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There’s this new age idea that we need to “let go of all that doesn’t serve us.”
But many times, when we are involved in a toxic relationship, job, or situation, or we have a toxic pattern or behavior within ourselves, we are unaware of it. We either have yet to fully recognize it or are in denial of its existence.
How do we let something go if we are not yet aware of its lack of benefit to our lives or the need for it to go in the first place?!
When we connect to our feelings and tune in, instead of tuning them out, we will know our way. Our feelings are our compass, our “inner guidance system” that helps to direct us on our path.
Instead of reaffirming the notion of “letting go of all that doesn’t serve us,” without knowing how that actually plays out in our real lives, instead, may we learn to sit with and trust our emotions and allow them to guide us.
Whatever no longer makes you feel good is likely no longer serving you.
Now, I don’t mean giving up on going to the gym because it doesn’t always make us feel good—we know that sometimes discomfort is good for us. But most of the time, we feel great after a good workout, despite the initial or ongoing discomfort, and we realize this does feel good! It may not feel good to work out sometimes but it always feels good to take care of ourselves.
Parenting is another example where it may not be as easy to pinpoint “what is and is not serving us.” Yes, I love being a parent and I love my kids and that feels good, but no, I don’t always love the never-ending overwhelming responsibility (which feels “bad”). However, I am aware that it’s all for a greater cause beyond myself and the most valuable act of service to my children whom I love and humanity. So, even though there are bad feelings sometimes, I know it’s good for me and helps me grow and stay purposeful.
When I first met my husband, I initially wasn’t sure what to think of him or our relationship because things were so stable, comfortable, and easy. I didn’t have to fight for him or fight with him; we just blended and all things felt balanced.
This was so new to me, and even foreign, due to the dysfunction in my prior relationships. I had never experienced this kind of simplicity and homeostasis, so I wasn’t even sure what kind of love this was, or even if it was love.
Only as I grew into this new relationship did I realize that my previous relationship patterns were toxic and unserving (and that I was addicted to them). All I knew while I was in them was that it wasn’t feeling good anymore. That’s the only gauge I had.
We have to learn to trust our feelings. We may not be consciously aware of something mentally, but our feelings will tell us which way to go.
If I would have been told while in previous relationships to “drop what was not serving me,” it may not have occurred to me that what wasn’t serving me was the person I was with. But it absolutely can be. Looking back, once I investigated how I felt in the relationship, and how I felt about it, I knew. That was the signal telling me what was no longer serving me.
If something makes you feel good, chances are it’s still good for you. When something makes you feel bad, it’s probably no longer serving you.