Cord-cutting, Releasing, Resetting

Probably one of the most challenging aspects of growing and healing, is learning how to let go of the past. In my view letting go doesn’t mean forgetting, or not caring, or “getting over it,” but letting it rest in the past rather than reliving it again and again.

“That was then, this is now.”

Much of this process occurs underground, or unconsciously, so how do we address the roots of harmful patterns, beliefs, and relationships?  More commonly heard as a new age term, cord cutting holds associations to neopaganism and modern day witchcraft but it’s actually a process that most people who are trying to grow and be healthier engage in.

In therapy we usually call that “setting boundaries” or maybe go on to address how beyond physical boundaries we also start managing our internal thoughts and engagement with relationships. Anyone who’s ever had a difficult breakup know that this is easier said than done, in part because much of the origins of these harmful or painful dynamics are outside of our awareness in the moment.

Working on the level of energy helps to get more to the root: what are the deeper wounds that this attachment or “pull” is connecting to? Our unprocessed and unhealed wounds are vulnerable to unconscious repetition, which is actually our attempt at mastery.

Those very patterns that were once our best defense, create the abandoned relics of retaining walls in our psyche.

We can engage in this work with a trusted practitioner, but we can also do this alone, though it helps to have some familiarity with identifying sensations in the body.

Broadly speaking there are two ways to approach this. One is non-directive, where you begin by scanning the body for disturbances in your nervous system activity (or energy system if that resonates for you) and asking the question “what is this, or where does this come from?” You don’t need a clear answer to work with it but sometimes the thoughts or memories that may come to mind are really illuminating. The other option, if you already have an idea of what it is you’re wanting to work with and release, is concentrate on the person, relationship, place, or situation that you need to separate from and then scan the body for where you feel resonance.

From here the process is the same. You may wish to place your hands on the area of the body, or place a stone or essential oils there, and visualize some way of teasing out that sensation and allow it to move away from the body. You can allow it to have a shape, color, texture, density, temperature in the mind’s eye; or describe it in a metaphor, what is it like? How can this representation change?  It’s important to be aware that sometimes what we feel at the surface may connect to deeper areas of the body, take your time and allow yourself to explore those connections.

It’s useful to be concrete in stating your desire to separate from this harmful pattern/person/situation/energy, and I think it’s a nice gesture to acknowledge that usually there’s some protective function that it has serves. Thank your body and your unconscious mind for protecting you while also welcoming a new way of doing so.  When energy is separated from experience and impact, the energy itself is neutral.  Return anything you’re releasing to the elements, back to source as a gift.  

An example of this sentiment might be saying: 

“Thank you __(pattern, belief, behavior, relationship, or person)___ for the role you’ve played in my life.  Thank you for the ways that you allowed me to feel safer, and the familiarity you brought to me at that time.  You have also caused me pain and are not aligned with who I am today.  I am ready to let you go, I don’t need you anymore.  I release you back to your source as an offering of gratitude for what I have learned, making space for something new.” 

Adjust the wording as needed and as is appropriate for the circumstances.  Please keep in mind that acknowledging our part in energetic dynamics does not mean blaming ourselves, but taking agency over our own energy and who we want to be in the now.  Take as much time as you need to feel and visualize this leaving your body completely.  If it’s an especially harmful or dangerous pattern I might also add “And don’t come back!”

Depending on the circumstances especially if it’s a person or relationship, it can be therapeutic to visualize saying that to the person. You could view this as a goodbye or a grieving ritual as well.  
When you’re done, it is equally important to tend to what remains and visualize some way of filling that space with whatever you’re trying to cultivate instead. It can be as simple as imagining a warm light or color around those areas, flowers growing, standing under flowing water or something else that feels positive and soothing for you. Alternatively you could imagine the kinds of relationships or situations you could be more open to with this space available.

A common question or concern people have is whether this is in some way harmful to whatever your detaching from, and the simple answer is no. You’re only working with your end of the relationship, so there is no danger to anyone else and you’re not invading their personal space. However, depending on the attachment towards you, sometimes after this type of ritual you may experience some form of reconnection being attempted. This is a natural consequence of a change in energy, a form of kinetic response where someone else tuned into this connection may feel the disruption.
For this reason it might be a practice that you repeat over time. As with all cycles it is our human nature to try to tease out exactly where we are (am I building or releasing?) but it is difficult to separate the two. On the conscious level it is hard to grapple with how seemingly opposite processes can occur simultaneously but unconsciously it is easier to understand this truth.

Giving and receiving are also operating on the same continuous loop, so you may also find altruistic acts to be a powerful and important part of releasing.

Giving yourself lots of tender care and rest is essential after any targeted release work, and can sometimes feels more prickly than the cord cutting itself, especially if your life experience didn’t involve a lot of being taken care of. Proceed gently and remember that all that you’re experiencing is a part of the process. 

We are constantly being offered the chance to begin a new cycle if we are willing to receive it 🕸

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