I’ve realized a pattern over the past few years, a pattern of grasping things so tightly my muscles ache. Clenching with white knuckles, fingernails digging into palms.
I’ve realized that when I’m holding onto something this tightly, it’s usually an indication that I need to let it go.
I’ve seen this happen with friends, with aspects of my own identity, with business opportunities. No matter the situation, I’ve noticed the common theme: when I cling to something so tightly it hurts, it’s not right for me.
If I need to grip a friendship between clenched hands to keep it from falling apart, it’s probably not a relationship that fulfills me.
If I’m clinging to an aspect of my identity, desperate to make it fit, it probably no longer does.
If I’m willing a collaborator to pick up on the opportunity I’m presenting, it probably means we’re not aligned.
If I’m gripping onto something this tightly, it probably means I’m not being met halfway.
This is where the internal work comes in. Letting go means having things come to me. It means giving up the constant chase and trusting that life will meet me where I’m at.
This is a brand new way of experiencing the world. I’ve always been the pursuer, desperate for good things to come to me because I didn’t think I was worthy enough to have them find me.
I’m doing my best to see myself as worthy.
I’m trying to see myself as an amazing friend that someone would be lucky to have in their life. To see myself just as I am, without relying on external factors of self-definition. To see myself as an entrepreneur and creative with a lot to offer, as someone who is exactly what someone else is looking for.
I used to think I needed to pursue everything doggedly because I’d be lucky to have anyone accept me or realize my worth. I’m trying to unlearn that. I’m trying now to pay attention to what I feel pulled to and pursue that with careful intention.
Experiencing this shift means standing more firmly in who I am and learning to let go of what I’m not. This is precisely why it’s so scary: because standing in who I am means I’m going to please even fewer people than I was pleasing before. Becoming clear on my identity and the kinds of services I offer to my clients means discarding all of the things I’m not, letting go of all of the things I don’t offer. Saying “no” more.
It means taking a stand on a deeper level. A terrifying level. A level that is isolating, at least at first, because it no longer contains everything I used to surround myself with.
Until I look around.
Then I see that there’s actually a whole mess of people who appreciate me for who I am and would love to be in my life. When I look around, I see people who are ready to accept me in this new stance, who don’t question how I got here or what right I have to speak my truths.
Making the leap is a terrifying thing until I remember that I’ve done this many, many times before. And I’ve always found myself caught by a community that weaves me into their fabric and nurtures my growth.
So now I'll turn my reflection to you: What are you holding onto so tightly it makes you ache? Does it terrify you to think of what would happen if you let it go, if you jumped off the cliff into the abyss?
What would happen if you landed exactly where you belong?