We’re always letting go of something, aren’t we? Letting go of people, of places. Letting go of negative emotions, doubt, or fear. One of the biggest things I’ve been working on letting go of this year is the desire for perfection. For the longest time I based my worth on what I could accomplish, on all the things I had ‘checked off’ the list, or done ‘right.’ Instead of valuing myself for the person I was becoming, I was quick to hold onto all that I wasn’t—and I stifled myself, feeling like I would never be enough.
What’s funny, to me, is the truth behind all change, and conflict, and moments of unease in our minds—sometimes you have to let go of what you’ve clung to in order to grow.
This weekend I scrolled back through the writing I created over the last year. A therapeutic process, and also a necessity as I’m working on polishing the ins and outs of my blog. As I read through old pieces, I was struck by some of the emotions—and how I’m forever working on and trying to make sense of the same things in different ways.
Years ago, I struggled with walking away from toxic relationships and redefining myself as an individual outside of love. In college I was desperate for inner peace, all the while clinging to what I had always known. And before moving to California, I was so set on being comfortable that I started to lose who I really was trying to blend with everything else.
Now I’m learning how to create balance within my life, and how to accept that there are things I can’t control—in terms of other people’s reactions, in ‘parenting,’ and in my career—and I have to move forward despite my inner pull to make everything ‘perfect.’
Letting go is a terrifying, soul-altering process. But it’s a necessary one.
Letting go has forced me to revisit the things I thought were important. It has challenged me to reinvent myself when I didn’t think I could. It has taught me that some people are not meant to stay in your life forever and that’s okay. And most of all, it has helped me re-center with my own innate desires, and grow.
Sometimes you have to let go of what you’ve clung to in order to see life differently. When you’re stuck in the same routine, with the same person, or in the same mindset—you forget how to move. When you’re so caught up in the way things used to be you don’t see the value of change.
I am not saying that the detaching is easy—it’s anything but. Finding yourself on the other side, however, shifts everything. Where you were lost, suddenly you find closure. Where there was emptiness, you learn how to fill yourself back up again. And where you thought you were messing up becomes a central part of your process. You pick yourself back up, you continue, and you trust that you’ll get there. And you do. You do.
Featured Image Credit: Claudia Van Zyl