Pema Chodron said, "Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know." How true is that for you? Do you find that the same things keep popping up for you and you don't know why?
When this happens to me, I ask myself, "What's the lesson here? What am I not learning so that this stuff has to keep re-appearing?" I take myself out of the victim role and give myself the power to choose to learn the lesson and let it go.
The tricky part, though, is "letting go." How do we let go when something feels so stuck, and so familiar, in our lives?
Journal about the situation, try stream of consciousness writing and let your pen write whatever comes to the surface without judgment. Write a letter to the problem, address your frustration and let it all out. When we put pen to paper we let the energy out of our body.
Go outside, place the paper in a clay pot and burn the letter, the journal pages, or anything else you write down that symbolizes pain. Let the ashes rise and blow away with the wind.
Water is very cleansing. Showering or bathing at night after a stressful day can wash away some of the negativity stuck on your skin. A good dry body brush beforehand makes it even more powerful. Or better yet, go to the beach or a waterfall; both have abundant negative ions which help to release mood-boosting serotonin.
Walk, run, do yoga, work out, make yourself sweat and breathe. Releasing endorphins and building up body heat can help melt away a lot of the things we are holding onto. Try a yin restorative yoga class with props for extra releasing poses.
Sometimes the best release of all is to give in to the emotion you're stuck on. Even if you don't feel like crying, try watching a sad movie to trigger the natural, healing release of emotional tears which carry and release stress hormones.
The next time you feel you're holding on too tightly to a situation or problem, try some (or all) of these steps. By releasing the need keep them in our lives, we can begin to let go and create space for things that better serve us.