Why We Can’t “Just Let go”

How often do you hear someone say, “Just let it go”?

As if was easy that easy to “Just let it go”.

You don’t just snap your fingers, or make up your mind. The feelings that you have won’t just quietly lie down. The don’t just frizzle out and, no, they don’t just disappear.

And that’s why this trite phrase tends to annoy me so much.

If you try to block emotions and pretend they aren’t there, you will not solve the problem for the issue’s unaddressed. The feelings are still there – even if they’re underground.

For your feelings are designed to alert you to the fact that something isn’t right: that you’ve been wronged, or you’ve been hurt.

That matters – and it should.

And it is right to feel upset.

What to do About it?

If you can’t “Just let it go” what can you, maybe, do instead?

You can do the opposite. Yes, you allow yourself to feel. You process the emotions by sitting with the pain. You give them dignity, and you invite them to speak up.


The feelings must move through you if they’re going to be released. So acknowledge how you’re feeling. Don’t deny the way things are.

The Process

You notice what you’re feeling, and describe the way you feel. For example, your fingers might be tingling, or your stomach might feel rough.

It’s going to take time. For sure, this won’t be a quick fix. But it’s all part of the process of releasing intense pain.

Why is this Effective?

The reason is you’ve honoured all the trauma you’ve lived through. And now it’s integrated. It is part of who you are.

No, we can’t “Just let it go”. There are clear steps we need to take. But by doing this hard work, you’ll find you’re able to get free.

25 thoughts on “Why We Can’t “Just Let go”

  1. Just get over it and Just let go are to statements that really upset me. The words really minimize the pain of others and will leave them with a false impression of what happened to them is not that bad. All the while they are in desperate need of someone to hear their pain. Thank you! for writing this article.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for taking the time to read and add such a thoughtful comment. I feel exactly the same way. You don’t just get over things. No matter how hard you try. No matter how much you wish you could. Perhaps this is our psyche’s way of telling us we matter, and what happens to us matters.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with the premise of your discussion. For the menial things in life, we can usually find a way to “just let go.” With emotion-filled situations, there needs to be time to process our grieving.

    Liked by 1 person

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