Let Go and Let Soul

A few weeks ago, I wrote about decluttering my house and how the energy flow in our outer world matches that of our inner state. Boy, did the purging in my physical space set in motion the corresponding need to rearrange my emotional world! There has been some heavy-duty processing over the past weeks, including learning to embrace the dark side of my soul and to release tunnel-vision attachment to dreams and appreciate the waiting time. The vibrational tune-up of this past week had to do with letting go of a long-standing grievance story in order to express more of my soul—in short, let go and let soul.

Hand against the skyLetting Go

The letting go part had to do with forgiveness. You think you’ve done your forgiveness work, until some buried resentment catches up with you to let you know that there are deeper layers to be released. Continuing to work with The Gathering (which I wrote about two weeks ago), this past two weeks have been about forgiveness—of others and of myself. Author Rosemergy said that those who don’t forgive themselves tend to be self-absorbed, because they still live in the pain and guilt of the past. When I read that part, it felt like I got punched in my gut. Once I got over the initial visceral reaction, I realized that point pushed a huge button within me.

Since I was really little, I was constantly told I was selfish, that I only thought about myself. It didn’t matter how much I yielded or was denied because I was a girl, it was never enough. In my freshman year in college, I briefly dated a fellow international student from Hong Kong, which threatened my responsibility to my family as their ticket to immigration to the United States. This responsibility was why I had the opportunity to go to college. I was selfish for dating a non-U.S. citizen. There’s plenty more evidence I could cite for the verdict of my selfishness, but you get the idea.

I thought I had done my forgiveness work over the years, including passing the litmus test of being able to talk about the above without the accompanying anger, resentment and hurt that had plagued me for a long time. But, apparently, I hadn’t gutted the roots. As I pondered what Rosemergy wrote, I could remember that, with each time I said “no” to someone wanting me to do something I didn’t want to do, the guilt and the shame of being selfish would come up. Whenever I’d dare to want something, the guilt and the shame of being selfish would be triggered. Along with any reason to celebrate, the guilt and the shame of wanting that would be present. Since I didn’t want to own these negative emotions before, I had simply skirted around them each time they reared their ugly heads.

All of that caught up with me late last week without warning. I was in the shower when powerful waves of sobs shook my body so hard, so unexpectedly that I fell over in my bath tub. All those years of pent-up guilt and shame for being selfish—along with deep self-hate for it—poured out of me like an avalanche. I could no longer pretend these emotions weren’t alive and well within me. As the running shower water drowned out the noise of my sobs, I felt my inner voice coming through: When are you going to stop beating up on yourself? When are you going to give yourself the love you so want to give to others?

It was a very intense but a truly cleansing experience—rather symbolic for where it actually started. I don’t have any qualms that there might be more forgotten layers of buried wounds and old beliefs. If so, they will surface at some point when I’m ready to release them. But, with this latest round of emotional purging, I learned something. Despite thinking that I had made peace with the past, part of me was still hanging onto the grievance story of being wronged and used by the very people who were supposed to love me. I had only processed intellectually what repeatedly hurt me, short-circuited the healing process, and invalidated the emotions for many years. As I’ve learned of late, without embracing the emotions first, I can’t release the charge they hold by rejecting them. I can’t simply bypass that step and go directly to forgiveness, which was what I tried to do in the past.

I’m ready to let that grievance story go for good. I’m not a helpless victim used by anyone, and I’m most certainly not going to perpetuate the self-punishment any longer.

Letting Soul

On Sunday, I tearfully shared the above lesson learned with the congregation of Conscious Living Center at two services. It wasn’t the easiest talk to give, but it’s my soul’s calling to be willing to share my vulnerabilities and humanness while still in process—just as I do in the form of writing here on my blog week after week. I’m guided to believe that it encourages others to heal their own wounds and to know that they aren’t alone.

Later on Sunday, as a nice interlude to the heavy emotional purging I’ve been doing, I caught the loveliest glimpse of my soul as part of a workshop I attended. In the scene where I “met” my soul, it was a sunny day with pale blue skies. We were on a beach with fine beige sand under foot next to light blue water. I saw my soul from behind. Her long, silky black hair was blown to the right by the ocean breeze, and so was the long white gown she wore. She radiated a soft but powerful light of the purest white. The whole picture was somewhat ethereal, the kind that depicts dreams in movies. It was a picture of freedom and grace—and my soul was a truly lovely embodiment of pure feminine energy.

At the start of this week, I sat with the above image and energy within me, and let the incredible lightness of being that’s my soul fill me up. It was this energy of my soul that powered the talk I gave at a women’s gathering on Tuesday. It was hands down the best presentation I’ve ever delivered in my life through nearly 20 years of speaking in public on different topics. Unlike every other time I’ve spoken on a platform or given a radio interview, this was the one single time my inner critic didn’t come forward to tell me what I didn’t do well or what I missed. There wasn’t a thing to change about my talk. What emanates from the soul doesn’t need improvement. Leaving that event, I was so completely in bliss and in alignment with my soul’s mission in this life that I felt like I floated home.

In closing, I hope this post serves you in a way that’s personally meaningful to you—perhaps evoking in you your own rendition of letting go and letting soul. As always, I welcome anything you wish to share in the comment box below. We’re all each other’s messengers, and you’d never know how your share might be just the thing the next person reading it needs.


Photo credit:
The hand against the sun: http://www.flickr.com/photos/v1ctor/4810472273/sizes/q/
Dark silhouette and beach:  porbital / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About Alice Chan, Ph.D.

Dr. Alice Chan is passionate about developing conscious leaders and organizations. Her path to serve her life purpose has included being an award-winning Cornell professor and a leader in the corporate world for nearly 15 years. She’s the author of the book, REACH Your Dreams: Five Steps to be a Conscious Creator in Your Life, and creator of the program, 30 Days to Living Your Best Life. All content on this blog and website is her own, not the opinions of her employer.

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Alice,  thank you for sharing such a powerful and  emotional story.  i could totally relate to it.  Your story moved me to tears.  You are one of the least selfish people that I know.  I am so glad that you were able to let go of  this resentment.   As you know I am doing your program "30 Day to Your Best Life"  I am on day 19 which is about forgiving yourself.  Your article gives me the courage to do that.


Lesley S. King
Lesley S. King

Beautiful, Alice. It must be time for such healing because I was recently taken way back into my past to revise some images that just were not true. We are so blessed to know that all is perfect in God's eyes.


Beautiful post, Alice. Thank you, once again, for being emotionally vulnerable so as to help others.

Kumar Gauraw
Kumar Gauraw

Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for this reminder. As I read this article, I was thinking about what are the things I need to "let go". I read somewhere, "To keep unforgiveness within you is a toxin to your body, mind and soul. Forgiveness brings freedom to all concerned." Letting go and demonstrating forgiveness towards others and towards ourselves definitely purifies our own soul. I enjoyed your post and I thank you again.

Scott Mabry
Scott Mabry

"Author Rosemergy said that those who don’t forgive themselves tend to be self-absorbed, because they still live in the pain and guilt of the past." - you're certainly not alone with that story. Thank you for sharing from your heart and inspiring others to make the journey to freeing their soul.

Ada Agnew
Ada Agnew

Thanks again Alice, for so boldly and courageously opening wider, the door to freedom. Your honesty encourages others to not only notice that the door is open wider, but to walk through it.

Jim Rosemergy
Jim Rosemergy

You are certainly doing the work. A great example of how the gathering can help us grow. Many Blessings, Jim

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