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Heartache and the Myth of Letting Go

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April 15th, 2021

By Jack Adam Weber

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

The more we try to manually let go of heartache, the more we get in the way of healing.

In my experience through grief work and the trenches of heartbreak, I have noticed that I don’t let go of pain as much as pain lets us go of me. I “achieve” this via grieving, which is our psyche’s innate response to loss. This is the very experience of transformation via entering rather than trying to let go of grief.

We especially don’t let go of big losses. They let go of us commensurate to the degree we we grieve them, by which we are birthed into something more beautiful. By trying to let them go, as if they were objects we could drop, we get in the way of their working on and moving us through our pain. We perpetuate their pain and the parade of ills that getting in the way of grief’s alchemy begets.

These dynamics also highlight the difference between physical and emotional healing. We fix broken things by actively repairing them; healing a broken heart requires that we receive and feel what moves through us. The former pertains to the archetypal masculine principle and the latter is the archetypal feminine. In a masculine-dominant culture hellbent on doing and progressing, it’s no wonder we have so much unreckoned hurt—we don’t do a lot of receiving. With so much unhealed hurt, which we project and displace onto the world, along with so much compensatory progress that consumes the body of the Earth, it’s no wonder we are on a collision course with extinction.

It may seem that we let go of minor injuries, when in fact we may simply be able to move through them more quickly. For example, if someone flips me off while driving, that stings. I feel it, and the sting abates relatively quickly. I allow the sting to move through me and I don’t reinforce it by repeating the story in my head. I let go of focusing on it after or as I recover from the mild insult.

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