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What are you holding on to emotionally?

Letting go of the past allows you to look to the future.

Letting go of the past allows you to look to the future.

Published May 15, 2018


We have all been on the receiving end of negative interactions, criticism, thwarted dreams, unhappy relationships, loss, hurts and disappointments. Are there some things that you just can't let go of? Past relationships? Old arguments? Negative comments? Undue criticism? 

Have any of these affected you to such an extent that they have influenced your life? The following are some examples of holding on:

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A critical comment from someone regarding your physical appearance.  

Being passed over for a promotion.

Betrayal, this can be both your being betrayed or betraying someone else. Betrayal does not only pertain to infidelity between couples. Betrayal can happen in friendships or working relationships.

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Old arguments or disputes.

Loss. This can be financial, emotional or both. Loss is evident in divorce. There is a loss of the familial. Divorce often means a financial change, which can be a loss.

Regret. This is evident both in people who wished they had behaved or acted in different ways and those people who acted or behaved in ways which they have since come to regret. People regret events, opportunities, relationships, disputes and decisions.

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If you are identifying with any of these emotional holds, perhaps you haven't been aware that you are holding onto these. 

However, they could be holding you to ransom. It's alarming to realise that the very action or deed that was devastating or injurious to you has shaped you and will continue to do so until you release its hold. 

Is it worth holding on to this? If you look closer, holding on may give you meaning. In the case of betrayal, being a victim of betrayal and the associated hurt and loss could keep you forever locked in victim mode. Remaining in victim mode will stop you from forming healthy relationships in future, regressing back to the victim, without reason. 

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Career wise, self-limiting beliefs stemming from historical criticisms or let-downs means staying stuck in that negative mindset. This leaves little opportunity for change or growth.

Remaining invested in old paradigms and mindsets does not allow you to progress or live your life in the present. You remain locked into the very thing that caused distress for you. 

Examine your current self, then measure yourself against major past disappointments that you are holding on to. Is it relevant for you to be continuing the internal dialogue? How is it serving you? You may be remaining trapped in the cycle, long after the event has happened. 

Louisa is a therapist with a specialisation in Trauma Therapy. She consults internationally and in South Africa, to a broad base of clients, pertaining to relationships, personal growth, trauma, conflict management and self-actualisation. She has a particular interest in the psychology of love, mid life transition and awakening.  Unconscious motivators for behaviour, drives and relationships motivated Louisa to establish an academy for adult actualisation, specialising in relationship insights and intrinsic growth using the principles of depth psychology. Louisa is a frequent contributor to Radio 702 and DSTVtv’S Real Health.

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