When we hold onto ideas of who we are and what our life is (and what it’s going to be) too tightly we become consumed by those stories, leaving little room for anything else.
The way I learned this lesson wasn’t easy, but it has been invaluable. By realizing the constraints that these stories can put on us, we can begin to see beyond them.
For me, having the motherhood card removed from my life was a big blow, but it helped me see other areas of myself that I had long forgotten because I had been so invested in that one story.
For many years I neglected many parts of myself, in fact I didn’t even see a reason to spend any time on them, since they weren’t helping me to complete this one storyline. It really hit home how much I have put aside parts of myself when I realized that most people in my life didn’t even know I enjoyed writing before sharing this blog. It’s funny how much we overshadow when we focus too much on one aspect of ourselves.
And the learning didn’t stop there – in my experience the more you delve into this the more you find. I’ve learned that there are many other ideas about myself and my life that I have been simply taking as truths -not questioning them or the possibility of anything different. Challenging these “truths” has allowed me to see hope for change in areas that I figured I would always be identified with that were certainly making me feel weaker (example: The story that “I’m an anxious person”). Through this process I have learned to let go, or at least loosen my grip, on a lot of the stories I have been holding onto.
Lately I’ve noticed that I have more room to dream, more space for possibility in my life. For the first time in a long time I have a sense of excitement for what I can do with my life. I am starting to see possibility where before I saw dead ends.
Though it wasn’t so much of a “letting go”, as it was life prying it out of my hands, the lesson it taught me has set me free. I am no longer a character passively (or way too desperately) acting out a pre-written plot. Life is now an adventure – and I’m the author.
The first step to moving forward is being aware that these stories exist, and understanding how investing in these stories affects you (does it make you feel weaker or stronger?). When you stop seeing them as absolute truths, or begin to understand that they are only part of who you are, you can begin to see what else lies beyond them.
I encourage you to take a look at your life and the beliefs you have about yourself; is there anything you are holding onto a bit too tightly? Imagine what might be uncovered if you loosen your grip…