Letting Go of Who You Were: A Beginner’s Guide

Don’t let yourself slip between the cracks.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; life is hard. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day aspects of our lives and forget to allow ourselves time to reflect and grow. I’m guilty of it and I’m sure you are too, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change for the better, it just means that we’ve got to start that routine today.

  1. Be Kind to Yourself. It’s easy to look back at who we were and want to rip away the parts that don’t seem all that great. Just recently, I spent some time reminiscing on the teenage version of myself and I’m glad to say that I’m no longer that girl. It makes me cringe to think of who I used to be, but I know that 10 years from now I’ll be doing the same when I look at how I am today. It’s alright. We’re learning. Life is a process.
  2. Forgive Yourself. Don’t hold those awkward, embarrassing, painful, or even disappointing moments against your former self. Come to terms with the fact that you’ve made mistakes and realize that we all have. It’s natural and part of growing into a better version of ourselves.
  3. Forgive Others. The worst thing we could do is harbor resentment for those who have wronged us. It’s draining and quite frankly isn’t all that healthy either. Sure, your ex-boyfriend might have been a major mistake and he may have committed some terrible crimes against you; forgive him anyway. Let it go and hope that he’s moved on as well. Wish him well and say goodbye. It’s alright.
  4. Love Yourself Through the Crap. You’re going to keep messing up. You’re going to forget that you’re not meant to have it all together; that’s okay. You might get chubby. You could enter a marriage you were never supposed to be in. You could break a home and a heart, and move across the globe. It’s okay. Love yourself anyway. Love yourself through it all, even the bad parts.

Ultimately, our experiences shape us and without them we would never grow and change so accept the fact that you’re still learning and let go of the old versions of yourself, even the one from yesterday. You’re better than you were then and not as great as you’ll be tomorrow.

 

-LP

 

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Feel It

Be Vulnerable.

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It’s insanely difficult to actually do. It’s not easy to allow yourself to feel emotions that you have suppressed and ignored for years, but it is necessary. If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a lot of crap stuffed deep down inside of you and it isn’t easy to bring it back up. Maybe you don’t even want to try; if that’s the case, join the club. We’ll get matching jackets.

I have been completely content with pretending that I was never affected by things that happened in my childhood. I had ignored the painful memories to the point that I’ve gone years without even remembering what happened back then. I’ve gone years pretending everything was fine, when it truly wasn’t. I’ve ignored it all and pushed it so far down that I thought I was fine, or I at least pretended I was.

Today that changed.

Today I actually talked about situations in my past that I’ve literally never told a single soul about. I was in my car driving down the road crying into the receiver about moments that I had tried so hard to forget… I didn’t realize the wounds were still there. I didn’t realize that there were tears I had never cried, but ones that had been waiting years to fall. It was so hard to actually bare my soul to someone; being vulnerable has never been my strong suit, but it was so damn necessary.

I’m beginning to realize, thanks to some wise words that have been shared with me, that if you’re never vulnerable then you will always be vulnerable. You don’t even have to share it with someone else, but be vulnerable with yourself. Let yourself know that it’s okay to be hurt or upset about the circumstances you’ve faced. If you don’t, you’ll always have these wounds that you slapped a bandage over and pretended weren’t there, but all the while they were festering below the gauze. I can’t pretend to be better. I can’t pretend that everything is magically okay now, but I can tell you that while I sit here, thinking about the shit storm that has been my life with tears staining my cheeks, I feel relieved.

Allowing myself to feel hurt by my childhood and the things that have happened since has been a major struggle, but it’s something that I’m willing to go through to allow myself to let go of little pieces of the freight train of baggage I have with me. I want to be able to look back at these events objectively and grow from them. I don’t want this to affect the way I raise my children someday. I refuse to let this be something I carry with me for my entire life. I’ve just realized that this is why I used to take things so personally, because one person would say something hurtful and I already had a pot of self-doubt and pain bubbling below the surface, so their words would cause that pot to boil over, but you know what? I’m gonna be alright and so are you.

We’ve all got something that we carry with ourselves. Unless you’ve literally just left the birth canal, happy birthday by the way, you’ve got some baggage. You’re not a brand new and shiny toy without scratches and dents and that’s okay. You just need to feel secure in going to someone you love and saying, “hey, I’ve been broken and banged up a bit, but here’s who I am.” You’ve got to have the faith that they’ll love you anyway and that these precious wounds are something they won’t run from. If they run then maybe that’s because they’ve got their own crap to work through. We all do, so don’t take it personally; being vulnerable is part of being brave and some people just aren’t there yet. It’s so much easier to always be strong, but the easy road isn’t worth traveling down.

-LP