A single phrase can have so many different connotations. Some positive, some negative, some helpful, some damaging – all depending on the perspective we hold and what we are aiming to achieve. One could even give up on giving up!
Over the past two weeks there were more days I struggled to see through the fogginess of feeling incapable than days I felt I could accomplish anything at all. I felt completely unable to embrace the beauty of taking a step back, taking a deep breath, and reminding myself these feelings are temporary.
Over the past decade these times have come and gone. There have been peaks of joy, coupled with realisation that moving forward is possible. It isn’t easy and doesn’t follow a predictable path, but it is possible. Mixed in with these peaks have been unbelievably low troughs. While trying to stay afloat amongst the seemingly ever-growing waves, finding the way back to sea level – let alone other peaks – was all but impossible.
Yet, I gain something useful each time I find myself experiencing the familiar but deeply uncomfortable pain. The more I fight against it myself the more I find myself battered and bruised, drifting without a way to keep myself above water. Not for lack of trying, and not for lacking a destination, it’s just… terribly confusing to think about getting there from where I am.
We humans are made to work together, to combine the beautiful gifts we have with each other. Every one of us has a unique way of seeing the world, inhabiting it, and creating space to thrive. Though, learning how to communicate what we need to with others can be difficult. Sometimes it’s words that are difficult. Sometimes it is getting up from a chair that is difficult, because it feels so safe to be there. There are days standing up feels like lifting a ten tonne weight to me. At these times I try to remember it is not up to me to carry the entire burden I find myself with. I can share how I am with others, and work things through with them.
We humans are not made with the capacity to go at a hundred percent all day every day. Maybe for a few days in a row, a few weeks, maybe a few months, maybe even a year or two, we can feel like we’ve got all the energy in the world. But, we will need to rest. While editing my book manuscript I stayed up until 1 or 2am some days, after my paid work hours, to ensure I was getting this editing done. This was sustainable for about four months for me. Then I needed time off work, and away from my manuscript, to rest.
I chose to give up a bit of sleep during that time to do the work I wanted to get done. I didn’t realise giving up some hours of sleep was something I was doing until I looked back on that time spent editing. It was a compromise which meant I got the thing done, and it was not forever.
Right now I’m working on giving up something a bit bigger. It’s something I’ve been working at for a long while. I hold onto a lot of grief from decisions I’ve made in the past, and the pain these have caused. Letting go is not easy. The pain feels like it is so much a part of me that I would forget myself without it.
But I am doing it. I am laying the pain down. Piece by piece.
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Are there things in your life which would be beneficial to give up?
How might you embark on this journey with others around you, to safely and healthily do it?
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Feelings can feel like they will be forever. They are not. Feel them, knowing it is ok to experience the emotions that are in your present. If things become too heavy to bear, share with someone you trust, please.
Keep on keeping on being awesome, because you are.