It seems a little paradoxical to find the strength to let go, we usually need strength to hang on! Over the past few years, I have found letting go to be such an empowering act. I have most recently let go of my need to be perfect and allowed myself to finally finish my book – From Grief to Gratitude. As soon as I pressed “send” following the final round of proofs, I knew I would find some small mistakes or come up with revisions that I wished I had made. But I also knew that I needed to let it go, so I could move on to other projects in my life. I guess the issue for me with people finding mistakes is more about people thinking less of me because of mistakes I’ve made, rather than the mistake totally throwing the intent of the writing upside down.
So letting go of what other people think is something I continually work on. Of course I care if I hurt someone’s feelings and I do make a conscious effort not to do that, but worrying about what others may think of my choices in life has become a thing of the past. We should all make our choices based on what is nourishing for ourselves, what fills us up, not based on what other people believe we should be doing. Perhaps seeing other people make decisions and changes in their lives makes some people uncomfortable about the choices (or lack of) they are making in theirs.
I have learned to let go of my grief and find my way back to me! I wonder now as I think back on it, if I was worried that I wouldn’t like what I would be coming back to, maybe I wouldn’t like myself anymore. I certainly knew I didn’t like how I was living my life while I was grieving, so something had to change. In fact, a lot of things had to change and I am now so glad they have!
Each day I choose to make conscious choices about how I spend my time, sometimes there may not be a choice in the activity but I can certainly choose to change how I approach it. And you can too! Everyone has the capacity to make choices about their lives and choose to fill it with more joy and gratitude. Letting go of shame, guilt, disappointment and replacing them with forgiveness, self-compassion and gratitude is life-changing. Letting go of the masks we wear and hide behind allow you to become more authentic, vulnerable and compassionate.
Beauty lies in honesty and integrity, so be true to yourself, be brave enough to let go and live your life for yourself. Start small by finding one nourishing activity you used to enjoy, and choose to make time to do it again!
I had a conversation this week with a lady in my Charity Meditation group last Friday who told me that it grieves her that she doesn’t play the piano anymore. She had learned to play piano when she was younger, and had bought herself a new piano when she retired from work as a gift to herself but she no longer plays. I assumed she no longer had the piano and when I asked her about that she told me she does have it, in fact she dusted it the day before! So I asked why she didn’t play it. She felt she always had something else she had to be doing (even though she is retired). Once she spoke this aloud, she realised that she was making a choice to do something less nourishing than playing the piano, she just didn’t realise she had been making that choice. I’ve asked her to play the piano for 15-30 minutes each day and see how she feels. I can’t wait to see her next week and find out how she went with it …