People say everything happens for a reason and God has a Plan for it all. I believe things do happen for a reason. And I believe in God’s Plan. But if we don’t learn the lesson from the circumstance and let ourselves completely heal from it—whether it’s the past or today—the things that happen for a reason will just keep happening over and over again.
— Playing It by Heart
“I learned something today,” a woman said to me. “Before I can completely let go of anything or anyone, I need to thank the person and the experience for what it taught me.”
Sometimes, the last thin cord binding us to that person or experience, that part of our lives that we’re trying so valiantly to be free from, can be effectively snipped with the shears of gratitude.
Are you hanging on to a resentment for that ex or a friend from days long past? Are you still harboring bitterness about a job or business deal gone bad? Are you holding on to a part of your life that was painful with bitterness and resentment? Are you holding on to a particularly good time or cycle you had with someone, afraid that if things change and you let the past go and come into now, things won’t be quite as good?
Maybe you needed that relationship to teach you about a part of yourself. Maybe you learned compassion or more about what you wanted from life. Maybe that friend, even though he or she isn’t in your life anymore, helped you open up a part of yourself that was shut down and needed to be activated and set free. What about those painful experiences? You learned something, probably a lot, from them, too. And that experience that was so fulfilling? That, too, needs to be let go of if we’re going to open our hearts to the new.
Apply a dose of gratitude. Thank the experience for being in your life. Thank that ex, or that friend, or that business, or that boss. Thank them over and over again in your mind. Deliberately sit down and figure out what the lessons and gifts were. If you can’t see them, ask to be shown.
Move a step closer to letting go and becoming free by being grateful for how that person or experience enriched your life.
God, thank you for the past. Help me let go with gratitude, so that I can live more fully and joyfully now.
From the book: More Language of Letting Go
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