Recently, I've been challenged.
I discovered someone has been lying to me for over a year and effectively stole thousands of pounds.
At first, I admit, I was shocked. Why me? How can anyone lie so much? Why did I trust him?
I decided to put my mindfulness, compassion (kindfulness) and other philosophies into practice to see if it works.
I'm happy to report, not only did I manage to let that hurt go, I actually feel compassion for them.
And although I'd love to take the credit for being able to let go, it's all down to these wonderful teachings that we all now have access to.
Here's how I did it and how you can too.
7 Steps to Let Go
1) Realise that you’re holding on to a negative experience. This person, let’s call him Lenny, lied to me. And I’m annoyed about that. I want some revenge...So I see that Lenny’s actions has hurt me and is still hurting me as long as I think of him badly.
2) Decide to see your situation in another way. Ok, Lenny lied to me, but probably doing that for a reason. Maybe he was short of money. Maybe he’s a compulsive liar and just can’t help it. Maybe he has some mental issues and only knows how to lie. Maybe he had such an awful upbringing, that just doing some lying is a huge improvement. There’s so many possible reasons!
3) See the reality of your situation. People do lie! Cheating happens! Money gets stolen. That’s the way the world works. Realising this helps to remind me it’s not a big deal and I’m certainly not the only person this has happened to. There are lots of Lennys out there!
4) See the benefits of your situation. His actions have given me a chance to practice letting go. It’s given me an opportunity to write this blog post. I’ve learnt what to do in a similar situation if it happens again. He’s probably spent some of that money and that may have got to other families, helping them to buy food or clothing. Due to his actions I’ve met some new people and made some new friends. I can also warn others about how to avoid getting money stolen in this way.
5) Feel compassion for the person by putting yourself their shoes . Lenny lied to other people, I’m pretty sure of that. In fact, I know that. And other people are hurt by him too. He must lead a really tough life. It must be very difficult for him to hold a friendship. And lying must be stressful. He needs to constantly remember what he said to whom. I’d hate to be in his position. Not pleasant at all. I feel for him. I hope he sees the errors in his ways one day soon, so he can lead a more peaceful and happy life, both for himself and those around him. I could even consider trying to get him some help, so Lenny could step out of this destructive cycle.
6) Forgive them...for everyone’s sake. Having seen things from these different perspective, I forgive him completely. This way, I feel much better and I also hope he is relieved of this burden he carries around in his life too...May Lenny one day see the error in his ways and find some peace of mind.
7) Enjoy your more positive mindset! I feel proud of my way of seeing this situation this way. And sharing it with you - hopefully it’ll help you or someone...I give myself permission to enjoy the pleasure of letting go!
What about you?
Consider something causing you excessive stress.
Now see if you can apply the above 7-step formula to your situation.
Take as long as you need for each step.
And If you don't manage to do this for your situation, try with a small hurt...
build up you inner ability to let go...with practice you’ll get better and better.
The Ancient Teachings on Letting Go
The essence of the teachings of the Buddha and many other wise philosophers is:
‘To be happy, let go’
Letting go not only of your past hurts, but also letting go of striving anxiously to achieve goals that cause more stress than they’re worth.
That way, you can focus happily in the present moment and your dreams are much more likely to be achieved!
Here's an even easier, 4-step process you could try.
Mindfulness - Be aware of your negative mindset...you’re suffering!
Perspective shift - See your situation in a more positive way. Ask others for help if you can’t seen the positive.
Compassion - Imagine yourself in the other person’s shoes and consider any suffering they may be going through. Wish them well.
Joyfulness - Enjoy your more positive mindset...yipee!
Even a 1% improvement is awesome...don’t expect to totally let go....tiny steps rule!
If you enjoyed this gentle approach to letting go, sign up now to our free 7-day Kindfulness video program to see how it could help you, too!