The article about Disney’s “Let it Go”, by David Nova, perfectly captures the subtle difference in understanding between those who practice profound versions of shadow work and those who are using “Let it Go” as a means of avoiding their pain, past, shadow, etc, to stay positive and upbeat. The Sedona Method uses the term “Letting Go” as a conscious means of integrating the experiences of the past, along with the patterns that accompany those experiences; and according to the website for their “Letting Go” movie:
Letting Go of…
- Traumatic experiences from the past
- Limiting thoughts and beliefs
- Day-to-day anxieties
- Your inner fears
- Sadness from a lost love
- Financial woes
- Deep-rooted anger
- Frustration with your career
- Struggles with addiction
David also delineates the difference between conscious detachment and unconscious detachment, where those in the first category are able to connect deeply in intimate relationships and are more detached from expectations, while in the latter is detached from emotional intimacy to avoid having their expectations shattered.
What is Unconscious Detachment?
But isn’t living in the moment a good thing? Isn’t focusing on the positive a healthy attitude? It depends. Are you doing it consciously or unconsciously?
Unconscious detachment is just another form of avoidance – the avoidance of any thought or emotion that might be considered painful or upsetting. It is an avoidance of facing what has been termed “the shadow side.” We all harbor negative thoughts and feelings. How we deal with them is the key to the issue.
Unfortunately, popular psychology and New Age philosophy too often tell us to avoid these negative thoughts and emotions, to focus only on the positive and push anything negative out of our mind, to bury and suppress it, as if sweeping it under the rug makes it magically disappear – “out of sight, out of mind.”
Would we recommend this course of action to someone dealing with a disease or a serious illness? Of course not. A serious illness will only get worse the longer we ignore it. Even a simple paper-cut might become infected If we don’t attend to it. Then why do we think ignoring our negative thoughts and emotions will work any better? Because we underestimate their message. Often when we have a negative thought or emotion it means some aspect of our lives needs to be addressed, usually an internal belief or attitude.
The problem is, we’re not making it disappear by ignoring it. We’re merely shifting the negativity from our conscious mind to our subconscious/unconscious mind. When we bury emotional negativity, often we are simply stuffing it into our physical, emotional, and etheric body, creating a petri dish for more illness and disease. When we bury negative thoughts, we’re creating a new script for our subconscious mind to work off of. Then we may find ourselves manifesting some unintended results. We may also be accruing many more soul lessons in the future. The Universe (and our higher self) doesn’t want us to ignore our problems or our negative thoughts; it wants us to face them and overcome them. Only then will we become whole and free.
I have an old friend who has lived her entire life by this “Let It Go” principle. Every time she faced a serious breakup or some personal disaster she crawled into her shell, cried about it for a few days, then emerged from her cocoon and quickly brushed it off as if she were Superwoman. She returned to life with blind determination and an irrepressibly positive attitude – until she was confronted with the next personal disaster, which she inevitably brought upon herself. Everyone around her recognized her pattern, but not her. This cycle continued for decades until she was finally faced with a life-threatening illness. Cheating death, she is only now beginning to become more introspective about her life and her own role in it, acknowledging some of the blind spots that lead to her troubles. As a coping strategy, avoidance never works out very well, not in the long run.
Read the whole article at The Conflicting Message of “Let it Go”