Letting Go to Be Let Go
I have found recently that memories have a way of bringing me back into inauthenticity. I allow my mind to retreat back to that time, back to that person, miss how pleasant they seemed, and hold onto the idea that maybe I can recreate them. But in doing that, I start to turn into the Jenna that existed then. In order to have what once was, I feel compelled to be the person that created that life. Unfortunately for me, the Jenna that was alive for those memories was broken, hurting, trapped, and living in mental chaos. She was in turmoil, scared, insecure, and defeated. The Jenna in that time is the one that I have spent much time and energy working to let go of to make room for the authentic Jenna. I begin to think that it is better for me to sacrifice what I have become in order to obtain the greatness that once was.
It would be better to reclaim my territory from the past.
I cling to parts of the past believing they were incredible. However, were they really as great as I imagined them? Or did they just seem so amazing because the life I was living at that time was so full of torment and sadness that any bit of a positive change was remarkable? I said that I was finally living and embracing life, but looking back, was that REALLY life? Or was it appearing like I was living because at least I was not on my death bed anymore, because it was me learning how to divide my time between the eating disorder and something else in the world compared to all my time being in sickness? I said that I was happy, hopeful, and free, but can I reflect on that time now and be able to utter those same words? Or was it just that I was living in a distraction, that I was living in such deep pain that any moment that wasn’t absorbed in it was as if I was on a cloud?
I was fantasizing the struggle.
No doubt some of those moments were full of bliss, but the more I am now engaging in life and freedom, the more I realize there is so much more to be felt beyond what I had in the past. If I let go of what was, I can make room for what is and will be that will far surpass any beauty I ever had in my arms. It was that act of mentally storing away permanently my past that has gotten me in trouble.
I had to release it.
Up until literally the past day, I struggled to let go of what was, afraid that nothing that was seemingly so magnificent would ever come again. I feared that what existed was as good as it was ever going to get, and if I let go, I was sacrificing my happiness. I feared I would be making the biggest mistake of my life if I were to relinquish the past, if I were to let go of the idea that there was still an opportunity for it to happen again, if I were to admit that it was over for good and end the chapter. The Jenna with limited thinking, the Jenna still allowing herself to settle, the Jenna that still had doubts over her ability to live a full life was taking control.
Her presence means trouble.
Her emergence signals the defeating thoughts to come in. Her appearance begins the cycle of pain. And I saw it happening. When I truly started to embrace again a part of my past and accept it as part of my life again over the last couple of days, I felt the shift in my mind back to a dark place. Body image intensified. Fear and anxiety crept in over things I fought hard to relinquish. My perceptions changed, my hope weakened, the joy subsided. And worst of all, my heart silenced. It didn’t even take a day for me to be awoken by that change. One hour of being back in that place shook me. It opened my eyes. The silence of my heart scared me. It was painful. Here it was fighting so hard to gather up the courage to speak and finally had my attention only to be shut out again for something that was a mere memory. I was sacrificing something permanent for something that was temporary. I was turning against the one thing fighting to keep me whole and towards something that broke me and would most likely do it again. I was torn between not knowing if I was more scared of never seeing what tomorrow holds because I went to live in yesterday or never seeing yesterday again because I decided to find a home in tomorrow.
But there is one thing I do know.
What I know for sure is that letting go is the only way for me to find out who I am meant to be. If I cling to the past, to what was, to who existed then, I will never know what is waiting for me. I will have my blinders up to prevent me from seeing what is right beside me to grab. If I stay so fixated on trying to keep or get back the past, I am wasting my time and energy from creating a present that will be far superior. If I stay who I was to keep the way of life I was living, authentic Jenna will lose her existence. If I keep my eyes only looking behind, I lose sight of the beauty before me. The life that is waiting for me, my destiny, my fulfilled dreams will never be found in my past. I cannot step into that life by living in memories. And more importantly, I am not WILLING to sacrifice who I am and the beautiful person being created by living in memories. I have opened my mind to let them go with the faith that life is going to bless me beyond measure for using my bravery to say good-bye, living by my heart, and embracing the present.
I no longer fear that my past was the peak of my happiness.
When I allowed my mind to let go, it opened my eyes to what is right in front of me and what has always been in existence. I realized that I have surpassed that feeling beyond a measurable distance. All that I feared happening, every reason I had for living in memories has been proved wrong. The proof is only accumulating more each day. Like most things in life, it took me having to live in the pain again briefly to see that. The beauty had to be born from the suffering.
And in that, purpose was found.
Today I am authentically me creating a beautiful memory of living for me. I am treasuring the memories of what was, respecting their place in my past as a remembrance instead of a part of my present. I honor them and am blessed by their existence but am choosing to no longer let them control who I am. Today I am free and heading toward my promise…