Unless you have been living under a rock for the last 18 months, you will have heard the phrase “let it go” from Frozen. It is everywhere. Queen Elsa’s power ballad reclaiming her own identity has been belted out by everyone from toddlers in sparkly dressed to big manly Marines and the internet is full of the evidence. The song won an academy award. You can find the phrase on t-shirts, posters, phone cases, and crafting supplies. It has been status updates, Twitter bios, and Instagram captions. It has been the go to phrase for people wanting to move on from pretty much anything. As with most go to phrases, it is simplistic and incomplete.
The fact is that one cannot simply let things ‘go’. No matter what issue we are dealing with, there are ramifications. If someone has hurt us, we can let go of the resentment, but the damage remains. If we have a problem, we can walk away from it, but the situation remains. We are shaped by the events of our life and whether or not we choose to let them go, they have impacted us for good or ill no matter what we do. In fact there are some situations we need to walk away from and not let go. We need to take the lessons that led us to that point and learn from them so that we don’t end up in the same place over and over. Even Elsa, after singing about not needing rules and control, found she needed many of the things she had ‘let go’.
Do not live in the past exclusively. Do not hold on to grudges and resentment. Do not be controlled by voices and opinions that are not your own. However, keep the lessons these things have taught you. Hold on to those experiences that make you wiser. Do not assume that letting something go means it is really gone.