I have recently been having to learn some tough love lessons on detachment. Not an easy feat for an A-type overachiever. I was sitting with my best friend, telling him my latest tale of woe, when he looked at me and said, "Dani, you have to let it go. You let too much get to you." Initially I wanted to defend myself. What? Me? But in that moment, I realized he was right. I had just spent the past 7 years of my life worried about making things easier for other people. Mostly a select few who I had parted ways with over recent years. Both personal, and professional. And I was so intent on being the one to 'keep the peace' that I allowed myself to be a doormat just to avoid conflict and making the hard choices then so I could move on with my life.
Instead, I suffered inside. Running around in my head the scenarios of the past, not wanting to make waves, not standing up for myself. All the while thinking what I was doing would mean they would in return reciprocate. How wrong I was. The more I quietly gave or sat in silence, the more they took. And you know what resulted? A strong independent, successful woman becoming insecure, secluded and doubting my own abilities, strengths and place in this world. I had become so resentful of and wanted back what I thought had been taken away that it literally froze me in place for almost a decade. No matter how hard I tried, without letting it go, I simply could not move on.
What a liberating day that was for me. It was hard to hear, but luckily I have someone in my corner who was willing to shake me up and wake me up. Imagine how far along I would be had I not let the voices of those trying to hurt me stay in my head. Had I let them pass through and continued on my way and left the past in the past, I could have saved myself so much grief and confusion.
I am no longer willing to let someone else be more important than me. That is not how the universe works. It is not how you live your best life. It is not a good example to set for your children. The situations sucked, but I can now take the lessons without the baggage and use my wisdom to help others. I no longer ask, "How did this happen?" My question these days is, "What do I do about it?" I have that same friend to thank for that insight too. No longer will I play small to make someone else feel better or feel bigger than me.
It's ok to acknowledge the feelings that unpleasant situations and people bring, but it's key to let them pass. There are far more exciting things to discover and do and be. But without letting go of the past it's almost impossible to live a fulfilled future.