Hey–do you struggle with being unable to let go of old patterns, holding onto the past and feeling afraid of the future? ME TOO! #anxietystruggles
Someone dear to me is dealing with a life-threatening illness, and I desperately wish I could take away her fear, just ball it up and throw it into the street where it would dissolve and wash away in the rain. I want to help her feel stronger moving forward, but she’s yearning to “go back to normal” and be her old self again, trapped in fear, feeling paralyzed, because what does moving forward mean? What’s going to happen next? It breaks my heart because I can’t fix it for her. Sometimes we make the choice to move forward, sometimes life pushes us forward kicking and screaming.
I’m attempting to create a new nighttime and morning ritual that calms my mind instead of numbs it (which means getting off of my smart phone instead of falling down a google rabbit hole until 1 in the morning every night or waking up to Facebook every morning). I’ve started trying some meditation and journaling before bed, and the other night as I was reading one of my new favorite books, The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo, I came upon the following passage on letting go (because somehow this book always knows what I need to hear):
“I can see now that the real challenge of surrender, for all of us, is not just letting go–but letting go of something we yearn for…for though we stubbornly cling, believing in our moment of hunger that there is no other possibility of love, we only have to let go of what we want so badly and our life will unfold. For love is everywhere.”
We cling to what we yearn for: love from this person, security from this thought process, safety in familiar patterns, acceptance from people we think we need. We cling to who we’ve been because we don’t know yet who we will be. Since we don’t know what that looks like, we stubbornly hold tight to what is familiar, even if it hurts us to do so, something that no longer serves us. Something that holds us back. Something that tells us, “What’s coming is not safe! You can’t let go!” Believe me when I say that if I were to write my autobiography right this second, that would be the title.
After reading that passage I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and wrote down the following:
You are held too tightly.
The letting go of who you were to become who you are.
The letting go of who you know others to be to become who they are.
And love every version.
You desperately want back the person you knew before. But this is still you. Still them.
Accept who you are now, who they are now. A caterpillar in a cocoon. A flower in bloom. Emerging again and again, the same but MORE, in every stage of life.
I’d love for you to share something you struggle to let go of in the comments below. I promise you: you’re not alone.