How Letting Go Freed Me
On the worst and best morning of my life, I found myself in a library parking lot. I said out loud, to God, “I need some help here. Show me the book I need.” I walked directly to the back corner of the library, and noticed a yellow spine sticking out of the bottom shelf. It was dangling towards the floor as if to say “It’s me. I’m the book.” It was Letting Go by Dr. David Hawkins.
I opened it randomly to a chapter titled “Fear”. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I then read a paragraph. That paragraph was more than enough to confirm my prayer was answered.
Being guided to that book is one of the greatest miracles that has ever happened in my life.
Most of my adult life has been wrought with intense anxiety, fear, depression, and inner turmoil. My inner world was disharmonious for all of my twenties. Nobody would know this from my outer world, which I’ve always worked to take care of. When I found this book, I was experiencing the most intense period of anxiety & dread in my life.
I’ve been an avid student of self development and spirituality since I was 18. You name a sacred scripture, and I’ve studied it. My spiritual knowledge helped get me through tough times, but a key element was missing for me. That key element was the practice of surrender, which David Hawkins calls “letting go”. It is only through letting go that I finally started to feel freedom, joy, and peace.
I read Letting Go obsessively for weeks. I started practicing the principles of Letting Go each day, and noticed my life start to change. As I let go, the anxiety broke off of me, chunk by chunk.
Through letting go, trapped emotions started to dissolve. As the trapped emotions started to dissolve, different areas of my life started to change too. I let go of negative behavior patterns, negative ways of thinking, incongruent relationships, material possessions that no longer resonated with me and more. I started to feel lighter and brighter. It was not unlike setting down a massive pile of suitcases I’d been carrying my entire life.
Though I want to tell you more about my experience, most of it can only be understood by going through the process directly. So the rest of this post will explain how you can implement letting go in your own life.
How to Let Go of Anxiety
Step 1 – Reframe It as Energy
- What we call anxiety is just energy & sensations happening in your body.
- You’re not experiencing anxiety, you’re experiencing physical sensations. When we say things like “I have anxiety”, it makes this whole thing a concept in your mind, creating a moving mental target called “anxiety”. This makes anxiety worse.
- How does it make anxiety worse? Instead of feeling and sensing the anxiety where it lives (in the body), we’re stuck thinking about it and fighting against it with your mind. In case you haven’t noticed, thinking about how anxious you are breeds more anxious thoughts, and more anxiety.
- Let go of labels & diagnoses of “anxiety”. The labels only breed more anxious energy.
Step 2 – Surrender to Fully Feeling The Energy
- Emotional energy needs to be felt. When emotional energy is suppressed, it grows louder. When you let the emotion be felt, the energy dissipates.
- Allow yourself to feel the sensations, without wanting them to be any different. Fully surrender to the feelings, not fighting them in any way.
- Notice where you are resisting, and just keep letting go.
- Letting go means fully allowing the feeling and sensations to be felt without resisting them. This is a physical process, not a mental one.
Step 3 – Let Go of Thoughts
- As you feel sensations, let go of thinking. You might have thoughts arise, but don’t get involved in them. If they’re bred from anxiety, they will only increase anxiety, and carve a deeper groove into pointless thought loops.
- Thoughts will still arise. Just don’t let them hook you into the anxiety roller coaster. All of them are 100% useless. Anxious thoughts are infinite and never ending. So we ignore them as they rattle on, taking a disinterested stance with them all. Think yawning-in-their-face kind of bored
- Keep your attention on feeling the sensations and energy in your body.
Step 4 – Ask “Am I Willing to Let It Go?”
- Ask yourself “am I willing to let this go?” and be honest.
- This powerful prompt given by David Hawkins is an acid bath for the ego. Whatever reason you might have for feeling fear and anxiety, are you willing to let it go?
- If you don’t have a reason, are you willing to let go of resisting the anxiety?
- Are you willing to let go of anything you’re holding onto that’s blocking your freedom and happiness? Are you willing to let go of thoughts or beliefs that are contributing to this fear…even if your mind says they’re true?
- You might say “of course I’m willing to let it go! Get this anxiety out of here. I want it gone.” But go deeper.
- Letting go is releasing it fully. Wanting it gone is suppressing it. Are you willing to release it fully?
- And the final part of this question is are you willing to allow good feelings in?
Step 5 – Repeat this process on a regular basis
- There’s no finish line. If you’re alive, things come up. You’ll have arguments, snafus, conundrums, and so on.
- The act of continually letting go is part of choosing to live a good life.
- You can let go anywhere, at any time, of anything. You don’t have to close your eyes and meditate, though that’s fine if you do.
- You can let go while at dinner with friends. You can let go during any activity at all.
- When you notice yourself resisting, just let go.
It Really Is That Hard & That Simple
Letting go is the simplest and hardest thing you’ll ever do in life.
Letting go is embracing all of the splendor and sadness and love and heartache. It is releasing the past, and stepping into the beauty of right now. The ego aches with fear of having to let go. It wants permanence and certainty. The ego wants to know safety by making houses out of sand.
But you can only know true safety, security, and peace when you let go. When you let go, you learn that life is living this glorious dance through you, and that you don’t have anything to fear. You also learn that your only job is to let go and let life happen through you.
Anxious energy will always come and go. I still feel anxiety from time to time, but now instead of resisting it, I let it pass through me. And I let the spectacular emotions pass through me too. I stay open for all of it.
I’m so grateful to let go, into the magic of this beautiful adventure.