What does letting go have to do with self-care? Everything.
It’s difficult sometimes to know when you’re feeling overburdened or over-committed, especially when you’ve been ‘trained’ to please people or carry more than your share of the load. It’s only when illness or exhaustion hits and you have some time to really assess the situation, that you might think, hey, when was the last time I stopped to rest?
I know there are a million reasons why you have to stay busy all the time: they won’t survive without you; only you know the secret to ____; they won’t do it the way you want it done; your contribution is irreplaceable.
I hate to tell you this, but none of those are true. If you took yourself out of the picture completely, today, everyone involved would carry on. They would grieve the loss of you, they would for a while struggle to find the way, but they would go on. It’s actually kind of humbling when it happens, because the reality is, none of us is indispensable.
It’s kind of a vicious cycle you can talk yourself into, the one where you’re irreplaceable. It means that you have to be everything for everyone, at all times, and then when you can’t be, you spend that time worrying that they can’t get along without you.
So why not allow yourself the freedom to ‘take yourself out of the picture,’ purposely, consciously, while enjoying the time you spend away?
Maybe you’ve been told it’s ‘selfish;’ or perhaps you’ve picked up the idea somewhere along the way that your value is based on your contribution to others’ well-being; or perhaps it has simply fallen to you because you’re the last one standing. No matter what lies behind the choices, for some reason, self-care is a long-forgotten dream.
This is where letting go comes in. I learned about letting go the hard way, through an experience I lovingly call ‘my catharsis.’ I had looked after everyone and everything for years (except myself), accepting tidbits of love and attention as they were tossed in my direction.
When I was about 36, I fell apart. I travelled back through lifetimes of grief, pain and self-hatred, sobbing my guts out for hours every day, for three months. It was the most amazing thing that ever happened to me. As I grieved, I let go of old belief patterns, negative habits I had adopted, lies I’d chosen to believe about myself; you name it, I dropped them like hot coals.
As I came through the foggy bit, the darkness, I found that my whole self was lighter, brighter and filled with a sense of infinite potential. I knew immediately what I needed and made sure I gave it to myself. I felt aligned, at last, with who I really was, and what I wanted. I felt Love that started deep down in my soul and spread throughout my whole being. I was that Love; I AM that Love.
And I’ve met hundreds of people who’ve had similar experiences of reaching their tipping point and then watching their carefully constructed worlds tumble around them, only to realise life has so much more to offer. All of them have said, in the end letting go, surrendering, was the key to finding self-love. And that is what lies at the root of self-care.
So, as you move through your day, ask yourself, is there something here I can let go of? How would the world look if I didn’t do this one thing… Go to the worst case scenario and work your way backwards to a more realistic one. Then actually let it go, even if it’s just for today. Put your feet up and have a cup of tea. Show yourself some love.
Jenny Griffin, also known as “The Catharsis Coach,” is a high-level intuitive guide, empath, and channel. Her journey through catharsis, a deep, deep letting go of ingrained patterns and beliefs, resulted in a feeling of connectedness, with the world around her and with that wise and wonderful voice within. Jenny has learned to engage with her life and experiences in ways that allow her to use the knowledge gained through them to serve others. When she’s not writing, she’s coming up with new ways to help people move through change with grace and ease. You can find her at The Power of Change.