How Do I Let Things Go?


One day I was going to go hang out with a friend of mine, and I was fuming mad. I think my wife had said something to me, and then full circle, told me that she wanted the exact opposite (you guys out there probably know what I mean) or something like that. So I went to the mall, and met him at the food court.

“Hey, man. How’s it goin?” He asked, expecting my usual, “I’m doing well, thank you.”

“Pissed.” I said.

He asked me what was up and I laid it out to him. All the fury and the anger came out at that time (this was about 4 years ago).  I couldn’t believe how angry I was about the problem, and despite my best memory, I can’t to this day remember what I was so mad about.

Then my friend smiles at me and hands me a pen. He said “Hold on to that pen as hard as you can.” I gave him a funny look but I did what he asked.

Then he said, “Now, imagine that the pen is your anger, and you can hold onto that pen as long and as hard as you like, right? But what if you wanted to let it go, would you let it go? If you wanted to let it go, when would you?”

He then told me that my anger was a lot like that pen. I could let go of it whenever I wanted, and that all I had to do was decide that I wanted to let it go. It seemed too simple! I mean, what about the thing I was angry about? It hasn’t resolved itself!

But then I thought: what if it never does? Am I going to choose to be angry at my wife until we resolve the issue (we resolved shortly after this event, hence why I can’t remember why I was so mad). I had to decide what I wanted, and whether I wanted to be angry or not.  

So I dropped the pen. I decided to feel better.

Now for a lot of you, that probably sounds really stupid. You’re probably thinking to yourself, its not that easy is it?

Well, go get yourself a pen, and try it. Imagine that the pen is whatever emotion you’re feeling. Do you want to let that emotion go? Would you if you could? When would you?

I guess the point to all this, is that you can let it go, because I’m a firm believer in your ability to control your emotions. If you want to know how, check out my post titled Want To Change How You Feel? Change How You Think! That’s a good place to start. Also, consider The Water Method, and decide if this is something you can or can’t change. Sure you have feelings about things you can’t change, but that doesn’t mean they have to affect what you can change. If your feelings are about what someone else is doing or has done, talk to them about it (preferably somewhere public so you speak in civilized tones), and try to get some resolution about the issue at hand.

Hey, I could do it and I was ripping mad. You can do it too. Just drop the pen.