Letting go is a concept that I hear people talk about all the time. They desperately want to let go (read: get rid of something) and yet, they continue to hold on so tightly to an idea or fantasy that they tear themselves apart while supposedly seeking relief. Struggling to let go is as common as breathing. If all there was to letting go was, well, 'letting go', then we'd all be doing it, right? We'd all be living it large in Disney World where everyone lives happily ever after. So what's missing? A small thing called R-e-a-l-i-t-y. The reality is, letting go is a process, just like breathing. You can't breath on Tuesday and then decide that's it. Breathing = done = tick. Letting go in the moment doesn't prepare us for the next hit, which might come just when we thought we we had all our sh*t together (usually the precise moment when something occurs. Am I wrong?) Letting go, therefore is a Work In Progress. We learn to strengthen our resolve by practicing. Fortunately, Life will make sure we have plenty of opportunity to do that. :) What we can also benefit from remembering (or discovering) is that trying to let go when we have unhealthy boundaries is like trying not to go fast when you have your foot on the accelerator. It ain't gonna happen. You need to BRAKE. Putting on the brakes can be one of the hardest things to do. Leaky boundaries make it seem almost impossible. Not to mention when our resistance is mixed in with old hurt, past trauma, conflicting belief systems and any number of other unhealed pain [insert personal example here…] The even worse news (#sorrynotsorry) is that resentment is one of the side effects of unhealthy boundaries. Letting go is what we try to do when we're holding resentment and either a) can't see that or b) just don't know how to move on. So how do we do it? How can we let go of these irritating old patterns that we say we hate and Just Move The F*ck On? Many times, we begin with a forceful approach. No matter if the thing we're letting go of is a person or situation, either way, we're usually sick and tired of feeling like crap and we begin by shutting down and putting up walls. Yep, we push the person away or we run away from the situation and create as much distance as possible. We brush ourselves off and compliment ourselves on a job well done. Except … what comes along is another person or situation and BOOM! you're right back at Square One. F*ck… The above is an example of what's called a Rigid Boundary. It works in two ways. 1) We don't let people in 2) We don't let our true (vulnerable) self be seen Both are a form of shutting down and both are an emotional reaction to something that is out of our control. Porous boundaries are the opposite. When our boundaries are porous we find ourselves unable to say No. We continually agree to contracts and relationships that we know are not right for us. We justify our actions because we think we aren't in a position to say no, or we believe we are beholden to a social obligation. Nice people are agreeable and don't make a fuss … Agreed? If you find the words Yes coming our of your mouth when deep inside you there is a grumbling No then it's time to start listening to your belly. Resentment is the consequence of porous boundaries. Letting people into our lives who have only their own interests at heart is unhealthy. Seeing that we have done this often invokes shame. But shame is the capsule that shows us where we've stepped over our needs – most likely because we didn't know we were allowed to have them. (That's an even deeper story that we'll get to another time). If you resonate with the above, I recommend you take some time out to consider…
With whom do you have rigid boundaries?
With whom do you have porous boundaries?
Is there anyone with whom you have healthy boundaries?
Healthy boundaries are when you are able to hold space for someone to have their experience while you maintain a hold on your own. It's also where you can speak your truth with no attachment to an agreement from the other party. This is relevant both in the workplace, families and any other relationships. Letting go is only possible once we know ourselves more fully. Until we are more aware of our triggers and their origin, we will continue to repeat old patterns over and over and over and over again… Developing the awareness to set yourself free requires a deep excavation. It takes courage and commitment. It requires a willingness to fall on your face and land in the mud of your past conditioning. And, it involves mastering the ability (and humility) to rise up and dust yourself off without leaking shame all over the place. If that sounds like a lot. It is. Which is why I'm starting a series of workshops in September called Managing Emotions. The first one will be on How To Set Healthy Boundaries and Dissolve Resentment. If you're ready to really learn how to let go and create more inner freedom then stay tuned. I'll be announcing the dates very soon. Wherever you're at today, give yourself a hug and remember, you do not have unhealthy boundaries because you're a fool. They are simply a consequence of being raised by people with unhealthy boundaries. Which is not their fault, it's just life. Any shame you might feel about unhealthy boundaries or difficulty letting go is valid. My point is, you are not alone and you don't need to stay there. Growth is dicey and uncomfortable. Everything I've said is applicable to each and every one of us so if you feel triggered by this email, feel free to get in touch. Talking can really help. Meantime, remember; you are never alone and your inner wisdom is always waiting at the gate to upgrade you to your next level. You got this. H x 🌸🕊🌸