Let Yourself Go
Whilst collecting feedback from my last post, one of my readers highlighted the fact that they could benefit from me writing a post about my take on letting go.
This blog will be split into 3 sections: letting go of people, especially people who have no positive placement in your life, I definitely will touch upon how I personally deal with attachment issues; letting go of the past, and letting go of bad emotions and bad vibes. I'd also like to remind my lovely readers that although I love offering advice and tips, I am not a professional. I have experienced a lot of emotions over my nearly 21 years on planet earth and I am just sharing my experiences with all of you. I like to keep my blogs as raw and real as possible, so everything in my blogs are 100% true and I share them not because I'm stirring, (because genuinely I want an easy life with 0% drama), but if I feel an experience in my life can relate to others and help them in anyway to recognise signs of toxic behaviour, I am going to share it, sorry, not sorry and all that. You know that I don't sugar coat s**t, right?
Section 1: Letting go of people
Being attached to someone, who we believe is the best thing since sliced bread, is one of the main reasons why letting go is so very difficult. But just because we think they are spongey, perfectly cut and can be toasted to perfection (yes, that was a very poorly put together bread comparison..) this doesn't make them decent people and we owe them a valuable place in our lives. It can take some of us weeks, months, even years to break out from an attachment to a person simply perhaps because we are in-denial, we don't believe we, as human beings, deserve more, or maybe; the other person is just a good manipulator. People struggle with letting go mostly, from my own personal experience, when they are insecure in themselves. This is because they do not believe they deserve more. I am not a person who considers them self to be insecure, I can most definitely be insecure about many kinds of things, but insecure in myself? It's a definite no. This being said, I have absolutely stayed and settled in something because I have attachment issues, relationships, situationships, friendships, even something like my job, I came to a point where I wanted to leave because it was no longer serving me a positive purpose or contributing to my happiness, but my colleagues are like my family so I had an attachment to them and now, 3 years later I'm still doing the job.
When I realise now, its time to let go, I try to do it with grace. I've kicked off majorly in the past (people don't call me feisty for nothing, you know) I've shouted and pleaded with people to see my worth, but now, I see it with my own eyes and I feel no need to explain myself, raise my voice or fight my own corner anymore, in a bid to "prove myself".
Like I said in the introduction, I want an easy life. But I am willing to compromise this, if I feel I can help someone. Cue the tea.
For an example, recently I was speaking to a guy, all was well, until a girl whom I'd never met before, confronted me (in public may I add, and for those who know me, know that I do not like physical confrontation as I'm incredibly quiet and reserved, so I was put in a position that I have never, ever had before) and she let me know that he had been round her house and taken her out for dinner, all behind my back. I wasn't that fussed about it in all honesty, but let me tell you, my inner vigilante came out - nobody should just sit there and take it, no matter how emotionally invested (or not, in my case) Now, I could've blown my lid, in front of everybody in a public setting, I was disgusted that someone I had allowed into my life had lied to me, but I didn't. I remained calm, asked him if he was lying (to which he replied "no", insert "being sick emoji" here).... and then I gave myself 2 choices, and this is what I want you to learn from this experience, as I believe I need to share this with you, because I never know who it could help. You ALWAYS get choices about what you do and say, and you have to make those choices so very carefully, because whilst you can make someone look like a twat for calling them out and making a scene, you can also make yourself look like an arsehole too.
I could have either;
1) Blown my lid and caused a scene in public, have everyone staring at me and make myself out to be an arse
2) Remain dignified and silent, respect myself enough to not draw attention to myself for all the wrong reasons and have a "discussion" in private.
I want you guys to learn from my mistakes and these are real things that happen, and people think this shit is okay.
My head was telling me to kick off, but you know what?
Why should a woman ever feel like she has to battle for someone to see her worth, when she already sees it herself?
He tried to "compliment" me and say that I wasn't the "side hoe". As if I would be complimented by a man who tries to belittle another female in a (poorly attempted) bid to make me feel better about a situation he created all by himself. I'm a girls girl, and it disgusted me that he thought I'd be happy about not being a side hoe...it's...beyond me. I am....speechless.
I had more respect for myself than accepting someone into my life who is so comfortable to looking me in my face and lying to me. Luckily for me, I wasn't attached to him, so it made it soooo much easier to block, delete, unfollow.
In this scenario I want you guys to understand that people will try and manipulate you. If the said person has wronged you, they will try to make you stay (because guess what, you are actually a great person and they know that) and they will try to speak words of remorse and devastation but sis, remember to look at the conversation in birds eye view, and remember your self worth. It doesn't even have to be a romantic partner that can do these things, I've had family members who have tried to do the same, and they are the worst because this attachment is something you're born into.
The bottom line is, simply, do not f**king let anybody jeopardise what you already know about yourself. You know you are a caring person, you know that you would do anything for anybody, and you know you are worth all the love in the world.
If the person you're attached to is not worthy of that, I know it's hard, but be strong hun and let go.
"I'm in denial, how can I help myself to realise the person I'm attached to is no good for me?"
Sure, if you want me to get the bullet points out, I can do that. You can identify if a person is no good for you when:
They treat you like you're ordinary - you are a f**king wonderful human being, but don't just take it from me, look in the mirror and believe it, or hun, you're gonna get walked over for your whole life. Toxic people latch onto others who are insecure, vulnerable and appear weak, and you know that's a fact.
They are comfortable lying to you - the scariest and most disgusting people can look you dead in the eyes and lie to you and feel no remorse, that's actually psychotic, not to be extra either - but that's a common trait in serial killers and people who display anti-social behaviour.
They are negative - they are always cynical and moaning about something, yes everyone has to moan now and then but do you really want to spend your precious time on someone who literally never has anything positive to say?
They want you to change - they point out your flaws to make you feel insecure, which can actually make you MORE attached (in some f**ked up way) because you feel everybody else can see these flaws, therefore no one else other than the person you are with could ever want you. (Manipulation guys, know and learn the signs)
Watch how they treat others - I had a scenario recently where a guy I was seeing shouted and swore repulsively at some pedestrians who were walking in the road and I'd never felt more turned off in my entire life!
Cutting someone off..well, it will hurt straight after, and you will wonder why you inflicted the pain on yourself, and I have honestly been there, I've not cut people off even though I'm absolutely aware of my own emotions and knew the person was not worth keeping around, and I've not acted upon my gut instincts because and I quote:
"I'd rather them cut me off than me cut them off."
Yes, those words have come out of my mouth. It sounds ridiculous, but I was so unbelievably petrified of upsetting people EVEN THOUGH they had upset me, waaaaaay more. I did believe I was just being a "good egg" but you know what, a "good egg" wouldn't put themselves behind other peoples happiness.
The "One Week" Golden Rule
My golden rule in letting people go is the "one week rule". This means you give yourself the conscious permission to be unhappy, to cry, to wallow in self pity, for ONE WEEK, and one week only.
This is something I've advised all my friends to do after they've cut someone off, taking one week to get your emotions out, but you know come Monday morning you have to get saddled back up onto that bullshit and start grafting for a better life, and for better people to walk in and enhance you as a person. I know that some people can struggle to do this, as a person who has suffered with anxiety for most of my life, I understand how hard it can be. I only recently learnt to live by the one week rule, and it does take time. It's important to understand too that after your one week is over, it won't be plain sailing from there forever, you'll have bad days along the way but you'll also have really wild, happy days, and it's important to realise that after the one week is over, that you are not supposed to "curve" your emotions, still acknowledge how you are feeling, but just make a more mindful and active decision to think of something more positive.
Section 2: Letting go of the past
When I look back on my life, I sometimes wonder how I'm not a crackhead. Honestly. I've been through a lot, and I can imagine you have too, we're all in the same boat. On reflection of my life, I've suffered through my parents messy and malicious divorce, I've lost people along the way, I've felt so low that I almost gave up on everything. But my resilience has never failed me, for I have gotten so much stronger, so now I know that every challenge and obstacle that comes my way, is leading me to the life I deserve.
Treat your life like a CV
My top tip is treating life like a CV. I can remember when I was writing my first CV when I was 15 years old, and typing out the "about me" section. I wrote about how I perceived myself as a person (not a worker, mind) and I felt like I had written enough to sell myself to an employer.
I showed it to a couple of friends and family members, and they laughed.
"You really think employers are going to care about you being a loving, empathetic person?"
I felt ridiculous, of course - my future employer wouldn't give a single crap about that stuff - they wanted to see how well I coped under pressure, and how efficient I was as a worker.
Looking back on that, I knew I had such pure intentions so I decided I would make a CV about myself, because in life, we all go through bad times, we all learn things and develop skills and coping mechanisms from those bad experiences. I always say to people that it's not the issue that defines you, it's how you approach and deal with it that has a reflection on your character.
For example, when my parents divorced, I was distraught, the idea of not having a close knit family anymore (which was so incredibly important to me, and now that I am a product of a broken family - having a big, close family - is even more important to me than it was then) but I tried to look for the positives. I learnt a lot from it. Like, it's okay to let go of someone no matter how many years you've been together. Do not stay unhappy for the sake of others. Little life lessons like that, I took out of a super horrendous situation and became such a strong person from it. And that's why I'm not a crackhead.
You can apply lessons you've learned from your experiences into your "CV of life". Mine would say things like "I'm skilled in remaining calm when in reality my blood is boiling" or "I am able to discipline myself when I realise a negative sentence is not worth speaking".
What would yours say?
But back to the subject at hand, letting go of the past, is - in short - realising you cannot move forward in life if you are constantly looking back. Yes, there are days when you'll be in a reflective mood and you'll get upset about old issues, its natural, its okay to reflect on the past, just don't live there. Without reflection, we could never see how far we have come. But that's the only "looking back" you should do, for reflection purposes only. And you must always think of the positives and refer yourself to your CV of life. Say "I learnt _____ *insert life lesson here* from _____ *insert bad experience here* and this made me a better and stronger person than I was before". That's how you can move on from your past.
Section 3: Letting go of bad emotions and bad vibes
Is it easy dealing with any of these things? Especially when you've got a high functioning mind? No. You can't get out of your own head. But you can make it a better place.
So, how do I let go of bad emotions?
I say "no".
I've become so self aware over the past couple of years, that when my anxiety kicks in, I've learnt to say no. And I make it sound like it's easy, I've had confidence counselling, meetings with my therapist, I've tried meditation, I've tried reading books about how to deal with anxiety - you name it, I've done it - and it's taken me years to even sit here and type a blog giving advice on my own coping mechanisms because a few years ago I didn't even know where to start. Having anxiety is like a constant battle with your mind, it sounds ridiculous to somebody who has never experienced anxiety - that I have to physically argue with myself in my own head to think things I want to think, instead of letting anxiety tell me what I think.
I put into action another rule, in order to deal with bad emotions.
The "change what you can" rule
This means evaluating the situation at hand, and it can be applied over a wide span of issues that you have or will face in your life. Focusing on what you can change is the most important side of the evaluation spectrum.
What can I change?
How you act towards yourself
How you act towards others
What you say and do
How you say things
Your negative thought patterns (this is a tricky one as this can require time to master, this is known as cognitive restructuring, and I have learnt bits of this during my time in therapy, but is super beneficial to anyone who struggles with it)
Who's deserving of having a place in your life and who stays in it
However, focusing on what you cannot change is: futile, energy draining and in my opinion, the lazy f**king option.
So, what can't you change? As a few examples go:
Someone else's actions towards you, or other people
Someone else's decisions, and thought process
Minds of others
Things that have already happened, lost or gone i.e. death, remarriage (other deep shit like that)
This is where it is important to know the answer to "What can I change?" is always to do with yourself: how you act, who you choose to be around, where you decide to be in life.
The answer to "what can't I change?" is always going to relate to others and you shouldn't give a shit about other people. Your main focus should be yourself.
That's how you let yourself go.