Just Let Go

August 24, 2016


“Just Let Go”

For years, it seems I did not breathe. Moving through my day, I would politely smile, nod, and continue living on the edges of shadows, trying not to be seen. Remarks that were possibly meant to encourage, landed heavy on my heart. Unsolicited comments of what I ‘should’ do mixed with ‘what are you waiting for?’ paralyzed me. In the past, this was a perfect recipe for leaving me speechless with a lump in my throat. I allowed these interactions to take my breath away without even realizing it. As I sit and think about it, there are words and tones that still leave me frozen at times today.

Looking back through my memories, I realized that they were not real conversations I had at all. They were layers of pointed observations and demands. It was a long and well-choreographed dance that took years in the making. It was a verbal dance where I surrendered the lead to a more dominant partner, quickly ending any hope for a thoughtful conversation. Out of fear, I would instantly withdraw and retreat into my shadow where I buried my thoughts, beliefs, and dreams. I held my breath, lowered my eyes and carried on with my day. Quietly, I placed my dreams on a shelf where they remained hidden and locked away. Once everything was safely shuttered away, I was able to squeak out a breath as I hid myself from sight.

For many years I lived this way. I tried to follow other’s expectations so I would please them. I thought I would ‘play nice’ and submit to their way of life. I continued to extinguish my light and my voice, in order to fall in line behind the reasoning of, “Because I said so, “, “Just do as you are told,”, and “That’s not what I told you to do. “

On the outside, sometimes I was the agreeable, always happy to help kind of friend. Sometimes I was the stubborn ‘right fighter’, angry at every injustice. But on the inside, hidden away from almost everyone, I was sad, scared, confused, angry, and I desperately wanted someone to know what I was feeling. I wanted someone to understand me. I wanted someone to see me for who I am and to love me without conditions. I wanted someone to look into my eyes and hold my hand, letting me know that I was not alone. I longed for someone to someone to ask me what I thought, what I wished for, what I dreamed of. I wanted to trust someone with my heart, even though it was locked so far away. I wanted to laugh a real laugh, even though at times I felt I could not even smile. I didn’t want to pretend anymore. I was tired and worn. I didn’t want to hold up the façade of ‘having it all together’. However, I was too afraid to let anyone all the way in, including myself.

It took time to see and understand what had been going on. I had spent many late nights with my inner circle and in silence with my journals peeling back the layers of memories so I could look within. There were countless meditations and years of self-exploration. It took time to let go of what I had no control of. I began to learn to love myself. However, it was the understanding of two little words and the immense power that they hold, that helped to change my life. It is the power of Yes and No.

It was learning the power of Yes and No that helped me recollect my soul pieces, thoughts, and esteem that had been lost and even shattered along my way. By saying YES to me, to my heart, to my hopes and dreams, and to so many new experiences, I was able to begin to decide what I wanted in my life. Do I want to be happy? Do I want to experience love and adventure? Do I want to stretch my wings and fly to new heights and set goals for MY dreams? Of course I do, so I answered YES.

The word NO is quite powerful in its own right. This word helped me create healthy boundaries and fortified my resolve and independence from within. It is an important ally when restructuring my needs, wants, and desires. Do I want to be frozen in fear? Do I want to allow others to speak for me when they don’t even understand what is in my heart of hearts? Do I want to live in an unhealthy relationship simply because it is the way it had always been? No, of course not. Finding the strength to speak this word with conviction took some time. However, even when my voice trembled and I stuttered, I still said it NO to what was hurting my heart. I just let go. I said no to what hurt me. I said yes to what made my heart sing.

Was this easy? No. Did it have consequences? Yes. Did I continue to live my life in the shadows? No. Did my life change for the better? Yes, absolutely. Now, of course it wasn’t as simple as yes and no. There was a lot of hard work behind the decisions and not every choice was perfect. However, to begin this process, I needed to believe that I deserved to be happy. I needed to learn that I have gifts and thoughts to share with others. There were lots of emotions and soul searching as well. And yes, I did part ways with some people. Looking back, it needed to be done. People come into our lives to help teach lessons so we can learn from them. That is a given. Reflecting back, letting go of different people and circumstances was a tough thing to do. They were also wise choices and I am grateful for the experiences I had, both positive and negative.

Life is messy and untamed. It is a balance between light and shadow. It is a call to our truth. It is knowing when to surrender. It is understanding the difference between being in the flow of the rushing water and being whisked away by the current. It is being soft when we must gather the strength for battle. It is the strength to have courage to be vulnerable. It is the gift of giving ourselves the permission to be who we are when we listen to our heart. It is not allowing others to have the power over us to tell us otherwise. It is trusting ourselves enough to just let go and be free to be who we are. It is saying yes when we mean yes. It is saying no when we mean no. We must be kind to ourselves. We must talk to ourselves gently and with compassion and love. When we do, we show others how to talk to us and treat us. Our lives can take on a whole new meaning when we learn to live this way. And yes, you deserve it. It takes time. We will make mistakes. To live our lives the way we wish to live them is worth all of the ups and downs. We simply must learn to speak up. We must learn to love ourselves. We must learn to trust and just let go.

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