Clearing out space

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In my last piece I spoke about the process of collecting pieces of myself through my travels and relationships. That every experience and every relationship teaches us something if we are willing to truly look; so as we go along we regain pieces of ourselves that we either didn’t know were missing, or we come to truly understand one of the many lessons life tries to teach us. However where do we put all of these pieces? Let’s think about our life, lessons and parts of ourselves like a backpack when travelling. Our backpack starts off empty when we first purchase it, or enter this life, and as go along we fill it with everything necessary that we will need along the journey. To those of you who have travelled, have you ever got to the end of your travels and realized that you carried something around the entire time that you didn’t use?! Or you found something that you just had to have, but there was no space for it?... Maybe you are a perfect traveller and have never found this, but for arguments sake let’s say you are like me, and have packed a few unnecessary items along the way; what do you need to do? You need to lose something right? But what?...



Letting go is hard; harder yet is learning what we need to let go of, recognizing what no longer serves us. Maybe that cute flowery pink dress once suited us, and we had many fun nights in it; but now it just no longer matches our personality or style... The same goes in our life. The thoughts, emotions and feelings that maybe once served us, helped us, protected us; are actually just weighing us down. So what are you willing to let go of?


First we need to pull everything out, which is always a painful process, but when we really look at everything we are bound to find things we didn’t know we had, and there are definitely items there which no longer match the person we are or want to become. If you think we form emotional attachments to clothes, try letting go of something of ourselves. We not only form emotional attachments to aspects of ourselves and ways of thinking, but we actually come to think that these emotions and patterns of behaviour ARE us; that they are the make-up of who we are, our identity, the only way we know how to be. But just like that pink dress that no longer suits us we need to let them go, because if we don’t create space, we cannot expect new and wonderful items or aspects of ourselves to have space to grow. Like a full backpack, there is just nowhere else for them to go, and we risk missing out on a truly wonderful addition.

Two years ago now, entering the New Year into 2013, I decided it was time to let go of some heavy emotions I had been lugging around. These emotions were tied up in anger, resentment and hurt (some of the heaviest emotions of all) towards people in my life. I had carried around ideas, and memories of past experiences that were blurred through the eyes of a child. I carried around hurt that I didn’t quite understand. And by carrying all of these unnecessary items, I was weighing myself down, and left very little room for love to enter. Upon writing letters of forgiveness to these people, before I had even received a response I instantly felt lighter. It is no exaggeration that not only did weight lift from my shoulders, but I could feel space created around my being, my heart filled. The bonus of this was receiving two beautiful messages back with responses I didn’t expect and explanations I never considered. For almost 20 years I basically walked around with large boulders in my backpack, words cannot explain how light these made me feel.


Now as you may have gathered from the majority of my blogs, my thoughts are tied up in notions of love; navigating and exploring the concept through my own experiences. So what stones have I been carrying around from love? Well first and foremost there has been an underlying theme that I don’t deserve love. In most cases we are born into this world and experience unconditional love. Then something happens, or many things happen to make us question this concept. In my life I saw many relationships disintegrate in front of my eyes. Loving moments, turned to anger and hatred. My loved ones left bruised and battered after a car wreck of love gone wrong. I have also seen people I love hurt the ones they love. Then of course my first real experience of love, left me wounded, I was young and naive and oblivious to the fact that he was cheating on me left, right and centre. While I got out of this relationship, and vowed that I was stronger for it and it didn’t really affect me, I unknowingly carried a heavy weight of emotion away with me in the form of deep distrust.

My past experiences had not only made me weary of others, but weary of myself; I was afraid to let people in because of fear of hurt or betrayal, but I was also afraid that if I let someone fall in love with me, I would hurt them. My experiences had taught me to distrust others, to keep my guard up, but they had also shown me that maybe I can’t trust myself – I had seen important people in my life ‘change their mind’ and walk out on a marriage, away from their children, so one of my darkest fears is that I would do the same. I simply did not trust love.

In my past this led me to isolate myself from Love and act out in self-sabotage. Whether through over-eating, drinking to annihilation, or sex – all were like a drug, a means of escapism for a small moment, only to let me fall further into the throes of depression and isolation; regret, then repeat. A scary thought to think that we are so afraid of being hurt or hurting someone else, that instead we beat everyone to the chase and hurt ourselves. I am sharing this of myself because maybe someone else will recognize something in this. We don’t all go to such extremes perhaps, but we all have our stones of emotions we are carrying around and ways of sabotaging our true selves. It is all fear based actions. Fear is the tool of the ego, or inner voice. The mistake we make is in thinking that this voice IS us, but in fact we can control the thoughts we have. Fear can wear many guises, but it ultimately makes us act in ways we don’t normally want, and leads us away from our true selves. One of my greatest fears was being hurt, or hurting someone I loved, so it is only natural that these are the experiences I encountered. I need to remind myself that I am ME, and use these experiences in a positive manner, to know that while we all make mistakes, I do not have to repeat the same mistakes I have witnessed, I can create the life and love I choose.

I have sabotaged myself on many occasions, and have had to go through many of the same experiences to learn certain lessons. I have also had to really look inside myself to recognize these fears. It is scary. It is hard, but if we want to progress, we need to understand what it is we are carrying around with us, only then can we decide to let it go and finally have space for that bright beautiful new scarf, or aspect of our personality that we know is just waiting to shine. I don’t pretend to have learned all of these lessons and completely let go of everything. But I am a lot lighter, and am recognizing patterns of behaviour within myself that I never understood before.  The purpose of life is not to enter it with a perfectly packed backpack of knowledge and understanding; but to go through all of these experiences, learn what we are about, and complete ourselves and our backpacks to the best of our ability, so that when we get to the end of our journey, we can open our backpack and be proud of everything that is within. The moments, experiences, friendships and love we gathered along the way will all be proof of the life we have lived. Who wants to walk around with a bunch of ugly, heavy stones and unnecessary items for a life time?




So make some time to do a stock-take of yourself and your backpack. What no longer serves you, kindly say thank you and release it (it is important to remember that at one time maybe this did serve you, you needed it in that moment, but now you can say thank you and let it go). I have slowly released the notion that I don’t deserve love and while I still keep finding some hidden little compartments filled with emotions and behaviours that surprise me; I am now more aware and willing to truly look at everything I have within, and am determined to become the best version of myself possible.


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