I feel that there is a lot of rhetoric out there about “letting go”. Most that I see getting around shows no empathy and some of it verges on insensitive.
My personal perspective is that “letting go” is not as easy as it’s cracked up to be. I’m not talking about the “missing out on a good car park at Westfield” letting go, I’m talking about the really messed up emotional experience kind. I mean seriously, who goes, “Oh crap <insert the really shitty thing that happened here>. Ok, I let it go.”?!
I am the sort of person who harbours shit around for a really long time. My emotional backpack hasn’t been carry-on baggage size for a while, and I had been dragging that bitch around and analysing its contents for way too long.
I am also super self-aware. I see and feel myself heading into my well known pattern of self-limiting behaviour (AKA self-sabotage) from a mile away. I try to do various positive things in an effort to avoid the emotional crash and outburst of anger, and hopefully (HOPEFULLY!) let go. For example, I go to yoga, meditate, get the courage up to talk about it, put affirmations up everywhere, etc. Not discounting any of these things as I do LOVE all of them, but I tend to feel good briefly and then realise that the pain is still there. In my gut. Dragging me down.
How do I feel when my attempts to keep on a positive path don’t work? Like a failure? Absolutely. And then I start to give myself a hard time and the emotional backpack gets a little bit bigger, because “I can’t sort out my own shit storm.” Is anyone else hearing me?
After years of self-inflicted hurt and shame, the cracks were starting to show. I was investing heavily in trying to understand myself better. I completed The Unstoppable Program, which gave me a taste of what I was seeking. I was feeling stronger but I knew I was on the precipice of another crash.
At Christmas time I was diagnosed with depression (again – but that’s another story). I was pushing my husband away, and I was on a dead set path to destroying my marriage. I love my husband more than anything, but all of this shit I was carrying around with me was provoking me to destroy my own happiness.
My husband has been urging me since we met to do a retreat that he did about 10 years ago. It focusses on emotional understanding and well-being. No logic or psychological science – just pure emotional awareness. I knew I needed to try something different, so I thought, “what the hell?” and signed myself up.
Now I can’t go into what was said or what we did (if you would like more info feel free to email me), but in short, it was a four day emotional roller coaster. At the end of it, I was exhausted, my eyes were puffy from crying so much, I had admitted things to myself and others, which I had tried not to think about for a looong time, and after all of this work, finally I forgave myself and finally, I “let go”.
I let go of my failed first marriage, I let go and forgave for things that happened in my childhood, I let go of the “Poor Little Old Me” attitude I harboured while my husband worked FIFO and my anger towards him, and I forgave myself and let go for a whole heap of shit I have done over the years. Needless to say I ain’t proud of a lot of it, hence the lack of detail.
Now hear this – IT WAS REALLY SUPER DOOPER HARD WORK!!! But at the end of it I felt all shiny and new, and almost reborn for want of a better term. (Note: I have no beef with religion but it was NOT a religious retreat!)
I think there is a lot of hope and promise in letting go. I think it is good for your soul, mind and heart. However I can’t help but think that letting go of emotional trauma is hard work. We all have bad things happen to us. The Buddha was right when he said, “life is suffering”. It took me a long time to find a mechanism to help me let go. And you know what? No number of affirmations in my Instagram feed was going to help me.
To round out this month of kindness I want to encourage you to be nice to yourself. If you have been trying to let go of stuff and it’s still there, yeah it sucks, but that’s ok. You still have time – the power is here in the present. Letting go of the big stuff isn’t easy. If you really want to though, and what you’re doing isn’t helping, you might need to try something different. As the saying goes, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
Don’t give up. Be kind. Give yourself a hug and make a cup of tea and call a friend. Have a chat. And then, after that, have a think about what else you could do if letting go is important to you.
On this note, and in the theme of letting go and being kind to one’s self, I want to wish you all a farewell.
After a couple of months of reflection and deep thinking, adjusting to working life and reprioritising, I have come to the decision to leave The Mummy & The Minx.
I am happy with the decision although there are aspects that I will miss, like all you cute heads who read the posts and say ace things about them! I’ll miss that big time. Most of all though, I will miss working on a common goal with a dear friend of mine who has been there for a very long time. She does not pass judgement on anyone and she is the essence of all that is good in this world. My friend Robyna, is a wonderful person, mum, wife and friend. I know the blog will thrive with this more than capable minx of a woman at its helm.
Much love from a reformed emotional backpacker.