It's never so bad that it couldn't be worse. --Madeline Miller
This was one of my mother's regular utterances. Any journey into self-pity or discouragement would be met with that phase and specific examples designed to make me let go of my issues because things could be so much worse. Really, even now, when I look around, it's easy to see those who truly do have it much worse.
Spiritual director Caroline Oakes refers to "Jesus’ formula for waking up... his practice for deepening the soul’s awareness of and attunement with our innermost essence, the Divine within, as one of pause and release and return." I find that this is what I have been doing lately when I head down the path of negativity. I stop, bring my focus back to my breath, let the negative stuff go, and return to gratitude (my recent breathing mantra of grateful (inhale), breath (exhale)).
I really like this mirror analogy on letting go by angel Kyodo williams:
We can see the thoughts that come up in our minds the same way a mirror “sees” things. A mirror just notices. It registers whatever passes in front of it without holding on to it in any way. It just lets go. It doesn’t think about it or have a long conversation about it. Since the mirror doesn’t cling to the object that it is reflecting, when the object goes, so does the reflection. It’s the same way with your mind. We don’t hold on to the random thoughts that arise over and over again in our minds and that can take us away from the full experience of now. We want to be aware only of our breath and nothing else. The moment that we become aware that a thought has taken form, we just relax and allow it to pass. We just notice the thoughts and we return to our breath. If nothing grabs onto the thoughts as they arise, they will keep on moving on, leaving no trace that they were ever there. Let your mind be like the mirror. Clear mirror, clear mind.