The Myth of Letting Things Go

Lots of well-meaning memes swirl our social media telling us to “let things go.” We’re all fully aware that it’s easier said than done. But…

The myth is that it happens spontaneously.

An Emotional Body

Our physical body is designed to store memories. This is how we survived. Those of us that stored the fear of the sound in the woods were able to run from it the next time.

Now, that same mechanism keeps the emotion of our past hurts in our physical body.

In this way, our Koshas interact with each other:

The energy associated with the emotion gets caught in our cells
-> our physical body holds the emotional energy
-> our physical body releases the energy into our emotional body
-> we feel the emotion again.

Often, just deciding to let go of the anger / sadness / fear associated with a past hurt is enough to start a process of letting go. This process, though, isn’t inherent to our nature and we have no “let it go” mechanism.

Letting go of a past emotional response will take additional tools:

  • Changing the way we react when the emotion comes up by re-triggering
  • Joining a group for co-support
  • Working with a therapy modality to move the energy out


We tend to forget that “letting things go” also applies to current situations that aren’t healthy for us – not just past emotions. Bad relationships, abusive jobs, unnecessary expectations.

These situations cause current emotional responses and tend to feel even more imperative to “let go.” Like, right now!

When we are in a situation currently, we can’t “just let it go.” We have to leave the situation, then let go of the emotion.

Here’s where the myth of spontaneous letting go really pulls at us.

Spoiler Alert: You still have the moral obligations to the results of your actions.

…even the action of “letting go.”

I have worked for a company for three years. The workload started to be different than I wanted do over time. A few weeks ago, a new director was hired who doesn’t quite embody the collaborative mindset of the previous. After a few days, I realized this wasn’t for me. In fact, it was very clear that it would not be a very negative situation for me.

I chose to let go of the security of stable work / income (root Chakra).

But, I can’t just let go of the crappy work environment. I have to give two-weeks notice or I burn a bridge, hurt my reputation, potentially forfeit my last paycheck, etc.

Now, I’m stuck in the emotions this situation is creating until the contact ends.

…for moral reasons.

When we’re in a situation, we can’t just let it go. We actually have to make a plan. Take an action. Move out, first.

There is a balance between how we react to a given stimuli and leaving a bad situation. If someone is constantly contradicting what we say, we can take the opportunity to subdue our ego and respond with facts or change our mind. If someone is consistently demeaning and inconsiderate, we can leave the relationship.

If you’re IN the emotional situation right now:

  • Visualize where you want to be / how you want to feel.
  • What does half way there look like?
  • What do you need to do right now that will get you to the half-way point?
  • Take that step.

Know, that you are on your way to “letting things go,” and let that knowledge creep in whenever you start feeling the emotional entanglement of the current situation.

…and remember, most importantly, if you are still receiving the painful stimuli causing the emotion, it’s impossible to “let it go.”

No meme will help. Only action.

… and I know, it’s really hard.

… and I believe in you.

Take that next step. It’s never too late. It’s never the right time.

Evgeny Tchebotarev from Pexels

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.