Today, at 16 years old, I’ve moved 19 times. I’ve had to let go.
My parents ended their relationship shortly after I was born, leaving me a pendulum between the two. Each the polar opposite of the other, my father, a rule abiding conservative and my mother, a wanderess who followed her heart more than society. In my fierce loyalty, and innocent acceptance of their individual expressions, I shed a layer of myself with each transition. And so I learned to let go.
In addition to releasing aspects of myself, I often let the embodiment of home go. Heart shattered at 14 years old, I departed from my hometown, clutching everything I had ever believed to be true. Subsequent was the biggest release yet, high school. Though my passion for learning would still burn boldly, my devotion to traditional schooling would not. Something else was calling me, and once more it was to let go.
From my earliest memory on, my life has been a continuous cycle of letting go. And even though this cycle of death and rebirth is all I know, it’s still uncomfortable. It’s new territory every single time and it will never feel familiar.
The essence of the three years since leaving school, leading up to now, has been a complete and utter molting and this time, I’ve conjured up a lot of space. A kind of space that I’ve never possessed before. It’s scary as hell and I don’t know what to do.
My instincts tell me to run from what I’m feeling, to freak out and escape, or “numb” the temporary emptiness. But there’s a deeper voice, the one that always knows, that tells me no, not this time.
It pleads, “How many times have you filled this hole? How many times have you rationalized your rejection of discomfort? How many times have you rationalized your inability to sit with what you’re feeling? And how many times has your experience repeated itself?”
My past patterns have led me to believe that in the distracting, I’m being easy on myself after all of the work I’ve done. But that is nothing more than a ruse of the ego. In tricking me to think I am doing the work, I’m actually just escaping the discomfort.
In knowing that this is not the ultimate truth, I am left here, once again, with a choice.
A choice to stay and be comfortable, or to trust, let go and be vulnerable.
I know that I could stay, and continue to experience at the same rate I am now, but is it worth the fleeting sense of security I might feel to live on repeat? Is it ever worth it to jeopardize what may fulfill me for what is comfortable? Does it really feel good to operate from fear instead of faith?
By fearfully holding onto things that no longer serve us, we are saying we don’t trust that there are possibilities that can fulfill us more. But by letting go of that which does not fill us to the brim, we make space for that which does.
Most recently, I made a huge temporary move from Hawaii to Colorado, trading the luscious palm tree lined beaches for the below freezing, snow covered mountains. I’ve ended communication with my dearest friend and in addition to that, said goodbye to some of the most influential teachers of my life.
In letting go of the things no longer filling me to the capacity that I long to be filled, I’ve gained a beautiful mountain home to stay in where I can follow my heart with no pressure. I have a new soul family and warm, understanding friends. I’m opulent with all things “feel good” including vegan food, a multitude of fragrant candles, crystals, books, musical instruments and the space to be irrepressible. All in the span of one week.
So I ask, If the perfect lover, friend, home, career, or opportunity showed up for you, right now, would you have room for it? If the answer is no…are you willing to let go? Are you willing to surrender? Are you willing to experience discomfort? Are you willing to sit with the gaping hole?
Are you willing to trust?
You have a choice to change the way you react. You have a choice to embrace the emptiness. Don’t settle, don’t be mediocre, don’t live on repeat.
“Faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: Either you will be given something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.” ~ Edward Teller
Author: McKenzie Victoria Schippert
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Image: Oakley Foxtrot/Flickr