In my last post I talked about how your focus on your painful story, how your identification with your painful story is causing you to create more and more painful experiences in your life. Today I will tell you the four main reasons letting go of your painful story is so hard, and then how you can do it anyway.
Why Does Letting Go Of Your Painful Story Feel So Hard?
When I tell you that you do not need years of therapy, you do not need to do thought work, you do not need to journal or do self reflection or spend hours in meditation in order to let go of your old, painful story, you most likely feel like I just punched you in the face.
When I tell you letting go of your painful past is really as simple as choosing to let it go, and deciding to write a new story - and thus a new experience for yourself - is something you can decide to do rightthisinstant, you could feel like I am sitting on your chest, telling you that you are a silly child. You may feel like I am demeaning you, making your problems small and insignificant, and you probably feel offended.
That is because I AM making your PROBLEMS small and insignificant.
Because YOU are not your problem.
You are big and you are significant.
That is why you deserve to walk away from your pain.
These are the 4 reasons why you feel like that when I tell you it is easy to let go of and move on from your painful story:
1. You are so strongly identifying with your painful story, that my telling you it is not important and easy to solve makes you feel like I am telling YOU that YOU are not important:
This is the tricky thing about painful stories. We tend to attach our whole worlds to them. When I was living in my painful story, I so strongly identified with being a victim that this was all I could see in myself. Every one was mean to me. I always got taken advantage of. Life always handed me painful experiences. I felt like if I let go of my victim roll, then I had no identity at all. Who would I be if I was not playing the part of the martyr all the time?
2. You are afraid that If you let go of your painful story, you won't be anyone or anything:
You are afraid that letting go of your story will mean that you lose what makes you special. My being a victim was what made me special in my mind. I was sooooo long suffering. I always had a story to tell about how someone had walked all over me and wasn't I so wonderful and deserving of sympathy for letting them do it. I was stuck in this cycle because I thought if I wasn't a victim, if I didn't have that painful monologue to share all the time, then I would just be nothing. I would be no one.
This is so the opposite of the truth. Life must create. There is no such thing as becoming nothing. For instance, if you used to smoke, and you no longer smoke, you did not go from being a smoker to being nothing. You went from someone with an unhealthy habit, to someone who how has new healthy habits. When you let go of your painful story, and thus your painful identity, you create space to make a new identity. A new happy story. You will not lose what makes you special, but in fact will lose what was never really you to begin with, and find all the things that ACTUALLY make you special.
3. Holding onto your pain can feel like you are holding onto power, like you are causing those who hurt you to suffer through your suffering:
The truth is, holding onto your pain is only punishing you, and giving whomever or whatever hurt you all the power in your life. You may feel that if you hold onto and continue to suffer with your old painful story that those who were involved in hurting you, in creating that painful story are also suffering along with you. But the truth of the matter is they have gone on with their lives and are most likely focusing in on their own pain. They.Don't.See.You.Suffering. They are not suffering with you. All that is happening is you are giving them the power to make THIS a painful moment, the next moment a painful moment and the following moment a painful moment for you, instead of just the actual incident being painful. It may feel like you are wielding some power holding onto it, but in reality you are giving this power back to them over and over again. And honestly, they don't deserve that kind of power over you.
4. You feel like if you let it go, if you forgive, if you release it, you are making what they did or what happened OK:
This is usually the biggest sticking point when it comes to letting go of painful stories. I used to feel like if I stopped holding onto all the pain that was caused through the bullying and neglect I got from those in my life, then I was some how giving those people a pass. I was saying that what they did wasn't bad, that it was acceptable. I felt that as long as I held onto it, at least there was justice in knowing that they were wrong and should not have done those things to me. But really, there was no justice. Just a sad Ali.
Letting go and forgiving is not you saying that what happened was ok. Letting go is you choosing to stop punishing yourself for what happened. You are seeing that only you suffer from holding onto it. Those who did what hurt you will have to deal with their own stuff, and all you can do is work on yours. Letting go makes it OK for YOU to be happy. That is all.
When you understand at last that your painful story only makes you sad, only hurst you, only makes your life harder, you will see that letting it go is the easiest, best, most joyful thing you can do.
When you see that you are not your pain, when you dissociate from it for a while, create space between yourself and what happened, you will see that you are a bright, shining star that has so much more to offer than your painful story.
You are special. You are deserving of love. You are deserving of happiness. You are deserving of a happy story.
You get to decide what your story is. The past is the past, and you can let it go and start making a new story. Right here, right now.
Who are you without your pain? Start searching. You may be surprised at what you find.
This clip sums it up nicely too 🙂