If someone were to tell you “just let go”, what would you be letting go of? A grudge? Resentment? Jealousy? Forgiveness can be a part of letting go, but letting go means detaching yourself from certain feelings and thoughts, and even from who you think you are.
“All About Attachment” (Psychology Today)
“The emotional bond that typically forms between infant and caregiver is the means by which the helpless infant gets primary needs met. It then becomes the engine of subsequent social, emotional, and cognitive development. The early experience of the infant stimulates growth of neural pathways that will sculpt enduring patterns of response to many things.
The attachment experience affects personality development, particularly a sense of security, and research shows that it influences the ability to form stable relationships throughout life. Neuroscientists believe that attachment is such a primal need that there are networks of neurons in the brain dedicated to setting it in motion and a hormone to foster the process, oxytocin.
The genius of the attachment system is that it provides the infant’s first coping system; it sets up in the infant’s mind a mental representation of the caregiver, one that is wholly portable and can be summoned up as a comforting mental presence in difficult moments. Because it allows an infant to separate from the caregiver without distress and begin to explore the world around her, attachment contains within it the platform for the child’s ability to survive independently.”
So early on in our lives we learn to attach ourselves in order to get our needs met. Whether it’s safety, predictability, significance or love or even a sense of who we are, this learning happens so early that it becomes subconscious.
The art of letting go doesn’t have to involve dregding up the past or diving deep into the subconscious mind. It can be done through focusing energy in our bodies. When we form attachments, we create points of tension or anchors in our bodies. By focusing and moving energy in different ways, we can disrupt those physical anchors much like the Colorado river has carved its way through rock and stone and created the Grand Canyon.
And when those anchors start to dissolve and you start to feel like a trapeze artist letting go of one bar and reaching for the next one, you can trust that you’re saying yes to life and not holding yourself back.