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December 30, 2021

3 Lessons 2021 Taught me about Change & Letting Go.

 

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It’s the season for resolutions, the time of year where we look to resolve our internal and external conflicts.

Whilst some may look to bring in additional things to enhance their experience, 2021 for me has been a year of declutter—declutter to make space for my transformation process. Bad habits, unhealthy relationships, limiting thoughts, and giving a f*ck have all been either given notice or shown the door.

It’s of course a slow and ongoing process, but recently I’ve found that when in the throughs of releasing, I’ve been able to witness my process—never in complete observer mode; it’s more like a 50/50 split with wallowing.

But it’s given me some insight into my deeper working and delivered a few nuggets that I feel are worthy of sharing:

1. Lasting change requires empathy.

There are two types of people in this world: people who don’t welcome change and people who are f*cking liars.

Change for me happens slowly. It starts with a lightbulb moment and I get excited and I’ll plan and plan and I’ll visualize the new improved me—then it comes to the action part of the plan and I’ll reach for the dimmer switch. This will repeat and repeat until I eventually surrender to giving it a go; then typically I fail.

I’ve realized that letting go and change are bedfellows and that if I want to change something in my external world, I need to first locate the block in me so I can release it. This means looking at the whole me, the dark and the light, and welcoming it all. It’s there for a reason; it’s what makes me me.

That’s not to say it can’t change, but first, being okay with myself as I am is key.

Understanding why we are the way we are with kindness and love makes letting go of the parts that are blocking our progress a significantly less painful process.

Often with change, there is a desired external result, and it makes sense that we therefore go directly to that external facet to make that change—but doing this without having an understanding of ourselves is like using a chocolate dildo. It may work for a while but when the heat gets turned up, any remaining resolve will quickly melt and the subsequent fallout will often be messy.

Empathy in my opinion will be the currency of the future. In the external world, it dissolves conflict instantly.

2. Acceptance

The hardest thing I find to let go of is hurt. Somewhere in my psyche, I believed that I was my pain and letting go of it would deem me invalid. It would let those people (including myself) who had hurt me off the hook.

It’s a defense mechanism. We think if we forgive then the experience will vaporize, but we don’t need to forget to forgive. We can accept what has happened, acknowledge and understand it, then let it go.

To truly change, first we need to stand still, look around, and make peace with where we are at. Trying to let go when you’re running away from the very thing you’re trying to let go of is the preverbal dog chasing its tail or like Jeff Bezos trying to escape himself by getting inside an even bigger cock.

3. Fill yourself up.

When you let go of something, it creates space in you. It’s not always as straightforward as releasing and then the desired change moves in; it’s a process and often there’s a lag with the mind catching up. But whilst this happens, a part of you has died and this can often create its own scar.

After you let go of something big like a core childhood wound then it leaves a f*cking massive hole in you and this isn’t talked about much, but if you just leave that space then you’ll find that the debris in that crater starts to reform itself pretty sharply. It’ll use any old emotion it can find—shame, guilt, lack of self-worth…all the usual suspects. And before you know it that space you created has been repurposed.

So, whilst we wait on the change or transformation to happen, it’s important that we direct the good stuff in there.

Whatever you fancy really; my favorite is a cocktail of love, hope, and the pure joy of laughter.

~

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