Let go.


do we hold on to painful thoughts, emotions, memories, and stress? We can’t seem to stop them. We have tried many
times to make ourselves feel better. Earnestly, we have tried to let go of
pain. And we have failed enough to believe it is nearly impossible.

The brain can learn to let go of painful thoughts, emotions, memories, and the stresses
of living. It is something done in an instant. When the mind gives up its hold
on painful things they disappear.

of the traumatic experiences of our lives occur in an instant. Yet we carry
them with us for years. We re-experience them each time something reminds us of
the circumstances in which we first encountered some shocking event. Replayed
in the mind, they paralyze us from moving forward, from getting past them, from
growing and maturing beyond their limiting effects.

Getting stuck in a repetitive pattern of thought or behavior can occur in an instant and it can be overcome in an instant. Just as we
learned to fear a thing as a result of a momentary experience we can release it
in a moment. Change is something we can learn to do – to actually live in
the moment. Free is something
we can be. We ache for this. It is not out of reach. We can make the mind a better place.

Image: “letgo” by Tullio, digital image, 2012


Filed under ARTology Now

22 responses to “Let go.

  1. Chastity Alvarez

    Painful experience seems to always haunt our minds because being hurt is just about impossible to forget. It stays buried in our minds forever, but you are correct. We can free ourselves of these painful memories in order to give ourselves piece of mind. It’s important to let go so that you can begin a healthy and happy life. Never let someones malice dictate your state of mind.

  2. Hailey Knop

    This describes me perfectly right now! I am in the middle of some stressful events in my life right now and i am in the process of trying to ‘let go.’ But i feel it is always easier said than done. How do you suggest of going about letting go of something? I try to remind myself to forgive others even if they are not sorry. Holding onto resentment makes me love myself less and less and i want to turn that around so i can be truley happy with myself/life.

    • Hi Hailey. We know that practicing something makes us get better at it. And the more we practice, the better we get. So that’s a way to go. We need to just remember to relax and that starts the process. Part of relaxing is letting go of things…

  3. Rebecca Kline

    I agree, painful memories can be very disturbing and affect our present lives and will also affect our lives in the future unless we deal with them. I have met a number of people whose lives are in a mess due to what happened to them in the past. The past continues to haunt them. However, the fact of the matter is that no one in this world is innocent. Everybody is capable of evil and everyone is haunted by something. So, yes being free from painful memories does not mean having your mind erased of them. It means that the past no longer pulls you down and you have power give and receive forgiveness. “Breathe, Let go, and remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” -Oprah

  4. Caitlin P

    This actually can relate to many things in life, especially things in mine currently, its true that you can hold on to something and let it beat you to death or you can let it go, grow from it and never let it back into your life. I find myself I rarely let anything go, but i never let anything like it happen to be again, I find my self unable to forgive people because I never let the pain they put on me go, but this and art it’s self helps to make someone see that holding on to it won’t help at all.

  5. Austin Fields

    Every one gets stressed and has many emotions stirring all the time. Not being able to let go of your emotions that bring you down will hurt you and not dealing with your stress will also bring you down. I have personal experiences with trauma that i have learned to overcome and put myself in a better mindset. my family lost our house to a fire. At first it was very stressful and I was mad that i lost a whole bunch of things, actually everything, i thought at the time. A few days after I began to put myself in a different mindset that maybe it wasn’t all bad. it was a very unique experience and i will have stories to tell about it. I told my self it was not about the material things. I had to let go of all the memories of the possessions that was just stuff. No one was hurt in the fire so I began to be thankful for my family and the friends I had around for support. Let go of stress and things that bring you down.

  6. Glenn B.

    The world would be a better place if it was not for human emotions. If people could put their emotions aside and think logically they would see how many problems arise just from our emotions. I found this out after my brain injury. The damage I sustained caused my emotional center of the brain to stop working along with a huge chunk of my recent memory. As stated by the character Spok from the Star Trek TV series, “Without human emotions one is left with pure and utter logic.” That statement is absolutely true. Sorry to say my emotions eventually came back, but a hundred times more sensitive than before. Wish I could say my memory came back but there is still so much I cannot remember, even recently. The only way I am able to remember anything recently is if there is some kind of trauma related to it, or I beat it into my memory by constant repetition. A good way to cope with life is to always look on the bright side. Every day is a new day since I can barely remember the day before.

  7. Abigail Melendez

    This is so relevant to my life right now. I am carrying some heavy burdens because of recent events, and I don’t know how to let them go. I throw myself into my hobbies and art to forget them, even if only for a short while. I try really hard to not think about it, but it’s difficult when I’m alone and not busy with anything. I am trying to be free. I won’t let things in my life keep me from forging ahead.

  8. Sarah Groth

    I know I tend to hold on to painful memories that constantly haunt me. I know that letting go of these memories will make me more at peace, but I can’t seem to stop obsessing over them. I think it’s because I want to know the detailed reason why people have hurt me in the past, but those reasons I will probably never know. I guess accepting the past and learning from it cannot only make me a better person, but happier.

  9. Karen M.

    We are so overcome with stress in our everyday life that we hold on with tight fists. To me, this picture depicts how my spine and muscles were tangled in a weave while working and going to school last year. I worked full-time and took three classes last semester so I could graduate. It was stressful, but it was worth it. Just looking at this picture, I can feel the knots in my back and shoulders. I imagine the stress I dealt with at my job. Working in Corporate America can take its toll on a person from the demanding, the back stabbing, and the ruthless climb to get to the top of the chain. It wasn’t for me. I hated every minute of it. I see workers running and scrambling to cover their butts and protect their jobs. It’s not getting better.

    I became unemployed in May. I should be more stressed about how I am going to maintain my finances; however, for the first time, I am at peace. I’ve learned to let it go and let it in God’s hands. Life works at its own pace. We don’t need instant gratification, because instant gratification doesn’t last. Having the patience for what is to come will make everything worthwhile.

    After taking a deep breath and looking at your art, the knots are unraveling and peace is flowing. The lines are reclining as if the runner who was
    running in fear is now home and relaxing and letting it go.

  10. Nicole Voigt

    This piece of art caught my eye, because it uses two of my favorite colors together. However, reading the prose that goes along with it makes it so much better. Throughout our lives in this world we all experience grief, trauma, sadness and whatever word can be used to describe the pain that we feel from these events. Conversely, we also experience happiness, kindness, love and joy. Hopefully for most people these positive emotions act as a counter-balance to the negative ones. Learning to let go is very difficult, is it possible to let go and still learn from these experiences to not let them happen again? It would be nice if negative events could be blown from your mind like a wispy dandelion but would we continue to evolve if that happened, or would we be stuck in a cycle of repeating behavior and never grow.

  11. Allison Lawless

    Let go from my perception is emotionally uplifting. I find the piece to be visually stimulating with the color blue as a calming effect over the chaos of purple. I imagine a jumbled up state where I carry my own personal emotions of hurt and loss along with the blue representing the release of the pain into a freeing state of tranquility. The poem helped me in my own journey to not carry the pain that can be sparked by loss but to release those emotions for better use.

  12. Amanda S

    Having just gone through a painful experience I have found that in order to put my mind and heart at ease I had to forgive. I owed it to myself, not to not to the person that was responsible for the situation, to forgive. Hanging on to painful memories requires too much energy and takes away from the better things in life. You are right. We can use our mind to free ourselves of the negativity. Eventually, we all realize this. One time or another. Our minds go through a cycle of healing. We dwell and subconsciously want pity, and then we get angry. Eventually, we start to forgive and move on. However, like you said, we do not forget. But, we can push it to the back of our minds so that is becomes a distant memory.

  13. Allison, art and poetry can be forces for good and healing. I’m glad you got something you can use from my work. Amanda, your deep insights are appreciated and can be helpful to others, as well.

  14. Kim Beadencup

    I agree that art and poetry can be meaningful in the way of healing. The art that we draw and the poetry that we create can echo the longings of the soul as we allow our hearts to spill over onto our work surface. While we examine and analyze the contents of the overflow, empathetic discernment can birth an understanding into the experiences of the soul’s path and its fragmentation. The intertwined emotions and trauma of the soul become the experience’s price tag. The lavish price creates a root of anguish. What happens as we seek freedom and try to soothe the anguish while we blindly repeat the action? We cause the roots to grow deeper and stronger; hence, the intensity of the anguish grows. The soul’s day of reckoning arrives and it demands attention for the resounding relentless pain, and now the picture evolves to a graver image with blurred lines. What happens once we discover the longings of the soul? The raped fragment of our very soul missing requires action, but what brings back the pieces that the soul has lost? There is no surgery for missing pieces of the soul. If there was such a surgery, there would be lines of people that extend for miles. Only the creator of a creation knows the best way to fix or change something for its creation. Finding the Creator who can heal the effects of the trauma, destroy its root, and comfort the sufferer is where the answer lies.

  15. Heidi Cade

    This piece has caught my attention, such beautiful colors surround this artwork. While I was reading this poem, it touched me deeply because through out our lives we experience heartache and sometimes it hard to let go, but in order to move on we must let go of the things that hurt us. When you learn to let go, you become a stronger, better person.

  16. Abby

    besides the other piece i have looked at this one caught my eye as well. it is inspiring it also makes you want to let your mind wander and just look at the piece and just take deep breathes. i love the colors incorporated in this masterpiece; since the title is called Let Go that is exactly what someone who is stressed out and needs to let go of all the negativity.

  17. Jennifer

    These words are so true. Everyone always gets so caught up in the negative they forget to just exhale and let it all go. We all cling to the past and make it harder on ourselves to move on. If we could learn to move past our own hurt we would benefit from it in the end. We only hold ourselves back. I loved the bright airy colors in this piece. They make me think of new beginnings with a bright fresh start.

  18. Marianna Mello

    It’s all a matter of waking up. Then it is a matter of being and always a matter of consciousness. But the wake up isn’t just a simple step, it’s a choice. Yesterday is only in your head.

  19. Courtney H.

    I like how this one begins to fade into the background. I guess that’s the “let go” aspect of it. I also like the patterns and use of colors. The colors are bright and joyful, even though your poem wasn’t all too joyful. But because of the colors in this piece, not being all gloomy, it should make people feel better, feel more confident about letting go.

  20. Maggie M

    I totally understand that humans being do not know how to truly let go and just be,If we did not have all this rope tugging that us our emotion,our painful thoughts then we can actually lead a happy and balance life.We all have a war that we are trying to fight my ourselves,but the really is that we can never win this war if we do not learn how to just let go!

  21. Stephani Germann

    Who would have thought that a children’s movie could express this exact sentiment so well. (I hate to reference Frozen – not really because I love Disney movies). Fear of the past is debilitating. To move on in life is impossible while being rooted in the past. We have all had bad experiences, but the experience is not what can break us. How we react to the experience and how we proceed can either strengthen us or knock us down. To actively think positive can be difficult, but not impossible. The sooner we begin to use our experiences in a good way, a way we can learn from, the freer we become.

Your comments are welcome.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s