Self Care & Letting Go What does it Mean to YOU?
What does letting go mean to you? Do you have self care rituals around the act of letting go?
For some, letting go might mean, let bygones be bygones, don’t let it bother you anymore. For others it might mean releasing held disappointments, anger, hurt, etc, so that you can live a more peaceful life.
For me, and for the purpose of this article, it means letting go of being reactionary when stuck in a trigger cycle. Letting go of old thought and behavior patterns that no longer serve me. That are not me. That are not true.
I’m also talking about letting go in terms of how you might harshly or critically judge/view/blame yourself. And the self care needed to continuously care and nurture yourself during these times.
My Own Journey of Self Care & Letting Go
Let me put this more into context of why I’m writing about this today and my hope that it may inspire you.
Recently, and many times before this recent event, there have been certain triggers in my life that are repeatable themes. And when triggered within me, I tend to go down a spiral of self blame, guilt, defensiveness or argumentativeness…
But, I recently experienced the blessing and gift of clarity. And it’s been huge for me. I will say, it’s not without its struggle, pain, and hurt. It’s also not without feeling of grief of loss in addition to feelings of aloneness and isolation. But, the letting go that was and is so desperately needed and the clarity provided has been essential for my healing. For my self care. For my self care and letting go of what doesn’t serve me. Letting go of what doesn’t allow me to grow. To give myself permission to be the best version of me.
As I am writing this, I want to take a minute to say a little about these repeatable triggers that I’ve identified and continuously working on. While simultaneously gaining more and more self compassion and empathy for the parts of me that need my nurturing and care.
What I came to realize recently is a dynamic (while some of the variables may have changed) where the main storyline is the exact same as it has been for a very long time. A. very. long. time.
But, I was getting caught up in the new variables, getting caught up in the new content. What I mean here is…when I started feeling the trigger within me, I didn’t react. I stayed still. I breathed. I let “it” engulf me. Then “it” being fear/anxiety. All this was quite quick. The uprising of the fear/anxiety happens pretty quickly for me in these specific trigger events. But, as quick as it came this time, I dissipated. I allowed it to rise up, to feel it and then it lessened. That’s when I had a moment to distance myself from it, and to learn more about it. To learn what it needs from me. What care it needs from me. Then I realized…I have choice!
Such a beautiful thing. But still…it’s not without its own suffering which is where self care and letting go rituals come into play. And are so very important! I had to learn (and still am learning) how to grieve the grieving parts.
Triggers that Now Have Different Meaning
In the not too far away past, when these triggers would come up within me, I would often go down a road of judging myself. Finding fault in what I’m doing or not doing. Feeling compelled to do and say things to please others at the expense of me. At the expense of these vulnerable parts within me that needed care and I was looking in all the wrong places for someone else to provide that care. And in those trigger moments, when I reacted based on a trigger, I was so far away from caring for myself, so far away from my own self care and the impact was definitely felt internally by me.
The impact would linger in me for a bit. It would usually take the form of bodily sensations along with accompanying thoughts. This used to last a week or two, until it started to change to a couple of days, then one day, then one hour. This was and has been huge! The trigger no longer had a long controlling grip on me, I could respond internally to myself. I could care for myself in those moments.
Now when these triggers spark a hidden anxiety within me, I have learned to turn toward “it.” The “it” being “me!” I have learned not to react outwardly. Not to disown and abandon myself in those moments by responding to others or giving in to manipulation and control maneuvers. I have learned to turn toward me and provide the comfort and nurturing I need during those trigger moments so that those hidden anxiety parts within me are actually seen, known, understood and felt by me.
The letting go part, for me, is about letting go of the reactionary jump to do something, to react, to please someone else, etc. I have learned through continued practice of self care, empathy and compassion that I can let go to what doesn’t serve me and turn inward toward what does…
My hope for you if you’re still reading this…is that you too identify what self care and letting go rituals are necessary for you to begin or continue your journey toward being the best you, you can be. To shine your light even brighter…
One thing that can help…
For me, clarity came in a few different ways. I’m a big “in my head” person. I like to think through things. Analyze things. Research things. Become curious about things. But, sometimes, I can get stuck in this. I can get stuck in all the swirling around in my head. The contradictory thoughts. The it’s all my fault, I must be wrong spirals…then, one day while in this trigger event, I got a piece of paper and started writing.
Just scribbling down all the thoughts I was having around this certain trigger and certain repeated/familar events. And when I was done (I honestly never even went back to read it) – although if going back and reading it is helpful to you then please do. But for me, I just needed to get it out of my body. To get it out of my head which then released it’s grip in my nervous system. Allowing my body and mind to relax, be joyous, and focus on what brings me peace, comfort, joy and nurturing. It was a true epiphany for me.
Maybe it can be for…if you’re struggling with thoughts around events in your life, circumstances beyond your control, triggers that are popping up…you might consider writing about it.
It doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t have to be structured. Just write. That’s it. Just write.
I have many through coaching create the life they want. If you’d like additional help and want coaching around this so that you can live your best life, please reach out to me today.