Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is the author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Please download your copy of “Manifest Holistic Health” from Sherry’s Enrich Your Life Series. Contact Sherry at firstname.lastname@example.org for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements. Listen to Sherry on “A Moment of Change with Sherry Gaba”on CBS Radio.
As most individuals in recovery know, letting go, surrendering, and accepting you have an addiction is at the forefront of any recovery process and the basis of getting clean and sober. The first step of the 12 steps after all is when you admit you are powerless over your disease. It is at this point you finally open yourself up to receiving the help you need to remain sober whether it is attending 12 step meetings, seeking psychotherapy or recovery coaching, and/or seeking spiritual solutions to fill the emptiness you have been numbing out with your addictions for so long. However, what I have witnessed in my work as a Psychotherapist and as a Recovery/Life Coach is learning to let go of one’s addictions is only a piece of the puzzle towards living a joyful and blissful life. You are here for a reason and it is not just to get clean and sober which is what you are taught in the beginning stages of recovery. Yes, of course, you must be sober first and foremost to move on from the despair and hopelessness your addiction caused you, however this is just the tip of the iceberg. What comes next is the real mystery, which is what I call living on purpose with intention.
To begin to answer the existential questions of “Why am I here?” “What is my purpose?” “How can I contribute to this planet?” “What am I being called forth to do?” you must utterly surrender to all rationalizations, minimizations, justifications, and denial systems that keep you in the vortex of lying to yourself. Until you let go absolutely to the aspects of your life that are uncontrollable and accept your true essence of who you are, sobriety will in no way bring you the purposeful life you deserve. All of us have a unique calling that was given to us the moment we took our first breath. Uncovering that purpose is at your fingertips, if you are willing to let go of the irrational thinking and controlling behaviors that keep you stuck in the “not knowing” of who you truly are. When you finally surrender, the “knowingness” of your true essence will gently and sometimes strongly be revealed. For me, I knew when I was working at a rehab with an unethical owner who cared way too much about the profits versus the patients, a tiny voice in me said, “I am done. I am ready to have my own practice. It is now time to leave and go out on my own.” I call it my God voice, but you can call it anything you want. It doesn’t matter what you name it as long as you listen to it and heed its calling.
Not letting go of those aspects of your lives that are un-changeable blocks all positive energy to flow through you. I knew I could not change the dysfunctional system I was working in so my only choice was to leave. Studies reveal that allowing negative energy to remain stuck in your body can cause a host of issues such as anxiety, insecurity, depression, guilt, stress related physical conditions such as Hypertension, a heart attack, stroke, muscle tension, headaches, or even some types of cancers. Most things that you refuse to let go of are impermanent. “As to why it’s important to let go when it’s time, well the universe has yet to go away when it wants me to learn a lesson,” says Melody Beattie, author of “Co-Dependent No More.”
Life is not stagnant but is full of fluidity. Jobs change, relationships come and go, money is made and lost, and by accepting these truths, you step into the wisdom of knowing everything is temporary. By letting go of the things you are powerless over, you make room for increased emotional and physical energy, enthusiasm, and spirit to unearth its natural flow. You suddenly become free to pursue your own interests, desires, making space to focus on yourself and your own well-being. Leaving that rehab was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. Ultimately, it translated into me working in television on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew and later the publication of my book, “The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery.” Happiness remains even when circumstances in our lives change. “We worry so much about should we do this, should we do that, what will happen and when; but reality is, if we keep our emotions flowing, stay in balance, and are honest with ourselves, we’ll know exactly what to do and when. It will be absolutely clear and the power to do it will be with us. The way will be made, the path opens, and the decisions will become clear,” says Beattie.
Letting go is a natural ability we were born with but often gets blocked by all the false belief systems we hold on to as we go through life. If we were neglected, abandoned, abused, or have had multiple losses in our lives, unfortunately, it plays havoc on our innate ability to release and let go of negativity. Negativity becomes our mantra for surviving, but it serves no purpose and limits us from living a fulfilling and satisfying life. You must move on because although these events and circumstances were part of your life story, they need not control you anymore. Right now you have the opportunity to make new decisions and to let go of defensive systems that are no longer serving your higher self. It is sabotaging your personal journey and from moving ahead in other areas of your life.
So where do you begin the process of letting go, and stop pushing, manipulating, fixing, forcing, and needing to be in control?
- Let go of all the I “should”, “have to” and “must” statements. Instead embrace expressions such as “I allow,” “I embrace”, “I bring”, or “I am open” to whatever it is you desire to bring forth into your life.
- Know there is a higher source for us to surrender to whether it is God, Allah, the Creator, Mother Earth, Tao, or whoever and whatever you call your personal higher power when there appears to be no solutions to a problem you are struggling with.
- Learn to let go of perfectionism and realize there is no such thing as being perfect and that we are not omnipotent, infallible, or superhuman beings.
- Learn to tolerate a little discomfort, unrest and uncertainty while you wait for the solutions to emerge.
- Know that your life’s experiences were not random but were there to promote your growth in some way.
- Move around; it clears out negative energy and makes room for positive resonance.
- Let go of people pleasing and seeking external approval to make you feel good about yourself.
- Allow people, places and things to be responsible for them to make room for the freedom to focus on your journey.
- Accept things that that are unchangeable by making room for taking action in areas you can transform.
- Detach from the stories that are un-healthy and energy depleting to make space for more creativity, resourcefulness, and enthusiasm to accomplish all that you desire.
When you release and let go and make friends with those things that you are powerless over, you allow the universe to give you the intelligence and insight you need to live a life full of passion and meaningfulness. When you push up again the flow of life, you are in essence, telling the universe it is incorrect and insisting it to do things your way. Once you remember to let go that which is uncontrollable, you will then have the ability to consciously create the assignment that is solely yours here on this planet to fulfill.