I’m really into self-improvement books. Part of this is that I’m just into them in general (shamelessly). The other part is that people are always recommending titles to me. (I wonder what that says about me…)
One of the books I’m currently in the middle of talks about this idea of “letting go.” Of course, this is something that we all know that we should do. But I think there’s another element of this. Sometimes letting go requires that you deal with the emotion. Immediately. In a big way. And then move on.
So often, I try to let go by moving on without actually dealing with whatever I need to deal with. I guess I don’t just move on… I bulldoze right past it. I push whatever I’m trying not to feel down, instead of releasing and letting it out. Is showing emotion weak? Maybe. But sometimes you absolutely need to get through that emotion. Process the emotion. Allow yourself to experience the emotion. And then collect yourself and move on.
This past week was an important reminder of that. I was feeling overwhelmed, particularly at work. We have so many big things coming up and I felt like my to-do list was growing exponentially by the second. I was trying to push that emotion down and I tried just buckling down and getting my work done. Yet, I found myself distracted and obnoxiously upset. Finally, I broke down. I let all the emotion out (for better or for worse). I externalized everything I was feeling with a few people I really trust.
And then I felt better.
In fact, I felt a LOT better.
Finally, I had clarity on the roles and responsibilities I had. I had a clear heart and mind (and, while we’re at it… eyes…). The work I needed to do didn’t feel so scary. I even laughed a bit and had some fun.
So yes, letting things go is important. But processing and dealing with the emotion is an important component of that letting go.