How to let go of negative feelings triggered by your family

Updated: Apr 10, 2021

"Feelings come and go, and eventually you realize that you are not your feelings, but the real you is merely witnessing them." - David R. Hawkins

Yesterday, I finished David Hawkins` book "Letting Go" at midnight and was astonished by it. I not ony learned something new with this thorough book, but also expanded my horizon again around personal developmment, spirituality, and human consciousness. Hawkins basically highlights how in every situation in life, we can simply practice letting go, i.e. letting go of negative emotions (more in my book review blog post here). It sounds simple, but it can create a huge shift and helps us move up the emotional scale of emotions (from negativity to positivity). Also often in life, we have the simpliest tools, but our mind resists our happiness, esp. if it seems too easy (be aware of your judgments and analysis).

So rather than questioning this letting go technique, that Hawkins so amazingly demonstrated in his book along various examples, I decided to just try it. At the end, I had nothing to lose and Hawkins promised to the reader that the technique can be applied immediately, without prior training or experience. This means that yesterday, I just let out all my emotions and cried last evening. Earlier that day, my father triggered my Judge and Victim in me, and I know from this book, that because of our suppressed emotions, potentially over time, a trigger or stressor can then lead to our release. I was very hurt by my father`s unmindful comment. While it was not the first time I was subject to his insensivity and unmindful communication, I believe sometimes you don`t really have your guards up when you are with your family, so such thoughtless comments can even sting more.

Before I applied "letting go" in this situation, I was aware that I shifted to my Judge ("How can he always be so thoughtless?") and then to my Victim ("No one understands me. I am doing all the personal development work, but the others don`t and then I have to be exposed to their lack of understanding and compassion!"). I tried to do my evening routine (journalling, yoga, reading), but it was as if the incident with my father was the final straw. Sadness surfaced, hurt surfaced, loneliness surfaced. And with this, lots of negative and limiting beliefs were attracted, that seemed to have been ingrained during my childhood.

As the first child in my family, I had to assume a lot of responsibilities early, when I was just about ten years old. I had to take care of my younger sister. I had to write formal letters to the German authorities on behalf of my parents (without even understanding words like "tax" or "invoice"). I had to study without help at the most difficult school level in Germany. I had to cook, clean the house, and support my parents at their restaurant. Besides all this, I had to go through a tough period at high school all by myself, being bullied for being a nerd, being discrimated for being a foreigner, being excluded for being different from all the other girls during puberty (no, I wasn`t the one who got invited to parties or was part of the popular clique). I was also burdened with family responsibilities or issues, being yelled at or feeling unworthy for having only average grades ("C" instead of "A+").

While I managed to finish high school with one of the best degrees, opening doors to a good college degree and paving the way for my corporate career, I now see what effects this past had on me. I always thought that this time showed that I had perserverance, discipline, focus, ambition, resilience, strength, intelligence, but while my "head" skills were crafted skillfully, my "heart" side suffered, and as it seems, to this day. Reading Hawkin`s book I wonder whether I grew limiting beliefs with emotional weight, that I had buried down as a child because it would be just too overwhelming to face and experience them. Also as we know, being a young, little child, you have to "survive" and feel more secure if you follow your parents` advice, words, and actions, rather than questioning or criticzing them as authority figures. Having been raised in a typical Vietnamese family, where it is relatively uncommon to show affection, love, or compassion (or at least in different ways when in Western society where I grew up), I neither felt explicit love and affection in my own love language, nor was I able to apply mindfulness and inner work as a young child to discern my parents` actions from my own.

Yesterday evening when all this came to the surface, I just cried. My tears would run down my cheeks and I just couldn`t, also didn`t want to, stop them. I wanted to help release my emotions, that may have been buried within me for so many years. I was ready to let go and surrender to it, even if it made me felt sad, lonely, and defeated. I let go of everything, even when other unrelated thoughts came up, that wasn`t really part of that story, I said to myself "I let it go". At some point the pain was so heavy, that I had to take my notebook to write down all the negative judgments and thoughts to help with the process of releasing and letting go. I guess you would be shocked what helpless views my younger child had, even I didn`t dare to read them again, but this was also not the point. It wasn`t about analyzing although I now understood the context, it was primarily about releasing and letting go of the pain.

Today I woke up lighter. Even my mind seems to be exhausted from yesterday`s letting go process to think again about the negative issues. While I am still feeling tired and sensitive (I had to retreat in my room to not have my father trigger anything else again in me), I feel grateful and proud that I applied the letting go technique. It may be too early to advocate it personally, but I do believe in it and that we may need time to let our pain go, again and again, after many years of suppressing them as my example showed. So if you want to try it out, I would recommend reading Hawkin`s book first. See how it resonates with you - in this world, there are many ways for each of us to find peace and love in life.

How do you deal with your negative pain, knowing we all have our own pace and coping mechanisms? Let me know by sending an email to – I very look forward to hearing from you! :) PS: Subscribe to my #mindfulmagic Newsletter to stay in touch for upcoming posts, free offers, and news :)


This week`s ...

  • Inspiration: Alex Banayan - The Third Door

  • Reflection: How can I release my negative emotions, with mindfulness and self-care?

  • Intention: I am willing to release my emotions, by e.g. expressing, feeling, or talking about them, to release them and let them go.