Inspiration: Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself. ~Walter Anderson
Friday, I had the opportunity to get a massage at my favorite spa. I attempt to get one at least every other month. I tend to hold my stress in my neck and shoulders, making them super tight. When I get massages, it can be pretty painful because the masseuse usually has to apply more pressure to undo the tightness in that part of my body. I frequently cringe to get through it because I know that I need the pressure and afterward it feels so much better. But in those moments, I usually want to cry. As I laid on the table this last time my massage made me think about how painful it is to let things that we have been holding go.
When you hold in hurt, stress, emotional and mental scars, or heartbreak, you get used to them. Their presence becomes familiar. Sometimes we become defined by these things. Our worldview becomes distorted by our baggage. We distrust potential romantic partners, we diminish ourselves, distrust our abilities. When this happens, we can become weighed down, slowed down, or stunted. The baggage keeps up from being comfortable and able to perform at our highest ability. It does us no favors or anyone around us. In fact, it can be crippling. Really letting things go requires a lot of effort because the issues must be confronted and it can be painful.
One of my biggest heartbreaks took me four years to get over. I would replay the entirety of the relationship and spend a lot of time thinking about what I did wrong or could have fixed. I took on guilt and blame that was not necessarily mine to take on. I kept potential romantic partners at a distance for fear of being abandoned and hope that my former lover would come back into my life. In those four years I had to get to a point where I accepted an apology that never came and would never come, I also had to extend forgiveness to that person and to myself. I fell back into those old habits at times because they were a comfort zone (even though I knew that it was an unhealthy mental space). Confronting the realities that I would never be back with that person and that because there were unknown details I could not fault myself for the failure of the relationship. IT WAS HARD. It was painful but on the other side of doing that work I grew. I could be grateful for the experience while also being open to letting love in.
I have gone through similar processes with grudges, issues with my body, and my relationship with my parents. In every instance, forgiveness and shedding the baggage has be painful and time consuming but the freedom on the other side has been priceless friends. It comes in small steps, tiny victories, and a lot of endurance. You take the battles day by day and massage those tensions out of your body. There is a lot at stake letting go of the baggage. You are at stake. Holding onto negative things only hurts you. We all know that stress is a killer; it breeds illness. So does unforgiveness, anger, and extended grief. You must confront your baggage bit by bit so that you are more open to good things. You see things differently when you clear up your vision. Letting go is not an overnight project, hear me when I say. You will work on it for different lengths of time; some things take longer than others. You can do it. One step at a time.
Love and Light,