Have you ever experienced a traumatic or extremely disappointing event in your life? Maybe you lost a loved one or special friend unexpectantly; or a significant relationship ended and you were devastated. Often times, we seek to understand the purpose of these painful events. We may have many unanswered questions about the hurtful event. As we experience the grief and begin to heal, we think surely there is a greater purpose for this and it will be revealed to us soon. We keep searching, seeking, and analyzing it. We reason with ourselves that we will finally be over it and completely healed once we understand it fully. We believe that we will eventually receive new information about why it had to happen or what caused it. But, what if this never comes about? Resentment may set in. We may remain stuck in the grieving process, not able to fully resolve the feelings within us, because we cannot comprehend ‘why’. We may be unable to move forward in some aspect of our lives as a result.
The truth is we don’t always need to know the deeper meaning of everything that happens in our lives in order to get resolution. It’s true that our life experiences, whether positive or negative are our teachers. As we journey through our lives, we learn lessons, grow, and mature as a result of our experiences. As we try to discern what we are learning, sometimes it is very clear. Having clarity can be comforting, even when the lessons are difficult and cause us great pain, because we see how they ultimately benefit us. Other times, we have to search for longer and go deeper to gain understanding. There also comes a point in which it is time to simply let go, realizing we may never get the answers we seek. Letting go and moving forward can be difficult, but necessary in the healing process. It is possible that we are never meant to know the deeper meaning of certain life occurrences.
The thought of completely letting go without having the satisfaction of true understanding can be quite overwhelming. A trained counselor can help you get past your stuck places, process and heal. In fact, some traumatic events require the assistance of a counselor in order to gain complete healing and resolution. Some things you can do on your own to begin the letting go process are:
- Write a letter that you don’t mail to the significant person associated with your traumatic event
- Make a final entry in your journal on the subject, thanking it for being part of your experience
- Meditate with the intention of releasing the event
Stacey Wald, LPC, RD
“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.” ~Rumi