Review: “Lighter -Let Go of the Past, Connect with the Present, and Expand the Future” by Yung Pueblo

I am sharing with you today a part of the book I got last week, “Lighter” by Yung Pueblo. It is awesome and I would recommend it to anyone going through heavy shit they need to let go of.

“In Lighter, Yung Pueblo demonstrates how we can all move forward in our healing, from learning self-compassion to letting go to becoming emotionally mature. As the heaviness falls away, our minds will finally stop feeling overburdened with tension and we’ll be able to reconnect with the present.”

I got this book late last week and finished reading it yesterday, I just couldn’t put it down!

As I have learned over the past few years of being bullied by toxic tenants from my last workplace, I had to control my reactions to their antics with and the other sites they created, as that was my way out of the trauma I was in. I made things harder on myself by letting my emotions get away from me…

I got stuck in the reactive loop for over 2 years, during the 19-month process of HRTO, thinking that if I told them how I felt and what their actions were doing to my mental health, they would have enough compassion to stop. If I showed them their thinking was skewed, they would come to see I was just doing my job, it wasn’t personal towards them. I had to accept that these individuals didn’t care so I had to stop talking to them and trying to explain my perspectives.

As this book says, instead I had to lean on my own power and remove myself from the harm they were causing me. I got off the loop and it was hard to do after so long…

Once the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) process was over in January 2020, with the dismissal of their applications when they didn’t show up for the hearing, I knew I had to make a drastic change to help myself move forward. I left Ontario and got away from the situation completely. Since then, I have been working on changing myself and how I react to the toxic tenant’s actions with their domains, every single day. Every day, I get better at it!!

Have a look at the excerpt below and if you think you would benefit from this book, let me know.

Many of us believe that other people are causing all our internal stress and tension. And if they changed, the thought goes, our lives would be radically improved. We fail to recognize the trouble we cause ourselves. If the people around you changed, that would certainly be helpful, but that is not something you have control over, especially if the person around you is seriously harmful. You can’t force them to change. In these situations, it is best to lean on your own power and remove yourself from the harm that is coming your way. No matter what you may say to them, only they can make a change. And their change can only come from within. You can serve to inspire, but you cannot walk the path for anyone else.

Thinking that the sole source of your stress is external is an illusion, one that we all fall for until we turn our awareness inward and pay close attention to the way our mind moves. People can certainly do mean or harmful things to us, but the way we perceive and react to what is happening lies within our own mind. The intensity of our reaction sets the tone of our stress level: the bigger the reaction, the greater the stress. If our past has been full of stress, that can cause our stress reaction to become much more easily triggered. When that happens, seemingly small things can cause wildly disproportionate stress reactions.

The biggest improvement to your life will come from you changing yourself. Since the amount of stress you experience depends on the intensity of your reaction, the only solution that is within your control is changing yourself. Constantly pointing the finger at other people will never make your stress go away. Your only route to happiness is developing greater self-awareness, combined with more wisdom regarding the human condition. Part of letting go is recognizing that we are a function of our past. As a result, our emotional whims normally have great power over what we think, say, and do. Often, what other people do has very little to do with us and a lot to do with how they currently feel and the density of the emotional history they themselves carry.

Everything changes when you realize that the challenge itself isn’t the toughest part — it is your reaction to the challenge that is filling your mind with tension and struggle. Before you can set yourself free, you first need to understand how you make things harder for yourself. Many of us do not realize how we get stuck in a reactive loop, always allowing external events to dictate how we feel, without fully accepting that our real power emerges from training our minds to observe. If you spent more time observing than reacting, you would start to notice how the absence of reaction also means the absence of tension. The absence of reaction is essentially a profound ability to let go. If you spent your whole life reacting, don’t expect your ability to observe to become perfectly honed overnight. It takes time and intention to break a habit that has been repeated countless times.

Letting go of the passive belief that you don’t have power over your mental situation is critical.

The greatest lever that affects your mood is reaction. Reaction to not feeling good makes you feel worse. Reaction to disliking something pushes you into anger. Reaction creates the fire of a tumultuous mind and then continuously feeds that fire, making it hotter and all-encompassing. When you understand how much of your inner troubles are based on uncontrolled reactions, you start to see how managing your reactions can help you improve your life. Managing reactions does not mean suppressing emotions. Being thoroughly honest with yourself means embracing all your emotions without rejecting those that are harder to feel. Managing your reactions does ask you to develop a more subtle understanding of what happens in your mind when things get tough.

Normally, when our emotions come up, we allow them to overcome us, and we then become them. We let the intense emotion take the reins and govern our perception and behavior. Managing our reactions means being aware when a tough emotion has appeared and understanding that even if we have an initial reaction, we do not need to keep feeding that reaction. We can honor the fact that the emotion is there without fully becoming it. Instead of throwing more fire onto it, we focus on observing it and remind ourselves that this emotion will change, eventually, as all things do. The biggest asset to personal transformation is awareness.

Once you turn your attention inward, you will start to see more options than just repeating the past. It is easy to overcomplicate letting go, but it is simply a matter of cultivating your ability to see yourself clearly. If you cannot see yourself, then there is no other option but to continue reacting the way you have before. But being able to perceive that subtle space and pull yourself out of incessant reactions makes a huge difference. Being able to notice the initial reaction and then take your time to intentionally assess what is happening within helps you respond peacefully by observing your momentary emotions as opposed to getting swallowed up by them.

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