Holding on is far harder than letting go. I know. I held on until my hands bled. I held on as if my life depended on it.
And I suppose it did, in some ways.
The identity I created. Who I became. The version of me I created because I thought she would fit, she would not be hurt, she would prove herself. That was on the line. Who I had made myself up to be, how I changed who I was, how I became what the world and those around me wanted me to be.
Living in labels. I knew who to be as a wife, sister, daughter, trainer, coach – pliable. It was the only thing that saved me when the hurt became too much. When the distance and the trauma and the feelings of not being enough, the rejection I felt.
Walling up and creating an unfuckwithable version of myself saved me when I needed it most, when I was most vulnerable. I was too soft. Too compliant. Too easily hurt. Too emotional. So I just decided not to be.
And I worked on that image until I forgot it was an image… perhaps waiting to be saved or waiting for someone to see and beat the walls down like they do in the movies and books and especially the fairy tales.
But this isn’t a fairy tale. And Prince Charming isn’t coming to save you. Newsflash. He doesn’t exist. And he can’t save you even if he did. Because the only person who can save you is you.
You have to let go. The kind of letting go that tears layers of your skin off leaving you feeling raw, exposed and wounded. The kind of letting go that feels like you’re suffocating and your hands are burning from the rope that you’re desperately holding onto, slipping bit by bit, bleeding and screaming as it tears your safety net away from you.
The kind of letting go that means opening yourself up and looking deeply at who you are, who you became, what you want, how it got all fucked up and your own fear of becoming your worst nightmare.
That letting go.
The one where there is nothing left but you, your wounds, your scars, your shame stories, your behaviour, attitudes, what you put up with and tolerate, what you don’t ask for and are angry you didn’t get, when you’re waiting for someone to see you, to tell you it’s safe, it’s ok, to be you.
No one is coming.
Not because they can’t (although, they probably can’t because most people are caught up in their own stuff!) but mostly because no matter how hard people try, you’ll push them away, they feel the walls, they don’t know what to do or say, so they don’t say or do anything.
And it’s not their job to save you. It’s your job to unravel the stories of who you became and why. It’s your job to look deeper at who you are, who you want to be and begin realigning your life to get on the path of where you want to go.
And the only way to do that is to let go.
Holding on to that rope is burning your hands. Holding onto the image, the perception, the story you told about who you are is causing you more harm and damage than letting go could.
Yes, it’s a death. A death of who you became to protect who you are really. It’s a death of a persona, an image, an alter ego that you created. And with any death, it’s painful to go through that. But it’s necessary for you to let go, to fully die to the old habits, behaviours and patterns that cause you to be someone you’re not, that cause you to dull yourself, settle, tolerate, put up with, accept less than you want and less than you deserve.
It’s time to give up the behaviours that push away the people, things, places that you desperately want but are too afraid to share it, too afraid to be vulnerable, too afraid to show people who you are for fear of rejection, being pitied, made fun of or told you can’t.
You might safe in that shell that you’ve wrapped around yourself. You might feel in control holding onto the knife by the blade. You might feel vindicated when you push people away and they go.
But I’m also willing to bet you feel regret when you do. You feel the cold fingers of loneliness. You feel the shame of your own behaviour that goes against who you really are.
But then you dig deep again and remind yourself that people can’t be trusted, that it’s not your fault, that he/she/they did xyz to you. Or you focus on something that will distract you. Chips, soda, Netflix, smoking, drinking…
Human beings are super at avoidance behaviour and poor coping tools.
Holding onto anger, resentment and building walls only serve to keep you a prisoner – looking at your life go by, watching it as an outsider, unable to truly feel it, like cottonballs fill your space… you’re there but you’re not and the only thing you can truly feel is the pain of what you’re holding onto.
And it’s better than not feeling at all right? The pain is the one thing that keeps you going, keeps you knowing you’re alive; otherwise you’d sink into some kind of abyss of nothingness.
And while you’re tired of the pain, the nothingness is the worst. At least pain helps you feel something.
But I promise you, when you let go, and the free fall comes, and fear grips you but you work through it and overcome it, you’ll find a whole other part of you and life that you dreamt about but have been too scared is a mirage, is to experience.
You’re holding too tight my dear.
You’re holding onto what wants to die, what wants to be let go of, what is holding you prisoner and hostage in your own life, not allowing you to live, just exist.
And that’s no life at all. And that’s why you’re here, because that’s what you’re craving. Life. Living. Vitality. Colour. True feelings. You’re tired of numbness and pain as the only emotional ranges of feeling. You know, deep down, there’s more, even if you haven’t had the privilege to feel it.
You know it exists.
That’s why you’re here.
Let go. Step in. Just breathe and do it. Because this is the space where you get to recreate yourself, reinvent yourself from a whole new space, to finally become all that you have known you could become.
Don’t hold onto what’s holding you back, what’s no longer yours, what’s not working, who isn’t working.
Let go. Let your knees smash off the ground. Let yourself be broken open.
From there, it will get better.
I promise. I’m proof it can happen and that it can happen when you consciously create and live your life, when you bring it up, clear it away and choose to live fully in spite of what’s happened to you.
That’s living. Life will provide hardships. You get to choose what do with and about them.
Breathe. Let go.