How many of us have been plagued by thoughts and situations that we just can’t let go of? Are there events from your past that you see in your mind over and over again? Are there conversations or statements that play over and over again in your head and you can’t find a way to turn these off? You’re not alone if you find that you haven’t found a way to turn off these images and dialogs. However, there is hope! There is a way to learn to let go of these things.
Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a special event sponsored by Shantidevameditation.org called “Leaning to Let Go”. This event was led by Geshe Thubten Sherab. Geshe Sherab pointed out that keeping these images and/or conversations in your head does nothing but harm ourselves. What is the benefit of replaying over and over again situations that have taken place that you cannot change? You are not helping anyone. These situations do nothing but build negative emotions in us that keep building and building.
If you have recently lost a loved one, Geshe Sherab does not say to just forget about this person, but embrace your sorrow for this oved one’s passing and then keep the positive feelings about this person in your mind. Don’t dwell on the past! Learn to let go!
Unfortunately, for many of us, learning to let go is easier said than done. And it seems that the more someone says to us “just let it go”, the more we fixate on this. So what is the key to learning to let go?
This is where the practice of meditation comes in. In many of these situations, we are not letting go because we are too emotionally connected to a feeling. This may be a feeling of sadness or it may be anger.
If you are angry about a situation, during your meditation, confront the situation and ask forgiveness of the person who is involved. Forgive the person as best you can. And also forgive yourself for the harm that you have done to yourself for carrying around the negative emotions for so long.
If you are sad, possibly because of the loss of a loved one, use this same meditation. Keep in mind that many times our sadness is tied to anger. We may be angry that our loved one is no longer here. At the same time create a new picture in your memory of the love and happiness that this person brought to you.
By practicing meditation and performing these acts, you will find in a short time that you are no longer consumed with the negative images and dialogs that have occupied your thoughts. They will slowly and surely disappear and be replaced by very positive thoughts towards others.
The author and lecturer Jack Kornfield has a wonderful video about “Forgiveness”. By watching this video and practicing the meditation, you will find that you will be able to learn to let go.
We control our thoughts and have the power to either live in the present and enjoy life, or we can make our mind a prison and dwell on the past.
The Compassion Center offers meditation classes in Staten Island to teach people how to let go and live your life to its fullest.