Letting It Go

by Christy Gualtieri

Unsplash Photo By Eric Rothermel

I feel fortunate that my household missed out on the Frozen craze that happened a while back. My kids were too young and although I’m a fan of Disney movies in general, we’ve never seen it. My son got some Olaf (he was the snowman) character stickers for Christmas, and my daughter was gifted an Olaf plush doll to chew on, but other than that, we’ve been relatively Frozen-free around these parts. I am, however, aware of the movie’s chart-topping hit, “Let It Go,” which would not let the collective American conscious go when it was released in 2013. I’ve never heard the song in its entirety and I couldn’t even tell you what the song is about, but I do know that there is an It involved, and you are supposed to let It go.

It’s good advice, I suppose, but like most people, I have trouble letting things go. I’m not one for holding grudges (I want to be liked by too many people far too much for that), but because I am an incredibly anxious person, I hold onto thoughts and situations and absolutely shred them with the worrying I do. If I’m around a group of people, I can think about how I was acting in that group for hours afterward: did I talk too much? Too little? Was I obnoxious, forgettable, invisible? When it comes to being a parent, am I doing it right? Does my kid watch too much TV, get enough vitamins? Why does he only like carbs? Will his brain shrink if he doesn’t eat any protein? Will he make friends? Do I do enough as a wife, a mother, a daughter? I grill my husband all the time, asking surface questions when all I really want to know is, “Am I enough?”

I can’t just let it go.  I have a hard time being myself, and that makes me extra-sensitive to comments from others.

Unplash Photo By Christopher CampbellBut if I can’t let these things go, at least I can try to lessen my grip a little bit. One thing that has worked for me in the past is exercise, namely yoga classes. The deep breathing and the concentrating on the different poses helped me obsess a bit less and release the hold my thoughts had. I also like to play those fun dance video games, where I can focus on getting a higher score instead of my inadequacies.

Another thing that’s helped is keeping a journal – writing out all of my frustrations, worries, and concerns at least helps me get them out into the open. And I try – and am not always successful, mind you – try to use meditation to focus on what is positive and good in my life, so I can focus on those things, using them as a springboard to help others.

The new year is here, and maybe something you’d like to work on this year is how to move past resentments and the negativity in your life, no matter what it’s centered on.  What are some things you’d like to let go of – permanently? What are some steps you’d like to take to make this the year you give it the best try you’ve got?

Whatever you choose to work on, I wish you the best! I’m happy to know we’re on this journey together.  

Until next time, be well!

Christy GualtieriChristy Gualtieri is a freelance writer specializing in pop culture, religion, and motherhood. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and son, blogs at asinglehour.wordpress.com, and tweets @agapeflower117. Follow PghPsych on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates, inspirational quotes, articles, and different events and causes related to good mental health!