My best friend Denise and I have had some really fantastic, enlightening conversations over the years (she lives in Colorado so we have weekly phone dates), but the past few conversations we’ve had, have been REALLY incredible…
She is pregnant,with my GOD-DAUGHTER! And with this, she has shared with me how she has become less and less tolerant of people, places and things that have been less than a positive feed for her life. “Interesting…”, I would tell her because over the past year, I too have become less tolerant of the same. Perhaps it’s getting older. Perhaps it’s that life is too short. Perhaps it’s about realizing what takes priority in ones life. Whatever it is, we both agreed that there were seriously toxic forces in our lives that needed to be removed asap! Once we did that, our lives had become so much better, so much healthier and so much more peaceful. It was not the easiest process, but it was one that had to be done. I thought that I would feel badly about ridding toxic forces from my life, but to my surprise, I didn’t feel badly at all. In fact, once that was done, I had more room for positive people and things that have enriched my life in more ways than I could ever imagine. Denise agreed. It was so very refreshing and comforting to share this same thought process with Denise because I (we) realized that life is about quality, not quantity. Get rid of people, places and things that bring you down. Spend time at places and with people who will compliment your life and make it more beautiful. Once I (and Denise) did this, we realized how much WE have control over our happiness. My ‘disease to please’ attitude is long gone and I’m a much happier person for it. That’s why I truly cherish the amazing friends, family, clients and gifts that I have. I don’t take any of that for granted and I will always be grateful for those that make my life as wonderful as it is.
With that, I asked Denise if she would like to share her ‘out with the negative’ journey in an article. So, here it is. Enjoy. It’s beautifully written and I really believe this will make a strong impact on your life.
Reaching the Top of the Mountain: The Glorious Freedom of Letting Go
By Denise Powell
How begins the daunting task of letting go? Many of us find ourselves explaining a situation that we feel trapped in to another, only to hear the over simplified solution, “just let it go.” For the lucky few, expecting that kind of immediacy in the process may be easy. For most, the seemingly endless process of letting go of whatever haunts us as individuals is a constant feat with a series of steps forward, fall backs, and epiphanies along the way. The acceptance itself that we need to cut something out of our lives can take months, sometimes years, to fully internalize.
Begins the tireless uphill trek with a 50-pound pack strapped to your back. Bring plenty of water, a dry shirt to change into, as you will encounter rain, a flashlight, as it will get dark, and a flask of Jameson. Luckily, there will be passers-by on their way back down from the same place who can offer you a piece of wisdom, and an extra pair of socks. These are the people who will help get you through. Be humble, and take what they offer you, no matter how small. You are not alone.
My uphill journey began carrying a baby. Not on my back, but in my belly, as I am days away from delivering my first baby. Not surprisingly, imagining another being entirely dependent on me altered my view of the world and my place in it. At first, I thought I could still live practically the same life I had lived before including exercise and working 3 jobs. Saying “no” to things was never my strong suit, as I have battled the need to please everyone and that was more important than doing what I instinctively felt was right. I was the product of overprotective parents who made a lot of decisions for me at an early age. When I felt the baby kicking inside of me for the first time, I became worried about all the stress I was under and that it was somehow transferred to her. I began to resent those in my life demanding my energy in various ways. I wanted to push them all away, to build a barrier around my growing baby and me.
Something had to give. I had no choice but to let go of the people and things in my life that were not serving us. I did not want to leave the door ajar anymore. I needed to cut my losses once and for all in order to really let my new life in. Over time, with practice, my tolerance of staying in a relationship or situation that was toxically stealing my precious energy while it could/should be spent on more important things that would lead to authentic happiness, started to dissipate. It was not an easy transition and it did not take overnight. Sometimes I still deal with conflicting thoughts and question if I am living the way I am meant to. Dealing with setbacks takes constant monitoring and subsequent action.
My motivation in letting go was the impending birth of my child. My wish is to raise a strong-minded young woman who trusts herself and can make hard decisions early on, not listen to those who seek to take advantage, while respecting that she is an individual with her own views and instincts.
Sometimes we need to sacrifice being well-liked for self-honesty. It’s too easy to lie to ourselves, to go with the flow as not to provoke confrontation. The reality is that if we had the courage to face the awkward and uncomfortable scenario of conflict, we would find a shortcut to the life we are meant to live. It’s time to get tough. Stop mulling over our grievances too long, move forward, and stop being so nice to people whom take without giving back. It’s imperative to follow our individual catalysts, as long as it’s not destructive, to open ourselves up to making an enemy or two in exchange for self-honesty, because not everyone has our best interest at heart.
Take the trek uphill, even if in the dark. Remember, you are equipped with a flashlight and the rising dawn of the sun every new day. The journey home is all downhill.