One method that can be helpful to get to the point of being able
to let go of a loss, is to do something symbolic...literally create a "letting
go, be it a gesture, a release or a ritual.
There are many different possibilities, I have included a few.
The act of letting go, requires imagination. Somehow, either imaging or otherwise the old emotions...sadness, loss, depression, anger, denial, self flagellating, injustice... must be "placed" into a gesture or a ritual, the release of that object takes on a new significance. As the object leaves our site, symbolically, then so does the emotion that we are trying to be rid of.
Symbols of "Letting go" include:
- with or without messages.
(A note of caution: mylar balloons cannot be released around power lines, due the potential damage to the electrical wires that can occur)
Releasing Butterflies - Since the butterfly is gaining in popularity as symbols of joy, or renewal and of spring, there should be something available in many different areas. Also, more people are raising butterflies, and creating butterfly gardens, so there may be something available at a local pet store, nature store or State Parks district.As you watch the balloons fly high out of site,
feel them taking away the problems,
and the unwanted emotions.
Let the old problems be cast into the air,
and secret messages of hope be heard by the wind.
Releasing Rock Doves - Our local paper, Contra Costa Times, ran an article in the early fall 1997 on "Rock doves help solace mourners: Birds released at funeral ease sad good-bye." I thought it was a wonderful, healing concept. I am not sure if other similar resources exist for this in other states, but will try and get permission from the "White Wings" people to have them listed as a resource.Butterflies are symbols of joy and happiness. They are thought by many cultures to be are messengers of the soul. Whisper a wish to a butterfly to make the wish come true.
|Doves can be symbolic of souls recently departed, leaving the earthly plane for more lofty heavenly planes.|
Start by finding a good stone, one with a color, shape, texture and weight that appeals to you.Then, visualize the part of you that needs to be banished, the problem that is bothering you, the emotions that you wish to be rid of, and focus this energy as entering the stone.
See the problem, see it leaving you and entering the stone.When you can no longer focus any more energy, make sure all negative feelings have been transferred to the stone then
...throw the stone:Into a fire - but caution, it may explode
Into the air
Into the water
Release feelings - Native American Indian TraditionThe problem is symbolically released as the stone leaves you.
It is done.
This technique is not recommended for pyromaniacs or young children. However, it is a common one, also endorsed by "Friends," in their Valentine's Day episode, and "Waiting to Exhale," although this reference is borderline revenge. There is much debate within the counseling field whether revenge or forgiveness should be the primary motivator.
First, cut, tear or shred old letters, tests, rejection notices, poems, photographs or documents, clothes....whatever is is that you want to be rid of.
Third, returning ashes to ashes.
In special situations, those that have been particularly painful,
in order to finally "let go," and literally and figuratively eliminate
all traces of what was, there is one final step.
After burning old letters or poems, I would take the ashes, carry them to a water source and scatter them in a stream. Scattering the ashes on the water, returning remnants of old memories, hurts and disappointments, watching them be carried down the stream then for once and for all, being done. This cleansing ritual rids me of past grief and losses and I can move on.
On Letting Go A New Year's Eve
This past New Year's Eve, my husband and I created a new way of bringing in the New Year, by letting go of the past year's bad memories and experiences.
We sat in front of a warm fire, writing down a list of things that had happened during the year, that we wanted to be rid of, the bad memories from the past year, or years before, that still haunted me. I wrote out the list, then tore it into pieces and tossed the pieces onto the fire to watch them burn. As I watched the flames consume these bad memories, I experienced a release of tension from my body and a clearing of old feelings.
After the bad list was gone, we created a good list of our hope, our dreams and wishes for the new year.
As the flames burned away the hopes and dreams, a single spark was released into the air, up the chimney...taking the dreams into the air, taking them away on the wind...a spark of hope for the New Year.