Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Letting go and breaking free sounds like I’m jail breaking from my life but that’s not it at all. It’s more like I’ve made the conscious decision to give myself permission to live my authentic truth, regardless of anyone else’s thoughts, expectations or opinions. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been one to place my value in other people’s hands but I’m human and, on some level, like everyone else, I want to be celebrated for being me. Thus far, my only measure of me has been the world around me. That stops now.
Now, the only measure of me is me and the only person whose opinion counts on how I’m showing up for me is me. It’s finally clicked that caring what other people, more precisely strangers, think of me is absolutely ridiculous almost to the point of insanity. Aside from the Big Guy and my girls, I obviously want to be a good role model for them. But mostly, I just want to be seen…really seen and that starts by me showing up for me; listening to my own wants and needs. For the first time in a really long time (or maybe ever) treating myself with the unconditional love, respect, patience, forgiveness and tenderness that I give to the people I love.
This year, I’m not doing resolutions. I’m changing perspective and taking accountability. No more waiting for the universe to show up. It’s been there all along. I just wanted to be rescued. It’s time to save myself. I’ve decided that this is the year that I am letting go.
Honestly, I’m kind of being forced to let go on one level. Bella is graduating from high school and time is running out. While there is no expiration date on motherhood, it is always evolving and tomorrow will never be the same as today. Bella may not be going to magically disappear at the stroke of midnight on her 18th birthday but things are slightly and increasingly changing every single day. It is amazing to watch the baby they laid on my chest all those years ago, the one who made me mad with love (I laughed and cried simultaneously the moment I met her), grow into one of my favorite human beings and I’m not just saying that with mom goggles. She is truly a good human being. Sure, she can be a little difficult and she’s not for everyone but who is? Her heart is so big and devoted that those lucky enough to be loved by her will be blessed with complete and unconditional adoration. She’s fiercely loyal and kind to those she cares about. Letting go is not going to be easy for me, even now, in my self-proclaimed state of free-range mom of teen girls. My inner helicopter mom still sees their toddlers within and it’s making this round of evolution hit even harder.
When I say that “I’m letting go” I’m referring to every area of my life. I’m not giving up, that’s a foreign concept to me. I’m breaking free of my own self-inflicted shackles of expectation built upon a foundation of societal norms and parental inflicted trauma. I’m done trying to hold onto people and things that not only don’t serve me but actively waste my time and energy. I’m finally ready to be responsible for my own choices; consequences and all. I’m ready to begin living for me because I am enough to live for. I am complete. I always have been, even though sometimes I felt unwhole and broken.
Things like envy, worry and hatred I’m trading them in for pushing myself harder to chase those dreams, actively working towards health and happiness goals and forgiveness of others and myself. I’m no longer going to let other people’s actions ruin my day. I’m choosing happiness and I’m holding on with both hands.
I’m letting go of other people’s expectations of who I’m supposed to be. I’m not saying I’m going to bulldoze my way through life without considering other people’s feelings but I’m going to give myself the same permission I give everyone else in the world to live my truth and let others live theirs. I don’t judge others but I am highly critical of myself. I live in a constant state of suffering from imposter syndrome. I’ve always been a perfectionist; maybe it’s the bipolar or maybe it’s the ADHD or maybe it’s my secondary toxic trait right after my unrelenting optimism? I don’t know and I don’t even care. It is what it is. It’s me and it doesn’t work anymore. It isn’t healthy. No one is perfect and things don’t always work out. Nothing is perfect and I’m no exception so I need to forgive myself for my imperfections and be more grateful for the people, things and talents that I do have.
I’m letting go of holding on to one sided friendships of all kinds. It’s tiring and exhausting to try to read other people’s minds. People always seem to appreciate my acts of kindness and are surprised by my thoughtfulness but, surprisingly, seldom ever think to reciprocate or initiate. It’s a whole lot of taking.
Look, I know that no relationship is 50/50. It’s ever changing to meet the needs of the relationship but when it becomes me always giving and others always taking, that’s a red flag for me. I’m choosing to refuse to ignore it going forward. I’m not saying I’m going to cut you out of my life but if I’m doing all the heavy lifting, you’re going to notice that I’m going to start taking it easy and investing my time and love elsewhere into the places and people that acknowledge my efforts.
I’ve decided that I’m getting too old to relentlessly keep trying to make anyone like me and life’s too short anyways. Either we like each other or we don’t. Either we’re friends are we aren’t. I’m resolving to not take it too personally and I’m choosing to let that go. I’m not too narcissistic to realize that I’m not for everyone and that’s ok. Just be straight with me. Have enough respect for me to either be in or be out but don’t string me along in business or friendships. I promise I won’t fall apart if you tell me that you’re just not that into me, just be civil about it. After all, I am human.
I’m letting go of worrying about and overthinking every, single thing in my life. It is exhausting and changes nothing. Instead, I’m prioritizing and spending my time wisely where it matters most to me.
I’m letting go of chasing the perfect body and the perfect weight. There is no such thing. Instead, I’m looking for that healthy high. I have goals and they have nothing to do with the size of my ass or the pertness of my breasts. Like I said, my most important thing to keep in mind is that my girls are always watching so why would I ever put them on the crazy train of body dysmorphia and eating disorders? I’ve been there and I’m still battling this relationship with my body. But no more. Namaste body. I love you. I want to protect you and I want to worship this body and treat it with respect and love. This begins with letting go of what the world says that’s supposed to look like.
I’m releasing myself from feeling guilty for not having the same body I had when I was 25. I’m not feeling bad about myself or punishing my body for not being the same size or shape as the mom next to me and I’m definitely not comparing my seasoned body to a teenage super models. I’m not giving up but I’m giving myself over to new possibilities and reframing my own perspective and embracing realistic expectations. The goal is a healthy body not a skinny one.
My new outlook is going to be one fueled by gratitude for the things I have not envy for the things I don’t, appreciation for who I am today instead of anticipation of the person I want to become and a verve to live each day like it is the only day with less procrastination and less disappointment. Most of all, I’m going forward with an abundance of love for the world around me for what it actually is rather than withholding praise for special occasions. Going forward, I’m letting go of putting conditions on when I start to live to my fullest no more “if this than that” or “when I get here, I’ll do that”. I’m letting go of the fear of success, disappointment in others reactions to my actions and the shackles of the pursuit of perfection and I’m actively going to live every moment present without hesitation or overthinking. I’m letting go of the things I can’t change and embracing the things I can. It starts by believing I’m enough, right now.