This is part 1 to an (x) – part series; different perspectives you can take on letting go. My hope is that one will fit your situation and resonate with your heart.
I often think back to the phases of my life thus far.
People over the years have commented on how I’ve changed, but I prefer to think of it more as – peeling away the bullshit.
Why do we talk about change in a such a negative light, anyways? Like – she’s changed. With that snarky tone. Like change is so inconvenient for the people uninvolved.
If I didn’t change, I’d be dead. Maybe not physically… but my soul would have been strangled by all of my wrong pursuits.
So, in hindsight, I had to change. I had to bring about some minor chaos into my life in order to come out better on the other side. In order to be one upset closer to who I really am.
I just recently heard that in Ayurvedic medicine (the sister science to yoga) they encourage picking at a wound; getting rid of the scab, the blood, the other stuff, until you’re left with the raw wound. It’s the only way to truly heal, by peeling back everything that gets in the way and addressing the wound itself. Starting fresh, in a sense.
When you’re inflicting change in your life (or it’s being inflicted for you), it can very much so feel like scratching at a wound. It’s uncomfortable. It’s messy. Painful. Uncertain. Makes you a little nauseous. But you can’t help but do it.
Sometimes change is so inevitable that it’s heartbreaking. Think; a surprise end to a close relationship. An unprepared end to a job that you thought was going well. Sometimes it even includes muddying the waters of your faith; removing you from a tribe that you thought you’d be in for the rest of your life. Because sometimes God breaks your heart in order to save your soul.
Sometimes, change even causes you to sort of hate what you’ve changed from. I believe this is the truest form of healing. When you become antagonistic towards the very thing you used to think you couldn’t live without; you’ve officially found a way to move on.
Mark Manson (author of the book the subtle art of not giving a f*ck) talked about this concept in a podcast with Aubrey Marcus. He referenced smokers… When you’re a smoker you need smoking. You can’t function without it.
But when you quit smoking, you find yourself becoming very opposed to smokers. He even went as far as saying that he, himself used to be a smoker and now he thinks smokers are selfish and ignorant.
Everything about smoking bothers ex-smokers; the smell of smoke that they used to wear like perfume. The absurd cost that they used to willingly pay. The nauseating buzz that they used to crave.
He became antagonistic to the thing that used to consume him.
Think about the last important relationship that ended in your life? You were close, right? You maybe couldn’t see a future without this person along for the ride.
But now… that you’ve started to heal… you can’t wrap your head around how you ever allowed this person to be a part of your life.
Think about the things you hate. The concepts that make you angry. The places that make your skin crawl. The people that make your heart drop into your butt.
Were any of them at one point in time.. a part of you?
Could it be true that the reason you’re antagonist towards those aspects of your life is because you’ve healed from them? You’ve peeled back so many layers of yourself through your change and healing process that – the person you are today couldn’t possibly understand engaging in any of the people, places, things that used to be everything to you.
It’s definitely an interesting perspective to take and sort of a litmus test to knowing where you’re at in regards to things that have caused you hurt.
I used to be big on church. Like, big. I was killing myself to impress pastors and “higher ups” in the church. I buried aspects of myself that were deemed as unclean. I wrongly invested my time, my skills, my money. How do I know it was a wrong investment? Because the return that I received was… void.
As I’m healing from my experience with church, I’ve become very antagonistic towards your stereotypical christian. I still believe in God and to be honest, my faith is stronger than ever. But it looks very different. My view on church is also very different.
Most think I’m just bitter and angry. Both of which are still true. But my antagonism comes from a place much more valuable than bitterness or anger… it comes from growth. From not being ignorant to people’s true intentions. To opening my eyes to the power influence has over people’s hearts.
I had to become antagonistic towards the thing that used to be intricately woven into my bones. It’s not a part of my life anymore so why would I spend any energy on trying to make sense of why or who or what. The growth I’ve gained, however, is something that no one can take away from me.
People, places, things can shake your peace. Your faith. Your sense of security. They can bleed you dry and wipe you clean of everything that you have to give. But they cannot take away what you gain in moving on.
I get it – it’s also wasteful to spend energy antagonizing things. But I’ve found that it is next to impossible to find a way to feel emotionally neutral towards anything – when you don’t let yourself feel the agony.
Sometimes in my yoga class, towards the end, when the students are physically and mentally worn out – I ask them to curl up into a little ball on their backs and get mad; clench their fists, squeeze their legs, grit their teeth. Why, you ask? Would you inflict stress IN a yoga class? Because tasting it for yourself is the only way you can appreciate the sweet release of letting it go… After an inhale of stress, I ask them to exhale and drop everything to the mat. You can feel the release in the room – people actually let something go through getting mad. Even just for a breath.
So get mad.
About whatever it is that’s hard to let go. Oppose it, if you have to.
Because through opposing what ISN’T you (anymore) – you will learn to love what is. When you love yourself, truly – you can then love others.
There’s nothing wrong with getting angry. It’s even biblical (to drive the church reference home). God, Jesus, David, Moses all got angry. It’s your intention and the actions that follow your anger that make all the difference.
It’s an odd, beautiful cycle that starts with your perspective on your hurt and your willingness to open your mind to letting it go.