A few days ago I introduced a series I’m planning to share based on a meme I saw. I’ve been on a two year journey of being more in love with myself that really came to a head in June of this year. Since this blog has always been about providing my readers with suggestions on how to live a better and more simplistic life, I hope you can gain some insight on how moving to the center of loving yourself can open the doors to a calmer and simple life.
Since I actually wrote a post about the first point on the list – forgiveness – a week or so ago, I’m going to jump ahead to the second: Let Go.
Oh. Boy. This one was fun. Let me tell you why:
I can hold a grudge. And holding a grudge is so freaking unhealthy. But also, I realized in this journey that I also held some limiting beliefs that I also needed to let go of in order to create my authentic and simple life. I share a few with you today in hopes that my experience can open your heart to some new mindsets for your own personal journey to loving yourself more.
- The past is the past. Man. This sounds simple, doesn’t it? This was one I really needed to embrace in order to let go of some wounds I kept picking at from time to time. I had to have a serious conversation with my partner about how toxic bringing up the past was for us and how I just wanted to lay it to rest. This included calling someone to apologize because I had held a grudge for nearly 30 years based on my own story of how the past played out. I also had to forgive myself for things I had done because, well, it’s not as if we can change the past, right? I came to terms with the fact that my past actions and my past experiences were based on the skills and beliefs I had at the time. Now that I have better skills I can be a better person. I’m sure when I’m 60 I will look back on the past decade and still wish I had handled some things differently, but that’s what personal growth is all about, right? Becoming a better human?
- Let go of limiting beliefs. I became a Christian in 1993 and for many years held these limiting beliefs about what I should be in my relationships because of expectations from the Church. When I let go of these beliefs – and, in all transparency, let go of the Church – I started focusing on what my friends and lover needed most from me and I from them. As I did this I realized many of my beliefs were holding me back from having authentic connections. I am not a submissive soul and trying to be one all the time was making me crazy and making me feel inauthentic. The less I focused on ‘being submissive’ and the more focused I became to yielding to others, I found my relationships to be more balanced. I think, in my brain, it was all about semantics, honestly. A quiet little shift and the acknowledgement of this was profound.
- Stop caring about what others think. You’d think that at my age I’d really not give a fuck about what others think, but I still do to some degree. But, not as much as I used to and that’s a starting point. I know I reference this Ted Talk a lot but it serves as a reminder that I only have so many fucks to give and I need to budget them wisely. Oddly…when I just let go and started “being myself” I started to draw to me some really great people and the ones I didn’t need in my life started to fade away. I also think, personally, that everyone should read Brene Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection because she speaks to this idea of living a “wholehearted life”. When I stopped caring so much about what others thought, I began to feel like I was living more wholeheartedly.
- Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries. You know where my personal boundaries go awry? Saying ‘yes’ when I really want to say ‘no’. I’ve gotten better since I started employing a little tactic I learned in therapy. When I start to say ‘yes’ to something I really don’t want to do, I simply say “Wow, that’s sounds interesting. Let me think about it.” or something similar to that. It gets me off the hook for a few moments so I can collect my thoughts and consider how to effectively break the news that no…I ain’t gonna/don’t wanna do that thing/commitment/assignment, etc.
- Opening up and being transparent. I started posting these 8-10 minute, come-as-I-am-totally-unrehearsed videos on my Fake-Book page most weekdays and I’ve just started being myself. I simply have let go of the idea that if people knew how dark and twisty I can be, if they knew I battle depression, anxiety, and insomnia, if they knew how messy I can be – then they wouldn’t like me. Guess what? I’ve actually grown closer to some of my friends and repaired more than one relationship because I let go and got real.
Now, some of you may have all your shit together and this little post won’t resonate with you at all. Okay. Well. Thank you for reading anyway. I am happy to have the blog stats increased. But, for some of you…I hope you know that letting go is so vital to loving yourself. I found cognitive behavior therapy to be really helpful in replacing negative thoughts and beliefs with healthier choices, so that, too, might be helpful for you.
As always, I’m going to leave you with a song by P!nk because, well, who doesn’t love a hot, talented, foul-mouthed artist? I certainly do.
And I have some questions for you:
What do you need to let go of in order to live a more simple and authentic life? What limiting beliefs are holding you back from being your true self and loving yourself? Do you think some of your relationships will suffer and eventually die if you started to let go a little? And if so, is that okay? On the other hand…do you think some of your relationships would grow deeper if you let go of the past and just moved forward with today being ground zero?