Updated: May 25
The point of "letting go" and "letting in" is the same. Both are ways of disengaging from an offending event, trauma, slight, hurt, embarrassment, anger, fear, harmful beliefs and ineffective behaviors. The goal is to "move the needle" off this obsessive thought pattern. The end result is getting to a place where these events do not hurt you, monopolize your thoughts, energy, emotions, create faulty beliefs and assumptions and kick your well-being to the curb. These are life-detracting behaviors.
In Part 1 of this blog, I talked about the difference between letting go and letting in. Just to recap, the process of letting go focuses on the event and sets it deeper into the pathways of our brain. The more we focus on it, the more it reinforces our faulty beliefs. Focusing on the event often freezes us from being able to take action. Focusing on the event, even for the sake of "letting go" simply causes me to feel worse. On top of this, "letting go" doesn't come with instructions, not even written in a different language, or with pictures. The only clue we have is you just "have to do it" because it is harming us, causing us stress, states of anger, frustration and urgency and affecting well-being.
Letting in, on the other hand, doesn't focus on the event. Letting in focuses on what we want more of in our lives, those things that bring us joy, delight, inspiration and meaning. Those things that are life- and joy-enhancing to our well-being and strengthen our immune system--like laughter, gratitude, beauty, acts of kindness and merely paying attention to this moment.
Here are some ways to "let in".
Make eye contact with someone at the store and say something nice--like maybe you like the colorful jacket they are wearing. Put something funny or inspirational in the contribution basket. Tell someone how they "made your day" by sharing some of their wisdom with you. Entertain a squirmy kid in the grocery line--helping out Mom who is desperately trying to complete her cash register transaction. Acknowledge to Mom what a tough job it is being a parent! I like to think I'm giving her just a bit of a respite.
What kinds of positive things do you do for others? Take a breath and let the moment sink in. This is called anchoring and it is a skill to deliberately make a memory stronger and more easily accessible when you need the lift. Yea, it's cool!
I firmly believe we live in a very negative-based culture. People are quick to find fault and slow to praise something positive. I like to do whatever I can to change this and shape us into being a more positive-based culture. We seem to delight in pulling people down, rather than building them up. Ahhh...but this is fodder for a future blog.
More instructions every week at the bottom of my blog. Watch for them.
May you be in the middle of what creates delight, inspiration, laughter and joy.