Letting Go is Missing the Point

Get Rid of Emotional Baggage

Emotional baggage is the stuff you don't want in your mind. This is the stuff that makes you feel bad, anxious, angry and many other negative emotions. And you don't seem to have much control over these emotions as long as you have the emotional baggage. It's as if the baggage itself is making the emotions. Perhaps it is.

Can't Just 'Think' It Away

So why don't we get rid of emotional baggage. Sounds good right? Not so fast. You can't just wish it away. That would be like looking at the full garbage can in the kitchen and wish it were not there. Fat chance anything good is going to happen. But on top of that, there is a problem with the metaphor of emotional baggage.

Letting go is the Wrong Mindset

The problem with the metaphor of emotional baggage is that it paints this stuff that's in your head as 'bad' and you want to get rid of it. 'letting go' sounds all flowery and nice and peaceful, but in fact it is powered by the stronger negative desire to 'get rid of' which implies this stuff is bad.

The problem with that is that it creates resistance. And that resistance is what drives the emotional baggage deeper and deeper into our psyches in the first place. So instead of 'letting go' you are more likely to just hide it deeper. that is like sweeping the garbage under the carpet. The smells will come out sooner or later, even if you can't see it.


So let's get this idea of 'letting go' out of our minds completely. Instead, we have to take the opposite tack. We have to go up and meet this 'emotional baggage'. Look at it. Feel it. Refeel it deeply. Accept it. That is the secret to neutralizing it.

Breathing and Imagery

The real trick to 'letting go' is several steps. First you have to be aware of the feeling that you are trying to work with. You can't put your attention on something if you don't know about it. Then, sitting down in a quiet place, step into the feeling. Use all the imagery that you can. Try to re-experience the feeling and the situation that it happened in. While you are doing this, slowly fan your head back and forth. Start looking over your right shoulder. Breath in slowly while you fan your head to the left. When you are looking over your left shoulder, start to breath out and fan your head back to the right. Keep your eyes closed, so you can totally experience the situation and the feeling. Repeat until the feeling itself gets weaker and weaker until finally it is simply not there anymore.


At this point you are free of the feeling. Well, no, not really. You are free of that feeling in that situation. You probably had a similar feeling in many other situations. Now the job is hunting those other situations down and working with them. But fortunately, this is a skill and the more you do it, the better you get. This is the path to emotional freedom.