian-Amercian woman, I grew up in a patriarchal family culture. Women were oppressed and passively went along with the men. When they didn’t they were told to calm down, that they are overreacting or that they have too high expectations, especially when they protested this oppression. This is a power tactic used to keep women subjugated. If you want to upset a women, tell them to calm down!

If you actually want someone to calm down or let go, tell them you understand how they might feel that way. Find out this preciousness. They might need help discovering it but you can help by asking them. And you will never regret it. (They’ll never overreact again!)

Rather than telling someone to calm down, asking these questions and helping them to name, see and validate what is precious, has magical powers to make their upset-ness disappear! It is so easy to let go when you are validated. People just don’t stay angry when they feel heard. Nothing has to be resolved as it dissolves.

Let go to regain your sense of self

So parents, when your teen is dating someone you don’t like, and you invalidate whatever it is they hold precious by saying, “I don’t know what you see in him. You’re not making good choices here. You are not allowed to see him anymore,” you are missing a great opportunity. At some point this person has made your child feel incredibly special, even if they are abusive and a bad influence now. Take time to find the meaning of what is important, feed that beautiful, precious thing– that they want to be loved, special –in other ways, validating this. It is only then they can detach from this relationship, which even they can now agree that it is no good for them.

We can do this too, if we need to forgive someone who hurt us. What it is that is precious that that person who betrayed you took away? (i.e., Someone treating you bad might have invalidated your self worth.) How can you hold on to your sense of worth? Lift it up? Give it power? This is a better place to put our energy. The grip of the anger or the attachment to the mean person is loosened. You regained your sense of self. It is easier to let it go.

How do you let it go?

50 thoughts on “Let It Go, Let It Go, Let It Go-o-o-o-o!”

  1. I agree that showing empathy is a much better way to help someone than telling them to get over it. Plus, knowing someone else understands and maybe has been through something similar helps the person move on.

  2. Letting go is not something that we “do”. Not in regard to the deep, emotionally connected, heart engaged sorts of things that we may be holding onto. Yes, we can stop gripping it tightly and possessively, that is an active choice we can make, and an experience we can learn to breathe into. But the deeper letting go, the deeper releasing – that happens of its own accord and it happens when it is ready to happen. Yes, definitely, validate it, it is as real as anything! It, whatever “it” is, is there because it was significant to our lives. It is still there and it is causing pain and sadness because there is something to learn from it, or something still to be felt and known profoundly, even as that ‘knowing’ may or may not ever be ‘known’ in any linear, describable, factual sense.

    When someone says “calm down” or “you’re overreacting” it’s a technique of invalidation and oppression applied with equal intent to men as well as women, children as well as adults.

    And “just get over it”, “just move on” (or something much more crude), etc…. I often want to ask: you mean like there’s a three step guaranteed or your money back method for it? Wow, you make it sound as easy as untying my shoes! Please tell me how! Maybe there’s an app for it on your cell phone? On sale at Malwarts this week?

    Ok, that is what I think!

  3. I am not very good at letting go (Latin/Apache and other, blend) we cling. I have learned to accept what can not be changed and forgive. I feel sometimes I am a walking contradiction of emotions, but what can I do? My mother-in-law used to tell me when I was rattled by something, “Oh never mind, come have a cup of tea.” To which I would respond, “But I want to mind!” So young, so foolish, but the Latina in me… it took a while. Thoughtful post.. perfect timing, Jodi.

  4. It is a very strange coincidence to read that in here now. i am facing today one of the worst days. I couldn’t even talk about how i feel. I felt i was going to explode. I felt lost and out of control, so i left, took my car and left not knowing where i was going. The reason behind the way i feel today, is sadness, anger, and disappointment. I can’t let go. I can’t let go, and i can’t talk about it to anyone anymore, as when i do, i am only judged. Even my therapist, i stopped telling her about it as its been since June that i struggle to let go and i am still at that same point. I need to understand, i need to make things clear, i need to tell her how i feel, how she misunderstood the whole situation, how betrayed i feel.I can’t let go when its the only thing i ever had. It’s unfair

    1. I want to write a longer response to you and will in my next blog post. meanwhile, don’t let go… for now allow. You CAN feel this, it is OK, appropriate, allowed. Love to you. She is not all you have. I’ve witnessed more. I am more.

      1. since December 2011, so many things happened, so many nice memories, emails, blogs and surprises, but when I need comfort, nothing helps better than coming back here. Thank you

  5. This is such a significant topic. They all have been actually. Thank-you.
    Letting go….it is very hard. What I am finding that is of help is to first become mindful of what the feelings are around the situation and experience them; process them. I look at myself and ask…have I acted this way or that? Usually the answer is yes….”I am.”
    When I see that I too am capable of this or that…it helps me to detach from the issue and let go…
    I try and move on. Great topic!

  6. Trying to work more on simply asking, “Are you looking for solutions and suggestions, or are you just needing to vent?” This helps the other person focus on his/her needs, and takes me out of the Ms. Fix-it mode. And it also lets me judge where I am at; perhaps I’ve had a miserable day too, and I might say, “Okay, but after you rant for five minutes, it’s my turn to vent.”

    I don’t want to shut anybody up, ever, BUT I also don’t have to be the fixer, the sympathetic listener, etc. unless I *want* to.

  7. This is for Nikky44: Jodi encouraged me to write to you in response to your comments from yesterday. I have been where you are now and will probably be there again. It must feel awful for you. I want to say that right now you don’t have to let go. Look at it. Allow yourself to feel it and see it for what it really is. It’s something trying to impose itself on you, the real you. See it for that and in time you WILL be able to let it go! I am not and will not judge you! You also have the right to tell your therapist EXACTLY how you are feeling. That is what you are seeing her for. If it doesn’t work with her there are others who will listen and NOT judge. I have changed therapists myself recently because I didn’t feel I was getting anywhere. It’s been the best decision I’ve made in a very long time and also one of the most difficult. Don’t give up hope! I finally have hope even if only a speck.

    1. Thank you very much sweavero3 for taking the time to reply. Even though, i don’t like to know others are suffering the way i do, it still feels good to know someone knows about it and can understand. Since early childhood, i have a problem in letting go whether it is people or habits or things i have. I don’t know exactly why, but it might be a result of the abandonment and rejection i lived, and also the war i lived that deprived me of a normal childhood, and where we had many times to runaway from home leaving everything behind.In 2008, after the breakdown, hospitalization, etc., I had lost the will to live, i met a young girl, on a website, who needed help. The good coincidence is that we discovered we were from the same country, living in the same city. Helping her was the best remedy as it gave me a purpose. She loved me like a girl loves her mother. She called me mum, she became my daughter, and i loved her as much as i love my daughters. We became very close and shared everything, helping each other in our daily struggles. Three years later, and for absolutely no reason i know, she decided to leave. I asked her why, her only answer was, i love you so much that i forgot myself in the process and lived your life. It was a shock for me. I did all i could, made all kind of promises, apologized for whatever i might have done even if i don’t know if i have done anything. all i got in return were hurtful words, threats, hater. Until now, i am receiving hurtful messages, even though i am not replying. In 2008, I was drowning. Her presence in my life has saved me. When she left, she has pushed me back far deeper than where i was. She used to tell me, if something happens to you, if one day you abandon me, i will kill myself. I have failed in the only friendship i had. I don’t believe anymore in love or friendship or life and happiness. I just want to go. I am hurting too much. I had today my last therapy session. She was against the fact that i stop, she said she is worried, but what for?
      I’m very sorry for writing all that. In fact, i don’t know why I’m talking about it. I know it’s very silly, and there are so many problems much more important. I guess i just needed to vent. Thank you again

      1. Nikky, Love, I am so glad she saved your life then. What a gift she was to your children so that they had you these three years, having a purpose. helping others. You have a gift to spread it, I have seen it on FB, you spreading the word of Love to everyone around, hearing it, and spreading it back out. I was thinking of having you help me with my fb page, since you’d rock at it. You leave lovely things on my wall, and I am so grateful. It sounds like you are giving up, but what is it that you have been holding onto all these three year that you are now giving up on? You have not failed. You gave her life, you life and your children, now you are inspiring others. Nothing can take that away. Of course your therapist was worried, she cares about you, too. I’m glad you wrote it all. It means something. Nothing is more important than you thinking you are worth venting. Keep talking, Love!

        1. Reading all this used to sometimes lift me up seeing how much progress I’ve done. Reading it today, feels different although I managed to accomplish my last mission long ago and even carried on beyond that.

            1. I do. I even do very much. There are few things that I don’t like about myself. I know it doesn’t look like I do, but one day I can explain how it works for me. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t care about needing to be in a better place

        2. Reading all this used to sometimes lift me up seeing how much progress I’ve done. Reading it today, feels different although I managed to accomplish my last mission long ago and even carried on beyond that.

      2. Oh Nikky. I have no idea whether or not I am helping you with my words but I want to try. I have been pretty much estranged from my family for 30 years. It hurts very much but I am determined to work through it. I struggle with friendships because of issues I have with trust. But because of everything I’ve been through I became more determined to Love my children and their children unconditionally. I’m not saying it wouldn’t be devastating to have them leave because it would but I could remember the good experiences we had shared. I can know that I did my best to show them what good people they are. You too have so much to offer. Your experiences can become something positive. Look for it. Don’t give up please! Know that you are not alone! You really do have and already are giving so much. Give that to yourself! You deserve it!
        I don’t really know you or all you’ve been through and would never pretend to but right now I see a beautiful person who is hurting. I am worried and I honestly care about you! Sending you love and hope -Stanley

  8. Thank you Jodi. Truth is i gave up some time ago, but i still have a battle i must win before anything else, safety of my children. Once i can send them away, i will be free. The gift, the priceless gift my friend-daughter has given me, is to make me feel i exist, i am here, someone sees me, feels my presence, miss me, call me on the phone, needs me. Now, i have no one. After each “violent incident” at home, she used to call and comfort me and push me to go to hospital, now when it happens, i have no one to call. The thing i have been holding on those three years and that i am now giving up on, is “me”.

    1. Thank you Stanley. You are helping, very much. You read what i wrote, replied, cared, shared your experience and thoughts. Regardless of what you are saying, this is already great, because it makes me feel I’m not “Invisible” as i have always felt i was. Thanks again. Much love <3

      1. Nikky. I am glad my words helped you. You are not invisible though I’m sure that’s how you feel. I see you, Jodi sees you, Spirit sees you and Love sees you. My desire for you is that you find a tiny bit of hope from this blog and the comments that are for you! Wishing you all the Love you deserve. -Stanley

        1. yesterday was very bad at home. I came back here, i didn’t write. I didn’t want to abuse of your kindness, but stayed online, reading on and on, those two last posts, and it did help a lot together with the meditation exercises. Thank you so much <3

          1. Thank goodness. We see you. A friend’s mother knew a neighbor was being abused and knew she couldn’t do anything as only you understand. They lived on a farm but could still hear the screams of the neighbor on bad nights. My friends mother would ring her bell so that she neighbor did not suffer invisibly. I feel like ringing it loudly so you know I hear you.

            1. thank you. thank you because it’s horrible to feel so alone. It’s a shame here to talk about it. I might lose my job, kids might be bullied because of that. On another hand, i feel i want to scream sometimes. sometimes i have to bite on something not to scream from pain and wake the kids. Its good to know someone understands, or at least is giving me a chance to talk. This morning, right before school, he pulled my daughetr from the hair and pushed her, then turned crazy towards us both with all kind of hurtful words, and promised us:”to send us in a visit to hell “this afternoon. nice 🙁
              Your friend’s mother has done something really good too. It helps so much to talk about it now, but knowing someone can hear it is so much better, not only for support, but because its all like a bad dream, and waking up, i don’t know if it happened or im going crazy or if people will believe me.

              1. Hi Nicky! It is a bad dream, and you are not crazy. It is beautiful how you protect your children. I will pray for you this afternoon and hear you even if you bite and don’t scream. I hear you. Tell me if this comes to your email and I think I fixed it…

                1. Hi Jodi, thank you very much. I dint get a notification, but now for the first time i see a box where it says i can get a notification. sorry, i dont know if i make sense. im all sahking, will write later

  9. Jodi, this post was incredible! I have sent a link of it to a close friend who is going through a very difficult and painful divorce. She’s still at the stage where she thinks she can save her marriage even though her suspicions that her husband is having an affair have been confirmed. I’m afraid she still doesn’t know the importance of letting go of a bad relationship; one that only serves to destroy and tear her down. Thank you for this thought-provoking post, lady! 🙂

  10. Thank you Jodi and Stanley <3. Reading your comments again this morning brought tears to my eyes, your kindness touches my heart, and helps me start a new day with a smile 🙂
    Much love to you both <3

      1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

        Non judgment. Just let it go again, if it comes again, don’t worry, smile, have compassion for yourself and let it go again.:

          1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

            That’s right, I heard you judging. When we let something go, we have to continue to do so, over and over. The choice isn’t once. It continues.

            1. Thank you Jodi. I tried to write it down, to write my thoughts and then destroy the paper as i read it helps, but it didn’t work. Ignoring them is not as easy as before
              nikky44 recently posted..Heart-SistersMy Profile

      2. I still miss her. I still think of her every day, but there are times when it gets so bad, as if all my life depends on it. I feel that urgent need to contact her, to call or write and just ask: do you hate me? I need to do it, but i don’t know whether i can handle a rejection. I need to do it, but I’m scared. I know that many people believe me now, but she saw it, she heard it, she lived it with me. She witnessed it.

          1. I avoided this post for over two years, but needed it tonight. Tomorrow is my friend’s birthday. I felt very sad so I came here to remind myself that the pain I felt because she left has given me the best gift in my life. It was the first time I tell you about the abuse and the beginning of a new life and real friendship. You helped me so much with your comment on that post and it never stopped sine that day. Thank you Jodi <3

  11. me and my husband were having problems a couple months ago. He went to another woman to talk too and then later they had sex. This is a woman i know and that lives close to me. I am still with my husband but i am having a hard time of letting it go. i try everyday but there are times that that is all i can think about.

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      A couple months is very recent. Allow yourself to feel, Caren. This just happened! Don’t judge yourself for thinking about it. It is very hurtful. It effects your worth, your trust in him, your trust in yourself. Allow yourself time to recover. Let him help you if he can. Does this make sense?

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      His irateness is making is all worse. He has to tolerate your pain, when it is allow you will feel validated. It is harder to let go of when you are invalidated!

  12. I am having a very hard time letting go. I had to give up driving 4 years ago do to a visual impairment. I am 47 years old and have 2 children. My husband is supportive but can’t always be there to help me out with transportation because of his work schedule. Public transportation is not an option where I live. I have to reach out to friends and ask for their help to get my kids places from time to time. I feel like such a burden. I hate asking people for rides. This situation makes me feel so angry. I hate the fact I can’t drive and will never be able to again. I have lost my sense of independence to come and go as I want. I feel isolated and lonely. My husband said to me I need to get past this, and only I can do this. But I feel so stuck in my feelings that I can’t get past this, and I feel like I never will. I cry everyday because I just hopeless.

    1. Suzanne,

      The context of the situation contributes to your feelings. You may need to make a new plan to get around. It is not practical to get past it because everyday you are hugely inconvenienced, and so are your kids. For example, I think I would have to move, or budget for daily Uber rides. It may not seem practical, but neither is what you are doing. Hope that makes sense. You need a plan of how to manage without driving before you can let go of your frustration of not driving.

      Hope that helps!


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