Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Learning to Let Go

Last night I shared a delicious dinner with a close friend who the universe seems to bring into my life at pivotal points and who helps me identify and take the next steps forward along my path.

Last night we talked about the pain of what was uncovered in trauma therapy and how at first it suffocated me like an unmovable weight, a shame I was too scared to share with anyone. And then eventually the past experiences began to feel empowering; I saw I wasn't broken because of things that happened my past, I was strong despite these events. 

Now I'm learning to find my voice and use it when I need to speak up about my thoughts or feelings. But my voice is still shy and timing, for fear that if I use it, I might be rejected or left. That if I actually let go and am just be myself, I may look around to find that no one is left standing with me.

He encouragingly told me that one of the most important, if not the singular most important thing to a child is a feeling of safety and acceptance.  I've never felt safe, I have routine nightmares that linger as a result. He told me it was safe to let go and safe to be myself. Safe to shed the 'shoulds' and stop holding everything inside for fear of what the outside world might think of they knew what was underneath.

But the thing is, I don't even know how to start. How do you start being yourself? How do you get your verbal words and physical actions to align with your true feelings on the inside? The truth of who I am gets distorted as it tries to make its way out into the world. It is incredibly hard to just live as you, without twisting yourself into a pretzel, trying to create some version of your truth that is perceived as more acceptable.

The thing about twisting yourself into a pretzel too much is that eventually you snap. It adds resistance and difficulty to every day life. Imagine the freedom that must come with letting go and letting it flow. Not spending energy on worrying what people will think or how it will land. Letting go of the pursuit of perfection and letting flow the pursuit of being yourself.

Living self-care, empathy, connectedness, vulnerability, and authenticity in each moment is the only healthy way to move forward, but it takes a lot of effort to learn how to put down the weight of expectations, perfection, acceptance, and fear of not being good enough.

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