When I was about 17 years old, I was working with a therapist (the 3rd one to attempt to help me out during this very difficult stage of my life). I wasn’t too fond of her, I didn’t feel like she really got me. I always felt too embarrassed to talk about the events of my life at that time, because they mostly involved drama among friends, sex and partying (at least, those were the events that were triggering challenging thoughts and emotions).
So I kept the details to a minimum and did my best to keep it together during our sessions (i.e. not cry). One time, after I talked in length about my parent’s divorce, she came to a conclusion and announced “Michele, I think you need to learn to let things go”.
Let things ago?! Excuse me?! Who does this b*tch think she is??
I was so freaking insulted. But I was raised to be polite and I hated any form of conflict or confrontation (still do to this day – working on that though 😌), so I casually nodded even though I was fuming on the inside.
She went on to suggest that I read a book called “The Secret of Letting Go” by Guy Finley. So I bought a copy, probably read a few pages or chapters before deciding that it was too far fetched/didn’t apply to me, and put it away with the rest of my unread self-help books (something I still do to this day🙈)
12 years later, I still have that book, and I still have’t read it.
However I think I finally understand what she meant when she said I needed to let things go. Or at least, I have found a meaning to this idea of letting go.
For me, letting go has been about surrendering. It’s about loosening my grip on how I thought my life was going to be, who I thought I was going to be, where I thought I was going to be at 28. And making room for what is, and for all the other possibilities.
I’m sure that this concept isn’t new to you. In fact it’s not new to met all, at least in theory. I’ve read a million quotes about it. “Life is not about the destination, it’s about the journey”. Yawn. I’ve heard it all before.
But I have never really gotten it. Until today.
I actually started writing this article over 4 weeks ago, but it wasn’t until today that I was flooded with ideas about the exact message that I wanted to convey.
To help you understand exactly what I mean by letting go, and making room for what is, I want to share with you the things I have let go of, and the things I have been exploring.
Some of the things I have (or am still trying to) let go of:
– The idea that at 28 years old, I was supposed to be married, with a house and have children on the way
– Working full time and making a six digit salary
– Having a crazy fit body with 12% body fat
– The need to weight lift 4+ times/week
– Eating a certain number of calories with perfectly proportioned macros
– The fact that I will work as a nurse/nurse practitioner for my whole career
– The need to be perfect at everything that I do, and never change my mind
– The need to prove to everyone (and mostly myself) that I am not depressed, and I am a happy person
Those are honestly just a few, superficial things, I have let go of in the recent months. By doing so, it has given me the time, energy and courage to explore new things. These things, people and experiences have been various- some have felt fantastic, others not so much. And for other things still, I am trying to figure out how I feel about them:
– Going to see Tony Robbin’s Unleash the Power Within in Los Angeles
– Going to a meditation studio and
having coffee with one of the teachers
– Going to a day retreat in Ottawa
– Reducing the intensity of my
– Eating a more whole foods, plant based diet
– Hiring a life coach
– Working with a therapist (like, intensively)
– Deliberately taking 3 months away from work
– Asking for help
– Going speed dating
– Reconnecting with old friends and co-workers
– Connecting with new friends
– Taking up dancing lessons
– Starting my blog, and being freaking
vulnerable on it
– Going to a yoga retreat where I knew no one
– Exploring my sexuality with women
– Signing up at a local hot yoga studio
– Going to an ecstatic dance party,
where I knew no one
– Signing up for a spiritual mastery course
– Deciding to start up my own private practice, just two days a week
– And the list goes on …
That’s a lot of shit. And it’s all over the place.
And honestly, in the last few days and weeks, I have felt a little confused. No, VERY confused. I am feeling more and more lost, about who I am and what I enjoy.
That is something else I am trying to let go of.
The need to make the rest of society feel comfortable by being 100% sure about who I am and what I like. I only feel crazy when I try to conform to the societal norms about the way things are supposed to be.
Guys, I am 28 years old, and I am slowly piecing together my identity. I don’t know exactly who I am, yet. I am not sure exactly what I want, yet.
And that’s fine by me.
I have faith and trust that I will be guided on this beautiful journey called life.
And quite honestly, I’m not even sure that I want to wake up one day and “have it all figured out”. Or “have all my shit together”. I think it would be setting myself up for failure, to pressure myself into feeling 100% sure about every single detail of my identity and my life.
Isn’t that what life is; figuring it out?
I came across this song today, as I was finishing up this blog, and it perfectly represents the message I am trying to convey here.
This song, by Hillsong United, is based on a passage from the Bible (stay with me here😅). Where Peter (a disciple) was called on by Jesus to walk on water, and did so. But as he walked on water, he lost faith, and started sinking. Until he called on Jesus to rescue him. It’s a song about stepping into the unknown, and having faith and trust.
So as you listen to it, I hope it inspires you to surrender to this journey called life. I hope it inspires you to never stop figuring out who you are, to seek new experiences, and to bravely let the rest of that shit go 🙏