I make fun of myself a lot. I do that because it makes me feel better about the things I’m insecure about. And because I don’t want anyone to really know that I’m insecure about it because that just makes me look insecure. Anyways, in recent weeks, I’ve gained a few pounds. OK, more than a few. I sat down at work and busted the button off my pants. The button literally went flying. So, Friday night I went shopping and bought myself larger sizes. You know, sizes that fit. And then Saturday night, I sat in a hot tub and stared at my new body that I barely recognize anymore. I poked at my cute belly roll and noticed how my legs were crossed and about an inch from the bottom of the tub, but my skin was still touching it. The bottom of the tub. It was just hanging there. “Well, that’s new!” I thought to myself. I joked to my boyfriend that people were going to look at me and say, “WOW, she really let herself go!”
What’s crazy though, is that people have been telling me that I look great. In fact, a few people have recently told me that I look better than ever. My face is fuller. I look more youthful. I look happier and healthier. In the darkest days of my eating disorder, if someone would tell me that I looked healthy, I took that as an insult and it would send me spiraling down a very unhealthy path. I didn’t want to look healthy. I wanted to look fragile. But now, I say, “thank you” and I really mean it! In that tub Saturday, I grabbed a handful of my thigh skin/fat/stuff and not only did I shake it just to make it jiggle, but I stared at it and smiled. Because I realized that I haven’t “let myself go” at all. It’s kind of the opposite really. I’m just now holding on to myself. (metaphorically and literally!) And in the process, I’ve been slowly letting go of the things that aren’t meant for me!
Like control. The hardest thing for me to let go of is control. Whenever something does not go EXACTLY as I had it mapped out in my mind, or I find myself trying so hard to please everyone else around me, that’s when anxiety becomes an issue. This is not healthy, and I know that this is no way to live. It knocks the breath out of me and speeds up my heart rate. I hate it. So little by little, I’ve been letting go of that need for control. I remind myself that I cannot control everything and I’m not in charge of another person’s happiness. Everything always works itself out one way or another, so let it go.
I am letting go of my thoughts on perfection. I will never be perfect, and I don’t need to even TRY to be perfect. It will never happen. I’m going to mess up. A LOT! Along with my thoughts on perfection, I am letting go of my views on beauty. With age, my concept of beauty has completely taken on new meaning. With each passing year, it seems that I love myself a little bit more. Enough now, to know that I don’t need to worry so much about that gray hair(s) I spotted this morning. I love myself enough to know that while I LOVE my false eyelashes and makeup, none of that will make me a beautiful person. I want to be beautiful for who I am. I don’t need to be a size 6. And I love sweat pants. Let it go.
I am letting go of my thoughts on normalcy. So, I take an anti-depressant every day. Who cares? So, I have weird little quirks that probably (absolutely) drive people nuts. Oh well! Who wants to be all normal and boring anyways? I flip out over ridiculous things sometimes. I’m talking full blown meltdowns that leave me totally mortified hours later. And then I lecture people about how important it is to “not sweat the small stuff”. I’m hilarious! And I’m a mess. Let it go.
I started letting go of people who don’t want me to succeed. I have spent so much damn time trying to be liked by everyone, I didn’t even know who I was! But again, as I get older, I just don’t have time for fake friendships or relationships. I have realized that sometimes, you’ve got to cut certain “toxins” from your life. And sometimes, those “toxins” come in the form of a person. Anyone who treats you poorly or disrespectfully, let them go. And don’t hold on to that resentment. It’s too heavy a burden. Let that go too while you’re at it. You might never forget what someone did to hurt you, but you don’t need to carry around that pain. It’s only hurting you. Let it go.
My first published article was about how turning 40 has made me a bad ass. But some days I still want to escape reality, just so I can breathe again. The truth is, we are always a work in progress. I am a slightly heavier work in progress than I was a year ago, but hey, it’s the progress that matters. (there I go again). My point is, in learning to LET GO, I have also discovered the wonder of breathing easy. Just breathe. It’s even a song, that’s how important it is. I have those words engraved on a bracelet. It’s what we are all doing, all the time, without even giving it thought. Unless of course, you’re living with anxiety and worry. It’s so hard to breathe easy when you’re holding on to so many things that just aren’t meant for you. I never really appreciated each breath like I do now, that I’ve started to let go.
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