The art of letting go … why is it so hard?
The story of my life, as long and complicated as it is, is one of which I still fully haven’t got my head around. In the interest of starting a fresh I packed my bags and headed overseas with the idea that I will let it all go. Letting go appears on the surface to be easy, and often you think you have let go of something only to find it reappears at another unwelcomed time. I felt that by removing myself from my normality that all the baggage would fall away easily. That it would be a simple de-cluttering process. Instead I find myself still holding onto bags which only act to weigh me down. This has got me thinking, why is it so hard to drop the bags?
We are creatures of experience and environment which shape us into the person we currently see in the mirror. When I look in the mirror I generally am happy with what I see, though this hasn’t always been the case. It has been a long hard road to firstly be able to pick up that mirror and actually look, let alone be happy with what looks back at you. As a deeply reflective person, I have spent more time in my life than I can possibly quantify working on my perception of that reflection. I felt that I had gotten to a point where my reflection and I were on the same team, that we had finally dropped our weapons and formed a truce. The only person in my life that is guaranteed to be with me from start to finish, this is the one person whose relationship truly matters. Yet my reflection now is appearing chaotic and messy and those bags I thought I had dumped long ago are visible in the background. And I am feeling slightly frustrated at their presence.
It has always fascinated me why it seems so much easier to hold onto those things that hurt us, rather than those that uplift us. Why our grip is so often misplaced and why that strength is not easily shifted elsewhere. However in an attempt to remove myself from normal societal pressures, I packed a backpack full of brand names clothes, make up and jewelry and numerous technological devices to keep me connected to the world. And I wonder why I haven’t let a thing go?! How could I possibly drop the bags when I still worry about what people think of me, am often too shy to speak with people or ask for help? Here in this continent surrounded by backpackers who appear to have well and truly let go I am still stressing about the fact that I have gained weight, I am still wearing make-up and still won’t be photographed unless I have dressed up and spend more time than I should connected to the internet. And if I can’t let go of these much smaller bags, how on earth do I expect to drop those much larger looming in the background?
Instead of getting angry with the reflection I am vowing to myself (and you!) to take action. I am sending all those expensive clothing and devices home, I am ditching the make-up and replacing the contents of my pack with necessary items and those of which I have bought locally. I will be photographed without makeup and will not filter/enhance myself within an inch of my life because really, who am I trying to impress anyway? I am going to spend significantly less time glued to my phone and instead spend more time learning from the people around me. I am going to actively spend time learning how to let go of these smaller bags in the hope that this will encourage me to rid myself of the much larger ones. I am devoting myself to exactly what I came here for … to be free.