by Aletheia Luna
March 04, 2023

from LonerWolf Website

The feeling in your chest just won't go away, and it's starting to slowly eat you up each day.

Longing, desire, repulsion, bitterness, heartbreak, sadness, volcanic rage - so many emotions mixed together.


So much pain.


So much pure and unexpressed suffering.


When will these feelings dissolve?


When will you finally feel calm, grounded, and happy again?

It all seems like too much for one person to carry.


You just want to enjoy life again without the tormenting weight of anguish and bitterness in your chest.


You just want to feel whole again.

If you're currently facing betrayal, abandonment or unfathomable loss, I want you to know that you're not alone.

If you've been wandering through the Dark Night of the Soul feeling totally separate and alone, I want you to know that this experience won't last forever - and there is a way out and through.

I know what it's like to carry so much pain inside of you that you go physically and mentally numb.


I know how it feels to carry a shattered heart and a deep void of emptiness within. I know what its like to be on the bleeding edge of despair and utter desolation.


And I have seen this struggle countless time in other people too.

But although everything around you may have lost its color, although you may be struggling to make meaning out of what has happened to you, there is hope.

Like the moon and stars in the night sky, there are still beacons of light to be found in your darkness.

And one of these beacons is the practice of letting go.





What is Letting Go?


Letting go means,

being willing to release one's attachment to past events and future imaginings, and live in the present moment.

Letting go doesn't mean forcing yourself to get over something horrible or making yourself forget what happened.


Instead, letting go is a process of surrendering painful beliefs and emotions, and welcoming in love, understanding, forgiveness, and self-compassion.

There is no easy quick-fix or five-step-solution for letting go of feelings such as anger, fear, and grief because letting go is a process.


It can take a while. But the good news is that letting go is a process that helps us to grow, mature, and find more happiness and inner freedom than we thought ever possible.

Sometimes your heart needs to break a little for the light to get in.




What is the Opposite of Letting Go?



The opposite of letting go is attachment...

The simple reality is that when we attach to or identify with our thoughts, we suffer, but when we stop attaching to our thoughts and simply see them for what they are: energy that we assign meaning to, we experience freedom.

Essentially, letting go is at the very heart of the spiritual journey of awakening from the false self (or ego) and recognizing our True Nature beyond thought.

Common thoughts that we attach to that create emotions such as anger, rage, disgust, disappointment, anxiety, fear, grief, and depression, include:

  • She should have been a good mother.

  • If he hadn't cheated, I would have been happy.

  • Things should have gone differently.

  • I should have a much nicer life by now.

  • He/she shouldn't have died.

  • My boss should have promoted me.

  • If I stay a little longer, he will stop his drinking.

  • If I did that differently, I would be much happier by now.

  • She has to change or I won't find peace.

  • They are controlling my life.

  • Everything was much better in the past.

  • I will be happy in the future when I get what I want.

As self-inquiry teacher, Byron Katie writes,

When you argue with reality, you always lose - but only 100% of the time...

But what does this mean?

When we attach to our beliefs about how life should go, we suffer each and every time because we are resisting what is right here and right now.


When we resist reality, we also tend to adopt the role of the victim (or persecutor), which causes even greater suffering.


In reality, how can we 100% know that something is completely good or bad for us?

While something like a divorce or death may immediately seem like a terrible thing, how do we know that it is completely bad?


Can we see every possible future outcome and consequence of such an occurrence in the present moment? Of course we can't.


Is it possible that such an experience could actually give birth to good things as well? Of course!

Yet we continue to believe and insist that such an incident shouldn't have happened when the reality is that it is what it is.

With or without our thoughts it has still happened...

Of course, experiencing a loss or trauma doesn't mean that we should ignore how we feel.


It's perfectly normal and important to allow ourselves to feel the anger, confusion, grief, fear, hatred, and bitterness within us. But once we start attaching ourselves to these emotions, we experience suffering.

It is our attachment and identification with our thoughts that is the sole cause of our suffering.

I'll repeat that sentence again:

It is our attachment and identification with our thoughts that is the sole cause of our suffering.



42 Powerful Ways of Letting Go



As I mentioned previously, letting go is a process that takes time to unfold.

There is no quick and immediate way to let go of all your painful feelings.

However, one of the fastest ways I have personally found of letting go is questioning and disbelieving thoughts, and to find who you really are beneath all of the inner chatter.


This method is known as self-inquiry and helps you to get to the root of your suffering. Even so, there are dozens of other practices out there which can help you start the process of letting go.

The techniques I have shared below can help to both indirectly and directly assist you in letting go.




Letting Go of Anger and Rage



1. Allow yourself to scream

Find a private place to unleash your emotions.


If you're too embarrassed to scream out loud, get your pillow and bury your head into it. If you have a pool, jump in and scream at the top of your lungs.

2. Watch something that makes you cry

Sadness is the emotion that often forms a sandwich around anger. In other words, anger is often a form of sadness and vice versa.


To access this anger, watch a movie (or listen to a song) that makes you cry.

3. Write an enraged letter

Let out your rage through writing. Detail every little thing that you're angry about and don't hold back your feelings.


Curse, condemn, and threaten the person or situation as much as you like until you've exhausted your feelings. Once you're finished, rip up or safely burn your letter.

4. Fire ritual

On a small piece of paper, write down the name of a person who has provoked great anger inside of you. Light a candle and drop the piece of paper into the flame, watching as it burns and curls up into ash.

5. Be assertive and take no sh*t

Anger is often the result of not speaking up for ourselves and feeling oppressed by another person. To avoid repressing this emotion, learn how to negotiate and be assertive.


Being assertive doesn't mean being aggressive. Instead, assertiveness is a healthy style of communication that kindly but firmly honors your needs, as well as the other's needs.

6. Do some kicking, punching or intense exercise

Rage and anger are fiery forms of energy that can be healthily expressed through exercise. Try some form of intense workout and make your objective to feel your anger to the fullest.

7. Take responsibility for your happiness

Often, anger tends to be accompanied by blame and criticism that is directed towards another person.


Remember that no one can take away your happiness. As hard as it is to accept, the problem isn't the other person, it is how you react to that person.


Realize that anger is a normal reaction, but it doesn't need to define you.

8. Notice how much energy anger burns up

It takes so much of our effort and energy to hold onto grudges and bitterness. Notice how forgiveness and letting go of resentment actually increases your energy and fills you with inner peace.

9. Understand that anger harms you more than anyone

Staying angry at someone hurts you the most.


In some cases, anger actually empowers the other person because you're showing them how much energy and effort you're putting into hating them.


(This is why internet trolls thrive so much.)

10. What people say and do says more about them than you

Whenever another person is mean, unkind, or cruel, their behavior is secretly a reflection of how they treat themselves. This sad truth can help you feel better and also practice disarming and letting go of intense emotions.



Letting Go of Anxiety and Stress


Water symbolizing the Chinese concept of Wu Wei

(literally ‘non-action') or mindfully aligning your actions

with the cycles of nature and not fighting

against the currents of life.

11. Find the belief behind your fear

All forms of anxiety and stress are linked to the thoughts in our heads.


What underlying belief is causing you such great fear? Remember that thoughts are just thoughts: they don't mean anything about you or your life until you give them meaning by believing in them.


So what core belief is triggering your anxiety? Take a moment to reflect and journal.

12. Anchor into your breath

Mindful breathing is such a simple technique yet one of the most powerful out there.


When you focus on your in-breath and out-breath (without trying to control or change them) you're essentially drawing yourself back into the present moment. Anxiety and stress develop when our minds get lost in past or future thoughts.


So mindful breathing is a simple way of grounding you in the here and now.


You can also experiment with specific forms of breathwork techniques that stimulate the vagus nerve which sends signals to your brain to calm you down.

13. Use natural soothing herbs

Herbs such as damiana and holy basil are effective herbal remedies for anxiety that help to calm down your nervous system.


Once your body is relaxed, you can then begin the process of letting go of anxiety-provoking thoughts. If you're struggling with extreme muscle tension and feel physically crippled by anxiety, you might even like to consider medication for a short period of time.


I have nothing against medication:

so long as it's a temporary method that is accompanied by proactive natural relaxation techniques.

(Another alternative is to use psychedelic plant medicines such as small quantities of marijuana or psilocybin mushrooms if they are legally accessible in your country.)

14. Realize that you cannot control your thoughts

The reality is that we cannot control our thoughts, otherwise, don't you think we would always choose to think positive and happy thoughts?


Thoughts are spontaneous and uncontrollable like the waves in the ocean.


Yes, we can force ourselves to think happy thoughts, but that is not a true solution:

instead, it's merely a practice of superimposing one thought on top of another thought.

Although realizing that you can't control your thoughts may be a little shocking, ultimately it is liberating! You no longer have to shame yourself for thinking a certain way or fear that you're "not good enough" because you can't think positively.


Understand that you cannot control your thoughts, but you CAN become aware of them - this helps you to disidentify with them, and therefore, stop suffering.

15. Stop fighting how you feel

Resistance to your fear creates even more tension and fear. Instead, allow yourself to feel whatever you're feeling.


Stay grounded through your breath or feeling into other parts of your body that feel solid, and gently allow whatever is arising inside of you to come and go.

16. Stay grounded in the present moment

Practice mindful awareness exercises to take you out of your head and into the present.


Notice the colors, sounds, smells, textures, tastes, and different feelings in your body. Anchor yourself in the Now by noticing what is happening.

17. See anxiety as a teacher, not an enemy

When we demonize anxiety, we tend to increase our anxiety - this is because we are resisting what we're experiencing and labeling it as "bad."


Try to change your perspective. Understand that everything in life can be a teacher if we let it.


Anxiety may just be your greatest teacher in life, helping you to develop self-awareness, mindfulness, compassion, and ultimately the ability to surrender to that which is beyond your control.

18. It's OK to feel scared

It's completely normal to feel afraid and anxious.


So many people out there share your struggles. Being vulnerable to life isn't a failure, in fact, admitting that you're scared is actually a form of strength.


Furthermore, it's also normal to feel anxious about your anxiety!


What's you're experiencing is totally OK and, in fact, part of the shared human condition.

19. Spend time alone to recuperate each day

Relaxing in solitude is so vital for our mental health. Our thoughts tend to go a bit wild when we have no time to sit down and breathe.


Make sure you spend time alone, preferably in nature!

20. Find a relaxation technique

There are so many amazing relaxation techniques out there.


Whether it be EFT (emotional freedom technique), PMR (progressive muscle relaxation), meditation, yoga, or something else, ensure you do it daily.



Letting Go of Toxic People and Relationships



21. Journal about your feelings

Pour out your feelings and regrets in a private journal. Let writing and expressing your innermost thoughts be a balm for your soul.


Learn more about how to journal.

22. Realize that you did the best you could

When a relationship ends we tend to obsessively dwell on the past and all that we did wrong.


Be kind to yourself and realize that you did the very best you could with the knowledge and maturity you had at the time. There's no need to beat yourself up.

23. Don't force forgiveness

If you don't feel like forgiving someone, don't force yourself.


There's no need to be disingenuous or quasi-spiritual about what you're experiencing. Allow yourself to feel royally pissed! Give yourself space to rage and vent. You'll forgive when you feel ready to forgive, and not a moment before.


So let go of the guilt and honor how you feel right now.

24. Create clear boundaries

If you're not comfortable with something or someone, respect yourself by creating personal boundaries. Don't let anyone abuse you or ignore your limits. Be firm but kind.


Preserve your energy and only use it on those you feel comfortable having in your innermost space.

25. Release regrets and live in the moment

When relationships end we're often filled with intense regrets. While regret is normal to experience, realize that the past is the past:

it's gone forever...!

Pining over what "could have been" or what you "could have done differently" only creates more suffering.


Acknowledge these regretful thoughts, but don't attach to them - just let them go. If you must, create a mantra that will help you live in the present such as "I live here, now."

26. What gift is this experience trying to impart?

Every experience in life holds a secret and sacred gift, even the most heartbreaking circumstances. Explore what the painful circumstance or person has taught you willingly or unwillingly.


What gift do you now possess that you didn't before?

27. Explore the core issue

Often times, we find letting go impossible because we're still confused about what happened. In order to help you find peace, think about why your relationship crumbled.


Try to avoid blaming yourself or the other person:

stick to the facts as much as you can.

For instance, you might discover that your relationship burned out quickly because neither of you learned how to love yourselves - or perhaps the central issue was being too busy or distracted.

28. Let go of the need to be right

The monkey mind (aka., the ego) hates being wrong and is addicted to feeling right.


One way we stay locked in the past is by trying to desperately prove that we are the victim, and the other is the perpetrator. In order to get past this, realize that what was done was done. There's nothing that can be done about it now.


The healthiest thing for you is to move on and practice letting go.

29. Notice the mind's tendency to romanticize

It's much easier to let go of a human being than your "one true love" or "prince/princess."


In order to let go, remember the good as well as the bad. Our minds have a habit of seeing the past through rose-tinted glasses, conveniently blocking out whatever caused us suffering.


Notice this mental trick and realize that happiness cannot ever be found in the past, only the present moment.

30. Understand that you cannot change anyone

No matter how hard you try, how much you dream or plan, you cannot change anyone.


You cannot make anyone nicer or healthier or a better person. Sometimes, we continue to cling to hope because we're convinced that we can change our partners, friends or family members.


But believing that you can change someone is false hope. Another person can only change if they first decide to change. And this decision to change has to authentically and sincerely come from them (not you).


Realizing this can help you practice letting go.




Letting Go of Frustration and Impatience


31. Explore what you're trying to control

Frustration is often the result of trying to control something that is beyond your power. What are you trying to control outside of yourself?

32. What expectations aren't being met?

Expectations create immense amounts of frustration and impatience. What are your expectations, how realistic are they, and how are they causing you to suffer?

33. Simplify your life

Holding onto expectations and beliefs about how life "should be" tend to be increased by a busy and frantic life. What can you do to release the craziness of your life?


For instance, you might like to reduce your number of work or social commitments, stop using social media so much, or even adopt a minimalist lifestyle.

34. Let go of letting go

Are you frustrated that you just can't seem to let go? Ironically, this expectation is a great source of inner tension.


Like any concept or idea in life, please hold this notion gently with compassion for yourself. Surrender takes time. Sometimes, letting go of letting go actually helps you to, well, let go! Give yourself space and permit mistakes.


It's all OK, really.



Letting Go of Depression and Grief



Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final.
Rainer Maria Rilke

35. Identify mental distortions

What types of thoughts are dominating your brain?


In my article about how to overcome anxiety and depression I explore twelve of the most common distortions, e.g., mind-reading, fortune-telling, self-dismissal, catastrophizing, and many others.


Learn more about the twelve dreamlike perceptions causing you anxiety and depression.

36. Be self-compassionate

In whatever small way you can, be kind to yourself, even if that just means putting on an extra jumper because you're cold.


Give yourself the permission and space to live life at your own pace. Do one kind thing for yourself each day. Practice mindful self-compassion.

37. Get some fresh air and sunshine

Sometimes, simply going outside and feeling the wind and the sun against your skin is enough to pull you out of your head. Try going for a short walk.


If you have a pet, take them along with you and notice how happy they are to be walking with you. Pets have such a wonderful way of grounding and reminding us of the little pleasures of life.

38. Allow yourself to feel whatever you've locked away

Depression is often the result of shutting away and numbing too many emotions for too long.


Little by little, try to release the emotions buried within you. Express how you feel through art therapy, journaling, sports, dance, or whatever moves you.


Remember to stay connected to your breath or body as you allow the emotions to bubble up and release.

39. Accept the inevitability of change

Is resistance to change causing you complex grief? Sometimes we develop depression because we're so resistant to the transience of life.


We desperately want everything to stay the same because it provides us with a sense of comfort and safety. And when things change, we become terrified and numb ourselves to avoid our fear.


Please know that it's okay to feel scared. We all feel that way. Accepting that change is inevitable can also be very liberating.


For example, how dead and boring would life be if everything always remained the same forever? Change is what makes life feel so alive and vibrant.


Sometimes a simple shift in perception is all we need.

40. Name your thoughts

Thoughts are just thoughts: they mean nothing about you until you believe they do.


As mentioned previously in this article, we don't choose our thoughts: they simply arise in our heads. The problems only begin when we believe these thoughts instead of letting go of them (this, by the way, is the essence of meditation).


Each day, try to name your thoughts that create suffering. You can name your thoughts on paper or mentally.


Different examples of thought types include worry thoughts, fearful thoughts, future thoughts, past thoughts, expectation thoughts, angry thoughts, resentful thoughts etc.

41. Broaden your mind

Read up on depression and grief. Gather alternative insights different from your own. Give your brain the space to learn and develop new perspectives.

42. Reconnect with your soul

To me, depression is a clear sign of soul loss.


What we're really longing for is the infinite love, peace, understanding, and compassion that lies at our very core.


We believe that what we need exists within a new romantic relationship, better house, more money, or an upgraded personality, but the truth is that we're all searching for the home hidden within the ever-present Now.


The problem is, most of us have forgotten that there's more to life than what society teaches.


It's hard for us to believe that there is more than what we see because we have been conditioned to see life through a narrow mental lens.


Inner work is the practice of dissolving the blockages within you that obscure your Inner Light.


Some simple inner work practices that you can explore include practicing inner child work, healing meditations, and self-love (I recommend starting with our self-love journal if you'd like a more guided approach.)