What are you holding on to, that you could really let go of? A regret? A limiting belief? Something you are allowing to mould and steer you, when you should really be watching it disappear in your rear-view mirror...?
We are always wary of what people think, and constantly told not to care what others think – but what if we are our own worst critic? What if the judgement we have to escape is our own? We can sometimes build more of a perfect picture of ourselves – more of a standard to live up to – than anyone else could ever impose on us. And, if we fall short of that, the weight of our own regrets can crush us like an anvil – because suddenly we can’t be on our own side anymore; we know what we’ve done is wrong; we disappoint ourselves.
In a conversation with my mum yesterday she advised that I “let go of the thread” of a regret that’s been haunting me. It made me realise that it’s me holding on – actively – I’m not shackled.
Letting go isn’t easy, but we must stop allowing ourselves to be defined by our mistakes – and even if a mistake is bigger than any other we ever made – even if we ‘expected’ so much more of ourselves – we have to invest ourselves with the power to step down from the altar of shame and stop criminalising ourselves over something we can’t change.
Perhaps this letting go is as simple (and, simultaneously, as infinitely complex) as forgiving ourselves. Would you ever judge a friend as harshly as you judge yourself? Probably not – the truth is we are a lot more prepared to forgive others than ourselves; it’s a question of perspective. But you should be the first to deserve your forgiveness.
Maybe what’s keeping you holding onto the thread is your inability to admit what you’ve done – but the admission allows you to apologise to yourself, the apology allows you to forgive, and the forgiveness, hopefully, allows you to let go once and for all.
Whatever thread, or threads, you are clutching onto because you don’t know how to let go – or maybe because you didn’t even realise you were holding onto them – now is the time to visualise untying the knot, letting the thread slip from your grip.
These threads tie us to the past, and we have to entertain the possibility that the past is not where we are anymore.
Forgive yourself; move forward.
[What's that? The sound of me with the internet again? You bet'cha!]