Have you ever heard a friend insist, “I’m totally over it! Really—I’ve completely let that go and am ready to move on to bigger and better things in my life.” Meanwhile, you can feel their trigger right under the surface? Maybe their jaw is so tight that their teeth are almost clenched. Clearly, they want to be over it, but the anger and hurt are still churning below like a volcano waiting to erupt. We’ve all been there, right?
Often, we want to rush to let go of the past without having allowed our emotions their moment in the sun. We try to bypass the hard part, which is feeling the pain, in an effort to speed up the healing process. But it never works. We can’t release something that isn’t firmly in our grasp. Before we can make peace with a difficult person or situation, we have to lean into the feelings.
Yes, I know, that’s the last thing any of us wants to do. But it’s the only way to achieve peace. We have to invite ourselves to really feel the pain. The key is to allow the feelings to flow when they rise to the surface. If they don’t flow, they can’t release.