How often I had said to myself “let it go Pat” when I was agitated or upset about something. I’ve also said “let go” to others when they were holding on to a negative thought. How does one “let go?” We are attached to our emotional stuff and don’t always know how to release the emotions and free ourselves.
I once shared with a group of my friends an image of getting out of bed and picking up my suitcase before going about my day. I don’t pick up a physical suitcase, but instead of the suitcase filled with memories from the past, unfinished work, and negative thoughts that seem to come with me wherever I go. This suitcase is bland on the outside because it doesn’t want me to know I’m very foolish by picking it up each day.
I’ve reached the age where wisdom should be paying me back for my years on this earth. Sometimes it does…sometimes I’m wise. My wisdom now is in the form of awareness. It has taken me a bit of time to realize that I’m picking up this suitcase. Now that I’m aware how I’m dragging this suitcase around with me, latched on to the back of my pants, slowing me down, and taking a chunk of wellness and joy out of my life each day, what am I’m going to do about it?
It’s like going through your physical closets, throwing out or giving away ‘stuff’ that you never have and will never use. What about my clothes closet? My closet houses a department store filled with different sizes…hoping for the day when I can make my way towards the back of the closet to the skinny jeans section. Well, that’s also part of my emotional suitcase…those skinny jeans.
I’ve been thinking about this emotional suitcase a lot the last few months, and it’s taken me some time to venture forth and check to see what is inside of it. I opened it last night when a recurring situation happened, and I stopped long enough to ask myself how I could see the situation differently.
How many times have I expected the other person to be different…to see what I see? I was in a situation where the other person was telling me how much they were there for me and I was locked in my memories of all the ‘hurts’ and ‘struggles’ they have caused me. This stuff is in my suitcase. I couldn’t believe they weren’t aware of their outrageous behaviors, their self-centeredness, and their manipulations. I didn’t say anything to the other person, but I sure thought it. On the outside, I was calm, clear and didn’t engage the person in a conversation of emotional “he said, she said.”
As I was driving, I kept saying “I can’t believe he doesn’t know what he has done to me.” Somewhere in the drive home, I saw how I was holding on to the past. It was hurting the other person by my insistence to remember, but it was hurting me more because my spirit was carrying such a heavy load. I just asked, “how can I see this differently?” That question allowed me to let go of my need to justify or prove my decisions based on someone else’s behavior. It was ok for them to see it any way they wanted because it didn’t matter anymore. What felt right to me was to ‘let it go.” At that moment, I decided what was best for me…because it was best for me.
We all become attached to a belief, a memory or a feeling insisting they are facts…they are the reality. They are our reality because our thoughts create what we see. They may not be someone else’s reality. I believe it was in the Course of Miracles that I read “perception is a choice…not a fact.” In last night’s situation, I cleared out a lot of ‘junk’ in my emotional suitcase.
What’s in your emotional suitcase?
Women’s Group Topics
I don’t know a person who doesn’t resonate with the topic of “letting go.” Over the years in our group, we helped ourselves by listening to other’s perceptions, as well as providing a different view of a situation for others. Perception is not a fact. How does one let go of hurts, beliefs, situations, etc. and release stuff we carry around every day of ourselves? This is a great topic for a group.
“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
(By Pat Brill)
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