Tag Archives for " Letting go "

Surrender and Release

This week I had a major epiphany related to some emotions that I’ve been repressing for many, many years. I set an intention that I really wanted to dig deeply into the emotional components of some pain that I’ve been experiencing and woah: Be careful what you wish for! Within days of setting the intention, things really began to move and shake.

We hold our unexpressed emotions in our bodies and so when we repress them over time, they can eventually manifest as illness or chronic pain. We can release the patterns, but if we don’t take care of the underlying emotional cause of the discomfort, the pattern will return or it will show up in a different way. Emotions are our ultimate truth-tellers and at the simplest level what they really want is to be acknowledged and heard.

Sometimes this can take years of unraveling. For some time now, I have been aware that I hold anger in my wrists and hands, and I’ve done a lot of work to release it (it has manifested as carpal tunnel syndrome). I’ve journaled, screamed, punched pillows, cried and done tons of energy work. I’ve uncovered some of the patterns and changed the way that I use my hands and wrists, honoring them by no longer engaging in the physical actions that compound the pain. And while they have improved dramatically, there are still a few layers of constriction and resistance in them that are calling out to be heard.

Spirit has a really great way of presenting things to us in a manner that allows for them to unfold organically if we allow for it. And so a situation arose for me that forced me to take a look below the surface of my reaction to an opportunity that had arisen for me. Thanks to a wonderful accountability partner who helped me to follow the clues back to their origin, I was able to understand some things on a very deep level. I was able to see how I’ve had a pattern of simultaneously feeling out of control while attempting to maintain or wrestle control with respect to the way I interact in the world.

The short of it is that I felt compelled to overachieve and compete and be the “best of” everything that I did growing up (and if I wasn’t really damn good at something, I just wouldn’t do it). And I remember all the way back to my childhood waking up with my fists clenched in tight balls. I walked away from the competitive lifestyle many years ago because it became too much for me: I was injured and in pain mentally, emotionally, and physically, and I knew that I just couldn’t do it anymore. It’s taken years to fully step away and I still notice old habits of thinking that pop up now and then, though I can usually step through them pretty quickly. I still hadn’t really felt the emotions that I needed to feel, though, going all the way back to my childhood.

Post-epiphany, I had really intense dreams and I woke up with my right fist tightly clenched. Immediately I set about taking some steps to surrender. I unclenched it and began to breathe. I journaled and I prayed and I turned it over to Spirit. I have a lot to dig through with this still. I can feel the discomfort even now now beginning to rise. But I am aware that being uncomfortable is a blessing. If I can just move through it, I can get to the other side where there is relief and a softening that feels really, really sublime.

Right now I’m working on being the best me that I can be and that is enough. I am enough, even and especially as-is, and I am empowering myself every day to be just a little stronger, wiser, and compassionate than I was the day before.

When we can become aware of what is beneath the surface and work with it in a kind and honorable manner, we are able to release not just our pain, but we are also able to create a stronger foundation of understanding upon which we can thrive.

Making Magic

I hang onto stuff. I cling to things that I think I may need one day. This can be something physical, such as a coat, a dish or a book, or it can be something abstract, such as emotions, thoughts, patterns of behavior or a relationship. I hang onto things because I worry about what will happen if I don’t have them, and because I may need them to fulfill some vague need in the future. I also resist releasing them because my thinking comes from a place of lack rather than abundance. Paradoxically, this reluctance to let things go has kept me trapped in that place of not-enough because I don’t make space for the free flow of energy. I have had moments of purging throughout my life, and I have made it a point to live much more simply, but although I have sort of superficially given this some thought, I’ve never really dug down into the nitty-gritty of it. And then yesterday I had one of those moments, an emotional and spiritual relapse of sorts that forced me to recognize that I am only ever one step away from doing something completely out of alignment with who I am because I am still tethered to the strings of something I haven’t released.

Last year could probably be defined for me as “the year of creating boundaries.” I had to do this because of my habit of hanging onto things that no longer serve my highest good or that of the other person involved. Fear keeps me locked into relationships that I convince myself are beneficial, when really they are a place of stagnation – my ego’s way of keeping me small. That’s not to say there hasn’t been any good in those relationships; rather, it’s an acknowledgment that fear has played its role in me not allowing those relationships to take a different, more healthy course.

For many years, I had a lot of old relationships that I kept alive in my mind and that I was able to revive with the expansion of the internet. This has been both a blessing and a curse. Bringing these connections back to life filled in all of the little holes that I didn’t know existed but that riddled my soul. Just like a cigarette or a drink, making a connection with one of these people could stuff some cotton into a hole so that I wouldn’t have to feel what was really going on.

Over the past several years, I have been trying to let go of old beliefs and patterns, but I realize now that I’ve been doing it from a place of obligation. I recognized that I had to do these things, and so I would, but sort of begrudgingly. I perceived that letting go would be good for me karmically, and I’m tired of spinning the same wheels over and over again. I was also aware that it would be good for me and the other person involved because a lot of these relationships had an element of toxicity in them.  And finally, I knew that it was the right thing to do for any other people in the equation. Knowing all of this was enough to push me in the direction I needed to go, but it wasn’t enough for me to really fully digest it.

Yesterday I was given the opportunity to do just this. I am coming out of a wonderful relationship with someone that I love very, very much. It has been a very mature relationship for me, one in which I experienced exponential growth. In fact, I  was shown a completely new way to love someone, and it was such an amazing experience that even though I miss him and love him so, so much, I was able to let him go (for the most part; there’s still some tugging, but if it’s meant to be, it will come back around). For now, the relationship isn’t going in a mutually beneficial direction, so like big kids we agreed to go our separate ways, and we did it really nicely – no deception, no disrespect, no dishonoring.

It’s been a few weeks now and though I’ve shed a lot of tears, I have felt comfortable. And then yesterday, the Universe wanted to know if I was paying attention, and it threw me a little bone, just to see if I would bite. I did. It looked good, just dangling there in front of me. I convinced myself that it was okay, just this one little bite wouldn’t hurt anyone. But deep down I knew that despite how appetizing it looked, it would leave me feeling hollow if I ate it, and I did anyway. I knew all the way through my core that grabbing for the immediate gratification was not going to be satisfying at all, and yet because I was still hanging onto an old belief system, I snagged it anyway. The result was horrible. I could feel its effects on everyone involved, whether they knew about it or not. One plus one still equals two no matter how hard I try to bend the laws of mathematics.

Thankfully, though, I really have made progress, and so instead of retreating to my rabbit hole, I asked myself how I could learn from my actions so that I would not do it again when the occasion arose. I came to a conclusion, and with a confession and the help of a friend, I worked my way through it. The Universe, because it has a great sense of humor and because it still wanted to see if I was paying attention, threw me another bone just a few hours later. Unbelievable! But you know what? I acted completely in alignment with my ideals, and I walked away from the situation empowered and grateful that I was able to take care of myself and that I was able to show respect for another, even though that other had no idea what was going on.

It only occurred to me today that I was in the process of letting go of relationships and entanglements that had given me a false sense of safety and love, and that in doing so I was cultivating faith. And as I was mulling this over in my head, I internalized the notion that faith takes care of everything. I can get rid of the sweater that I like but that I never wear because it scratches my neck, and in doing so I can make room for a sweater that I like and that doesn’t scratch my neck. In the same way, when I let go of relationships and old emotional patterns that no longer serve me, I make way for the new and improved relationships and emotional patterns that nurture me and my growth.

I was able to see this in my body as well, and in the bodies of everyone as we cling to our rigid belief systems. The energetic manifestation of holding onto something old – this stagnation – creates the energy blockages that foment dis-ease in the system and that later manifest as illness in the body. Letting go allows for flow, and that free flow opens the mind, the body and the spirit to something better. It allows us to rest in faith, the knowingness that everything is taken care of and that this Universe is infinite abundance. It is only me and my restrictive thought processes and outmoded ways of feeling that keep me from experiencing that abundance. Letting go creates space for the miracle to happen, and the journey allows the magic to unfold.