The Process of Letting Go

This month, I am working on letting go of resentment, unforgiveness, guilt, and other negative mindsets that have weighed me down for too long. As someone who went through a midlife upheaval three and half years ago, I had some stuff I was carrying and I knew it was time to lay it down. (I created the October Release Set for this reason.)

You also may have woken up one day recently and decided it was time (like I did), or you may have been working on letting stuff go for years. If you’ve just started this journey, you’re in good company. And as long as you set your intention and are moving toward letting go, that’s all you need to do. Whether it takes a moment or years will be your individual story.

You may receive talk therapy or counseling through all or part of your journey. You may keep a journal. You may read books to help you understand the process. You may join a group. You will find that taking long walks, gardening, and just being in nature will help you heal.

So what steps am I taking, you ask? As a support to my own process, gardening has been a very healing experience. To engage in a reciprocal relationship with the earth, to care for plants, to give back has helped my soul to mend. The trees and herbs especially, with their gentle strength, have been my plant companions during this rather quiet year.

One book on this very subject is The Wild Remedy: How Nature Mends Us by Emma Mitchell. It’s a month-by-month look at how one woman experienced nature’s healing as she struggled with depression. This book has beautiful watercolor and natural flat lay collections throughout, and the writing makes you want to be in the English countryside with her. Oh, and the book starts with the month of October so it’s a brilliant time to read it!

What else am I doing besides spending time with nature? I’m taking my Oregano Flower Essence every day and using the Release essential oil blend. Why? Because, as I mentioned above, plants can aid us as we heal emotionally and mentally.

Cypress (one of the oils in the Release blend) has particularly been a close ally over the past several years since my divorce. Whenever I’ve been overwhelmed by sadness, I have used Cypress in my diffuser with a few other oils such as comforting Lavender, cheerful Sweet Orange or Grapefruit, and grounding Vetiver. And within a half hour, the cloud lifts and my outlook on life is much more positive.

The other intentional action I’m taking is that every day in the mirror I speak out what I am releasing and who I am forgiving (including myself). As new hurts come up, I do my best to deal with them right away, rather than adding them to the pile. Because new hurts will come up, particularly with close family or friends…(I am NOT talking about abuse, just everyday interactions with family members that can cause hurt.)

Another extremely helpful action I took this month was to read Desmond Tutu’s The Book of Forgiving to gain some insight into the process. He lists four steps on the path to forgiveness: Telling the Story, Naming the Hurt, Granting Forgiveness, and Renewing or Releasing the Relationship. It was helpful for me to learn that we can straddle two steps, or go forward and then go backward as we work through the process. It can be short or it can take months or years for this process to be accomplished. It’s different for everyone and we can take all the time we need.

As you work on your own inner healing, know that you are surrounded by others who are walking the same path you. Get counseling if you can, read books, talk to a spiritual director or other mentor, journal, wrap your arms around the maple in your backyard, put plants on your windowsill and flowers on your table. And most of all, be kind to yourself.

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