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Learn to Let Go of Painful Memories That Hold You Back!

Learn to Let Go of Painful Memories That Hold You Back!

One of the most popular movies of the last few years is the Disney film Frozen. It tells the story of a young witch princess called Elsa who is told to control her powers and lock herself away, so no-one knows who or what she is. She spends years locked away from the world. Because of her frustrations, her powers, instead of diminishing, only grow stronger as they are tied to her emotions.0*

Locked in her room, the years pass her by. One day (on her coronation no less!!) she finally snaps. She has to let it out, let it go. No matter what others think, she cannot be anyone, but herself. The song “Let it Go” is Frozen’s centrepiece and the central theme of the movie.

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Let it Go!

It is no wonder that this movie has resonated with so many people, children and adults alike, because don’t most of us keep big or small parts from ourselves locked away from others and even ourselves? And don’t we all wish we could just “let it go?”

What we lock away from ourselves are usually things we are afraid of. Fears, unwanted desires, traumatic parts of our history we claim to have forgotten. We lock all of this in a box which we hide in the depths of our being and go through our days pretending that what we don’t know and feel does not exist. We succeed for some time, but later all this unfinished business comes back to haunt us.

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An Identity Crisis

This is why beginning a journey to find ourselves and our true personality is hard for a lot of people, and too difficult for most. The start of the journey asks you to look inward, to open your box of fear and work through old negativity and pain. It asks us face your fears and deal with all the layers of conditioning you accumulated over the years. You have to reach your inner core, and the road to it can be long and painful To truly “Let it Go” we have to not only confront what we hide within, but also ask if our behaviours are truly ours. Is this who we learned to be over the years or is this who we really are?

Often our true identity gets “locked away” without us even noticing, because we want to be how we think other people that we love or respect want us to be. This is why many people face an identity crises later in life. They get to a point where they see half their life gone and have no idea where it went. They realise they have never (or rarely) done any of the things they truly wanted to do. They build so many versions of themselves to please others, they don’t know which one is their own. Often it’s the one they ignored the most. Which leads us back to that box of fear.

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Lamed Aleph Vav

In Kabbalah they speak of speak of the road you must travel to reach Lamed Aleph Vav, the 11th name of God and The Great Escape that banishes the ego – meaning our fears, learned behaviours and hidden emotions. We become a new person changed for the better. Well, you don’t have to join the Kabbalah to go on this journey. There is an easier way to reach this stage. But be aware, it takes time, so the most important thing is that you have to want it. To begin your journey, try the following steps

  1. Take a few minutes every day, that are just for you. Put on some music to help you concentrate, sit or lie down and slowly withdraw inwards. Look at the timeline of your life. Where and when did you begin storing things in your hidden box of fear and emotion? Why did this happen? Do you still agree with this?
  2. If not, look further inward to find the box itself. Take the box in your hands and open it. Pick out one item at a time. Focus on it, realise what it means and what you have to do with it. Now ground yourself, like a tree and LET IT GO. Feel it sink into the earth.
  3. You don’t need to go through every emotion at once. If you have a lot of pent up emotions and memories, stop after two or three emotions have been dealt with. You can come back to the box whenever you want to. Even if you have only a few issues to deal with, you may still need to do this a few times. But every time you do this, you will notice that there are less emotions to deal with. One day, the box will be empty.

“To exist is to change…To change is to mature… To mature is to go on creating oneself…Endlessly…” – Samuel Avital

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Dannii Cohen

PsyD in Psychology, professional counsellor, life coach and self-help expert

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Do you like making mistakes?

I certainly don’t.

Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

  • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
  • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
  • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
  • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

  1. Point us to something we did not know.
  2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
  3. Deepen our knowledge.
  4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
  5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
  6. Inform us more about our values.
  7. Teach us more about others.
  8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
  9. Show us when someone else has changed.
  10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
  11. Remind us of our humanity.
  12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
  13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
  14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
  15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
  16. Invite us to better choices.
  17. Can teach us how to experiment.
  18. Can reveal a new insight.
  19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
  20. Can serve as a warning.
  21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
  22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
  23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
  24. Remind us how we are like others.
  25. Make us more humble.
  26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
  27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
  28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
  29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
  30. Expose our true feelings.
  31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
  32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
  33. Point us in a more creative direction.
  34. Show us when we are not listening.
  35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
  36. Can create distance with someone else.
  37. Slow us down when we need to.
  38. Can hasten change.
  39. Reveal our blind spots.
  40. Are the invisible made visible.

Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

The secret to handling mistakes is to:

  • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
  • Have an experimental mindset.
  • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

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Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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