Life is such a delicate balance between holding on and letting go, as Rumi once said.
Do you struggle with knowing what to hold onto and what to let go of?
More often than not, we tend to hold onto people, possessions, and habits that are draining away our energy.
The delightful Ms. Carolyn Myss, world-renowned medical intuitive and best-selling author of a number of books including, Anatomy of the Spirit, said it best: “We only have a specific amount of energy per day. If we have $100 worth of energy and we expend it all on things that do not return on our investment then we end up with an energetic debt. If we keep making this debt larger, eventually our own body tissues will have to cover the difference. This is how we end up getting sick.”
I have done a pretty good job throughout my life with balancing my bank account between deposits and withdrawals. But I have not been as good with energy deposits and withdrawals, so I did get sick.
As I have been building the bridge back to my healthy self, which was the genesis of Myndzen, I discovered that choosing to let go of some beliefs and attitudes that I held did wonders for my physical and emotional health. Over the course of my journey, I have experienced such beautiful warmth and joy from letting go of perfectionism, taking things personally, comparisons, the need for others’ approval, and other beliefs and actions that were eating away at my happiness and well-being.
However, there were three behaviors that have been very difficult for me to let go of because they camouflaged themselves in altruistic costumes. Not until this year did I realize their truly toxic nature.
As we are preparing to say good-bye to yet another year, I invite you to join me in letting go of the following:
- Putting up with people you cannot depend on
Nobody is perfect, by any means, and we should always be willing to give the ones we love the benefit of the doubt. However, there is a lot of negative energy connected to people in our lives who are chronically unreliable and never take responsibility for it. I used to think of myself as a kinder person for letting dear ones off the hook who forgot a commitment they had made to me, changed our plans at the last minute, or showed up a day late and a dollar short the one time I needed their support.
But the ultimate act of kindness is to be true and respectful to ourselves first in order to be able to extend the same courtesy to others. Ultimately, if I cannot rely on you, that means that I cannot trust you and that is not conducive to creating safety between us. And a lack of safety in relationships is a significant risk factor for our health.
So, if you are holding on to any relationships in your life with people you cannot depend on, I invite you to love them, hug them, kiss them good-bye, and let them go!
- Being the Mother Teresa of wounded souls
Somewhere in between my being “anxiously attached” in childhood and being enamored with the “high” of external approval, I found myself making an energetically draining choice over and over again in my life: I embraced and extended refuge and love to fellow humans who as adults still carried unresolved wounds from their past.
It is truly heartbreaking to imagine that any child suffers traumas inflicted by people they depend on.
I have chosen to work as a Court-Appointed Child Advocate to serve as a voice for abused children. But there is a vast difference between volunteering to protect the rights of innocent child victims of abuse and putting up with absolutely unacceptable behavior from adults because they still carry wounds from their past, which they are not willing to own up to and let go.
Empathy and compassion are wonderful virtues, but there is a fine line between empathizing about someone’s unfortunate past and letting them get away with entitlement, exploitation, empathy impairment, or projecting their pain on you. (These are the hallmarks of Narcisistic personality disorder-the ultimate manifestation of unresolved wounds!)
The bottom line is this—hurt people hurt other people. So, if you still have people in your life that often behave in unkind ways and are not accountable for their behavior because of how they were treated in their past—do yourself a massive favor and let them go.
- Living with illusions and lies
Human nature is such that, at times, we like to believe in fairy tales, mostly to protect ourselves from facing realities that we do not really want to face.
We create a story that nurtures and justifies an illusion, living in denial about how we actually play a big part in betraying ourselves.
But deep down we know when we are telling ourselves a lie—like sticking to a relationship that is not honoring our spirit, or working at a company or in an industry that is not aligned with our values.
Why is it hard to identify illusions? Because we are scared!
If we did not grow up in an environment conducive to developing a healthy sense of self-worth, we keep one eye closed so we can get what we think we need, settling for crumbs and endeavors that are offensive to our soul.
Many statistics reflect our challenge with identifying illusions: The percent of infidelity in relationships and the incidence of alcoholism and other escape tactics are just a few.
Trust me, I know how hard it is to let go of the lies we tell ourselves and how uncomfortable it feels to be in free fall, detached from the stories that were part of us for so long.
But here are a couple of reminders to aid you in this magical act of letting go out of kindness for yourself.
- Fear is also an illusion—95% of the things we worry about never actually happen.
- We can increase our self-worth by the choices we make. When we start treating ourselves like we are worthy of all things great in life and no longer settle for fairy tales that drain our soul, we increase our self-worth, one nerve connection at a time.
If a person, a job, a friend, or a situation does not contribute to your values and your mission in life, and you realize that you are keeping them in your life because of a fairy tale you have been telling yourself, offer them a beautiful bunch of flowers and let them go.
We are about to enter a new beginning, a brand new year.
This new year can be amazing for you.
This could be the year that you make your dreams come true!
Or this new year could be disappointing.
The one certainty is that it is you who will determine how the year goes. You are worthy of love and belonging and goodwill and acts of kindness and all great experiences that allow your nervous system to remain in optimal balance supporting your health and well-being.
But choosing carefully and following through with whom and what you need to let go of is critical for the trajectory of your happiness in this new year and beyond.
Happy New Year!