coffee reads

you have to learn to let go

sometimes in life, there are things that seem hard to accept. I cannot give you a certain example of this for now, because there could be A LOT of it. So let me just share some general thoughts about it. ( but for now, you should have at least a single circumstance in which you can apply a “so hard to accept” thing so that you can relate as you read along. 

Acceptance is not always something that a person wants in life, and it won’t be that easy to apply in a circumstance, especially if we want that thing or a person or an opportunity so much, but the odds seem to be not in our favor. What are you gonna do? Well, accept.

Imagine that in a spectrum of acceptance, at one side is the joy of being able to accept because the thing is good and favorable ( e.g, accepting a piece of chocolate and a flower ), while on the other side of the spectrum, we have the hard side of acceptance because it connotes as a disagreement at our view ( e. g accepting the fact that a person doesn’t like you or see you as an enemy. )

Now, let us look at this in the latter side of acceptance. The disagreement is against our view. Acceptance is not a hard thing unless it becomes a hard thing. If we DO NOT want to accept. So this led me to my little food for thought.

One night time, I was asking my research group mates why it is so hard to let go of the things that we already know we have to loosen a grip on. Our leader, Fel, brought up a theory. Theory of cognitive dissonance. And for so many long times I was trying to find a word for my feelings, I guess the theory Fel shared that night pierced me.

Setting the tone right, the word  “cognitive” would mean, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is, “relating to, being, or involving conscious intellectual activity (such as thinking, reasoning, or remembering)”. Whilst “dissonance” means the “inconsistency between the beliefs one holds or between one’s actions and one’s beliefs.” If you would merge these two words, you get the term.

A bit of information about cognitive dissonance is as follow;

This theory was developed in the late 1950s by the name of Leon Festinger, a US psychologist. Mr. Festinger claimed that people usually avoid information and circumstances “that are likely to increase a dissonance with their existing cognitions, such as beliefs, attitudes or other value judgments, (Feringer, 1950).” He then asserted these hypotheses:

  1. The existence of dissonance, being psychologically uncomfortable, will motivate the person to try to reduce the dissonance and achieve consonance. 

let’s talk about this a little bit.  

Basically, if a “belief” that we have for a long time or the “value judgments” that we instilled in our minds (e.g the person is going to like me because it shows in the person’s actions and words) will turn out to be the opposite of our predetermined thought and view, it would likely make us psychologically uncomfortable. Simply to say, there is a dissonance (e.g the person told us we are not that likable due to some reasons).

Such that, a clash of what we thought it was and turned to be is quite far away from what we have originally thought.  Another thing about it is the tendency for an individual to, “reduce the dissonance by achieving a consonance”, a harmony among components. It is our tendency in trying to justify the clashes so that we won’t get hurt. It is not accepting it because there “might” be something left to win our side. 

2. When dissonance is present, in addition to trying to reduce it, the person will actively avoid situations and information which would likely increase the dissonance” (Festinger 1957, 3).

This is where an individual seems to be spiraling into an unacceptance realm, in pursuit of trying to reduce the dissonance, an individual has a tendency to go out of the way and avoid the reality of the matter ( which cause one’s dissonance, the uncomfortable psychological feeling of knowing one’s thought isn’t what it is to the degree that he/she knew — as of this context.)

Upon the increase of this dissonance, one can have a hard time dealing with it and can battle with the fangs of acceptance until it becomes tiring and mentally draining if continued for a long time without a proper way of addressing such conflicts. 

Alright, that’s quite a mouthful, but I do hope you understand what I am trying to mean. If you do, you won’t find it hard to understand and accept, so there’s no dissonance drama in your head. hihi. just kidding. 

On a serious note, going back to what Fel told us that night when asked if why it is hard to let go and accept, she shared an example of cognitive dissonance in her view and I think some selected people can relate,

(this screenshot has been permitted by Felicia Andrea)

Circumstances aren’t limited to that specific example given above. Numerous instances are happening every single day in our lives, and sometimes these instances are quite subtle that we are not aware we are already feeling it and its consequences. Sometimes they are quite obvious that we try to suppress and or just go with its flow, but the thing is if it is already making you uncomfortable, will you try to stop for a while and address the issue?

Yes, you can work with reasons that could meet the line between your “accepting side” ( joy of being able to accept) and the “not accepting side” (hard side of acceptance). With all of these, at the end of the day, the choices we make within us will determine how realistically a thinker we are, and how this kind of thinking can help us be a better person in pursuit of letting go of things if they seem not helpful anymore. 

Everyone has a theory to live by,” sir GAB, one of our professors in psychology told us once. Maybe, this is my theory to always look upon when I couldn’t feel an instant acceptance of the things that are presenting in my ways ( both good or bad for myself), and maybe this would be of help to remind us too to take easy with ourselves when things seem to be very obsolete and arid or dry to the point we feel numb due to things that we do not expect.

At least, this theory explains our feelings, and when feelings are explained, they start to make sense and make us feel a little bit better. 

oh, by the way, there’s a way to accept, and that is to accept. 

so yes, learn to let go of the things that are no longer helping you to be better and always have a growth mindset that would lead you to opportunities for learning and wonderful discoveries. 

alright, before leaving, here are some words from the Serenity Prayer,

God, grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can,

and the wisdom to know the difference.

always,

Kryzylle Nicole

References:

Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford
University Press.

Sabine Trepte, Josephine B. Schmitt, Tobias Dienlin, Good News!, Journal of Media Psychology, 10.1027/1864-1105/a000182, 30, 2, (66-78), (2018).Crossref

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cognitive

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissonance

hebrews 11:16

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