prompt: what have you let go of this year and how has it affected you?
i am very very bad at letting go, emotionally and mentally. i live under the mistaken idea that i have limitless space within me to store every memory, every feeling, every story – and to be consciously aware of them all – forever. and you just cannot carry all of these things with you, all of the time. your space and energy are not limitless. this introduction is mostly to say, it would be unfair for me to say i have actually let go. i am in the process of letting go, and for some of the list items i’m further along than others. that is a much more comfortable statement.
i’m letting go of the emotional impact of the explosion of several important relationships that occurred in 2009. you’ll think i’ve held on too long to this, but please go have a second look at that intro paragraph. i’ve been holding onto anger and hurt and a resulting coldness – and i finally don’t feel a need for it anymore. i don’t wish to allow these people to change who i am.
i’m letting go (with some reluctance) of a dedication to perfection. i wrote a post about this a little while back. i am a stresser and a worrier. i am stressed and worried almost all of the time, and usually it has to do with achieving some goal that contributes to a larger goal of having a perfect life. this is asinine and it’s affecting me in ways i didn’t predict and don’t like (migraines, outbursts, breakdowns) – and it’s time to stop. i say i’m giving it up with some reluctance because – well, it’s a part of me, and the things that have been a part of you for so long are a comfort, even if they are also causing you pain. crazy how that works, right? but i’m actively trying to calm the fuck down. promise. deep breaths and the whole shebang.
i’m letting go of a compulsion to be what i am not. i wrote a post on this as well – apologies. i am ridding myself of the notion that i should/must/would be better if i were into thing x or had quality x. i am into what i’m into and i have the qualities i do and those are awesome, and i am learning to embrace that notion. this is actually quite a revolution.
for bonus points, i have a goal of letting go of materialism in 2012. i find myself falling too often into the mousetrap of “well i just have thing x, everything will be ok/better/filled with rainbows”. this is a lie and i’ve got to stop believing it. i want to pare down in the new year, and i want to develop mechanisms to curtail my desire for stuff. stuff doesn’t fix anything. thought and reflection and work does.
10 thoughts on “reverb 11: letting go.”
I have been working on letting go of perfection for a while. It is, like the letting go I wrote about in my post, a daily process… a spiritual process… and I believe it has made my life much better.
I love the sincerity in your post. BRAVA for you… always grateful to read your words.
Your last point is something I have been struggling with for so long. And I so desperately want to change. It’s like you know what a bunch of us are going through and express it here in your own straight to the point and wonderful way. Is this why I thank the Big Dude up there that I met you everyday? Could be 😉
It’s hard to let go of pain and anger. It’s a powerful and clingy force, but I think you’ll be able to do it in time. I have a sixth sense about these kinds of things.
I think materialism gets a bad rap sometimes. I like my stuff. Yes, it isn’t the magic bullet to make me happy, but I don’t think getting rid of it will be either.
Trust me, I’ve lived the monk lifestyle with nothing. It isn’t inherently spiritual or awesome. That comes from inside you, and you can do that anywhere or with anything.
Yes, you are not your possessions, that’s important to remember, but having possessions and being consumed by them are not the same thing.
Remember that, too.
I hear you – there are some things that make me really happy and i love them, but too often I get overwhelmed by a desire for stuff/sadness that i can’t just buy everything I want all the time. That’s the part i’m trying to let go of – there is no ascetic monk life or 100 things challenge in my future.
It is so hard to let go of anger, especially when it’s toward someone else, even worse an ex-friend (or best friend, as it were). I unfortunately can’t talk about it on my blog, but to make a long story short, my ex-best friend (maid of honor at my wedding) became jealous, and we had a religious difference of opinion so she decided to break into our apartment and steal my two inanimate loves (digital SLR camera and MacBook Pro), and would subsequently taunt me about it on Twitter. Nothing could be done about it obviously, since she’s apparently so good at lying, so I am left holding the bag and she made off with my life at the time. And NOW, apparently I am “stalking” her, so she’s got a restraining order on me, which she recently just publicized all over Twitter.
Needless to say, it’s pretty difficult to get over something like this and let it go. But I am making strides, well, trying to.
And I know that was a bunch of TL;DR, but meh. Moral is, I know how you feel.
So I actually had to google tl;dr – you get the prize of being the first person to teach me something new today :). That sounds like a horrific betrayal and your ex-friend sounds mentally ill. I’m so sorry. My situations involved not quite so much public drama, but betrayal nonetheless. It’s taken me a long time and a lot of thought to even want to let go of my anger. In the end though, I think the most important thing to hold onto is that it only benefits YOU to do so – it doesn’t mean you’re letting the other side “win”. Still – super hard.
I feel like I could have written this whole post. Every single point. Thank you for sharing your words.
I love your last paragraph. I spent a lot of time realizing how unimportant “stuff” is. Stuff does not fix anything, it does not make you happy or fulfilled. It actually ends up doing the opposite, because everything you own takes up space in your mind and causes stress whether you realize it or not.
When you do pare down I hope you’ll write about you experience with it and how you feel when you are done.
part of it is forced because nyc just doesn’t allow for storage – and i don’t think i’m going the 100 things route, but i definitely plan to have 3-4 good purging sessions and to be really mindful of what i am purchasing.
I could write about all of these and might end up eventually doing that at tdod but stuff is such a biggie for me and you know that. I have much of it because I have been such a materialist for a long time. And then there is just stuff that comes from Years. Years are long and so much stuff comes in during them.
This week I filled four trash bags, mostly paper and old clothes. (I don’t need six tops that are good for nothing but painting.) It was kind of exhilarating. I don’t do this all the time, but it makes me happy. I still want things–my camera lens that is getting here tomorrow is fo sho a thing–but I just want fewer of them, and I want the ones I have to really make me happy. You know what, though? The desire is still there, more often than I’d like. At least I give in to it more rarely than I have done in the past.