Time Stopped: what Miss Havisham taught us about letting go


Miss Havisham is a character in Charles Dickens’ ‘Great Expectations’, famous for being jilted by her groom-to-be on their wedding day.

Havisham receives a telegram at 8:40am on the day in question, letting her know that her betrothed will not marry her.

What does Havisham do after this rude rejection? She decides to stop time in that precise moment, 8:40am.

She chooses to continue to experience the humiliation of being left on her wedding day. She becomes that moment, and as a result, cannot move forward into her life and create anything different.

Remaining dressed in her wedding finery, she leaves the wedding feast and cake laid out for the celebration that never happened. Years go by, many of them, and Havisham stays right where she is, at 8:40am on that fateful day.

Like real people, the characters in ‘Great Expectations’ have high hopes and big dreams, some of which don’t come true because of the character’s unwillingness to let go of what’s in the way of those dreams.

This is a powerful reminder, and helpful warning, to the rest of us.

By letting go of the past in order to have space for the present and future, by letting go of the hurt and pain rather than becoming it, you free up your energy. Let go of what has been ‘real’ so that you can create something else that you want to make real instead.

Too often we become convinced that we’re incapable, weak, or unable to change the course of events. But everything begins with energy, and once you decide to learn the language of energy and work with it in your life, you are able to change the ‘inevitable’.

There is no guarantee that happiness will visit your door, or that good luck and fortune will come your way. Unless, that is, you decide to have it, to welcome it in, to allow it.

One of the best ways you can do that is to learn to let go of energy that is in your way.

How do you know when you’re holding onto something that isn’t yours?

Are you feeling stuck? Unable to step out of a rut? Feeling pressured to move ahead, yet guilty or fearful about doing so? Are you not getting what you want, no matter how hard you try? Are you always tired, especially after being around people who drain you?

You may be picking up everyone else’s energy, and haven’t given yourself permission to release it yet. If you’re holding onto energy that isn’t yours, or isn’t in present time with where you’re at, you’ll get bogged down and stuck in the past, unable to summon up the energy to move forward.

There won’t be enough space for your brave new future, if you don’t make room for it.

Another reason I find predictions pointless is that you have a choice in the matter of your own future.

When someone asks me to make a prediction about whether they’ll have what they want in their lives, I ask them, “Will you? Are you willing to let go of whatever is in the way of having what you want?”

How about you? Do you choose to believe in predicted fate, instead of your own spirit’s ability to create the future?

If you choose to believe what others say about your future, you’ll get just that – whatever you allow to come in, unconsciously. It’s so much easier to decide to step up and have your own life your way. Yes, there is some work to do, but it’s worth it.

Sometimes it’s hard work, because you have to choose to let go of whatever is holding you back, even if it’s familiar. However difficult your work is for you, I’ll bet it’s a lot easier than living in the past. We all have Miss Havisham to thank for that reminder.