“Goodbye” he said, and it was enough to make me run back. I didn’t know how to let go of something that was so familiar to me. But I had to.
It had been a long time coming—the questioning, the lack of joy, the realizations that this, in fact, didn’t feel right anymore.
I was fourteen and he was amazing. He made me feel special, interesting and wanted. It was a time of growing out of childhood. It was at a point in my life where my family was being redefined through divorce.
He kept me grounded.
I was fourteen and I lost myself to a person who wasn’t me. In giving myself to him, and to us, I never learned to give to me.
But it was more than that. In my lack of personal growth, he too, grew into me. We were like two trees planted too close together, eventually growing into one tree. It sounds beautiful. But in its perceived beauty it’s also suffocating. His tree grew to overshadow my own and I’ve been lost in the shadow, in his strong voice, in his own insecurities ever since.
We were both so young. We never had the chance to grow and learn how to fulfill our own needs. He believed he could fly and I too believed he could. I believed what he promised me because he believed in it too. But he trusted too much in his beliefs and let go of the wheel, leaving me alone on the runway with no wings of my own.
It was me who truly abandoned myself. I take full responsibility for not taking flying lessons.
I sat in sorrow and self-pity for my loneliness. I took on the roles of resentment and anger. I learned to do for myself, not letting him into my world of doing.
I learned to be independent. I started to reach and grow my branches in an opposite direction from his. I found the sun and relished in its nourishing energy. I repelled the shadows that had been suffocating me and in this choice, I lost the warm embrace of his leaves. This was a choice I was willing to make. I so loved my independent self.
Now that he said goodbye, our roots are being severed.
Can I survive the trauma? Will I make it through this powerful shift?
The answer comes in finding my true self. Behind the struggle and the expectations and my previously believed future, there is a person behind the façade who is strong and powerful. She’s been with me from the very beginning and she is willing to look past the structures I made without her. She is there at all times, ready to help me dismantle the life I built and no longer need. She is the foundation that has always been there.
The process can be simple when allowed to be.
The first step comes in accepting the choices I’ve made up to this point and finding gratitude in these choices. There is no mistake that is actually a mistake. Mistakes are a false perception. They are a process of living. We move forward, we stumble and sometimes fall. Without falling we never would have noticed the bumps and blocks. The falls are to be seen as a gift. The scrapes and bruises are reminders that keep us moving and perhaps, help us find a new path.
The next step is going deep within and becoming conscious of the support system that resides within. In my core, I am strong and powerful. I must accept this presence. I must be willing to feel, seek and admit to this strength that resides within me and always has. I am willing to trust that when I am ready to balance, there will be something there to catch me if I do fall. I must be strong and exercise my trust muscles and believe in who I am.
Love comes next, deep unconditional love for all that I am. Behind the scars, the lost dreams, and the bruised ego, I must find love for myself. I am worthy of love and acceptance. I cannot be loved or feel love if I don’t first give it to myself. I am love, plain and simple.
The first steps alone can be the hardest. They can be so difficult you might catch yourself running backwards, but don’t let this happen. You must stay strong. It’s about moving in the direction that feels right. This is when you might hear the opposition from others and even your own fears. Do a check in from time to time and listen to the voices in your head. If they don’t seem legit then let them go.
Follow your inner compass and you won’t get lost. It will feel safer staying where you are and avoiding the unknown. This is normal, but it may not be healthy. You’re beautiful and strong. You’re muscle and power. You’re brave and capable. You’re awesome and tenacious. You are the life you want to be. You are worthy.
Finding your own light is possible. It really only takes a lean. Move to the left or the right and look beyond what’s been blocking you. Once you see the mystical, magical world beyond the shadows, you realize the light has always been there, your light ready to shine.
Author: Rebecca Mckown
Editor: Caitlin Oriel
Image: Kevin Young/Unsplash