Stepping Forward

The sun was just beginning to set on this warm July evening. The night bugs, tree frogs and whatever else is out there were beginning their symphony that fills the night air with music.  Sitting outside with a candle lit and a glass of lemon water, the mind begins to rest, the body relax. The perfect time to let the mind wander, opening up to messages, thoughts and feelings that have been pushed aside in order to get work done. The last few weeks have been about gaining perspective, moving from emotions that can take over at times to understanding, accepting and perhaps moving forward.

A sense of peace came over me as I realized that I had begun to move forward from something that had me stuck for so long. Even after learning something 3 months ago, I still had hopes, or dreams of something that was not going to happen. But now it isn’t happening because I no longer am chasing it. I no longer see it as something I need or want. I realized that it wasn’t for me. Up until this moment, I kept hoping, dreaming and doing all of the “what ifs” and “I should haves” to rationalize where I was in this situation.

As I sat there, words came to me.  Grieving. Let go. Embrace how it is today. And those drove me to really think about things differently. I knew I needed to stop focusing on how things changed in order to get clarity on where I needed to go. I was fighting it.  I kept going back to how great this friendship and relationship was a few years ago.  I didn’t want to believe that it was no longer that way. Then I realized that in order to let go of the past, I had to actually grieve it. The old adage of “you have to feel it to heal it,” came to mind. I was holding on to it instead of getting through it, understanding that was then and it is different now. It is okay to be sad about it, but just like other times I have had to grieve, you move through it. You take the best of it forward, you forget the crappy parts and you love what you had. You can’t stay in grief, that destroys you. You can’t stay in a place where you are wallowing in your own pity or anger because today is different than the past. This is the new normal, just like you realize when you grieve any loss. Wallowing doesn’t bring the person you lost back, it just pushes others away. The negative energy that surrounds you and envelopes you spreads like wildfire to others, they no longer want to be near you because of your vibe. Who hasn’t sat back and said, “ugh, I have to see so and so next week, that is going to drain me?” I know I have drained others over the years and I am grateful that those who truly love me have stuck by me when that has happened. In this case, as I wallowed in my grief over my mother and my dad’s health which impacted my independence, and my retirement which for a while impacted my identity, this person ran from me instead of standing by me. I continued to think that what we said we had was real. I continued to think of this relationship as becoming more, like we talked about. But it didn’t. It went the opposite direction and turned into something unrecognizable.

I realized I needed to actually grieve what was, allowing me to feel it and heal it. I began to think about the gift of that relationship during the years that it was a key friendship for me. Remembering how it helped me through some tough times in my life, and brought joy to my every day were key in grieving. I had to let go of the anger and denial that this was no longer an important relationship in my life.

I needed to let go of the expectations that I had of the future based upon all we used to say to each other. This was the hardest part of the process. Expectations are so difficult, having them can cause anxiety, frustration, and anger when situations and/or people do not live up to the expectation you have had. Rewriting what you thought the future held and letting go of all the stored memories that supported those expectations is key to moving forward. Changing the thoughts associated so the feelings can change and thus the actions are different was difficult. Slowly, those thoughts are changing, some because they just have to and some because of realizations about the persons’ character.

The last step is about accepting where the relationship or situations is today and realizing “it is what it is.” I can no longer try to make it something else. I don’t want to be angry about it, I want it to just be. I have a lot of friendships that I let just be, they are what they are, I can’t make them something else. I have to put this one in that category. Losing someone in my life who I connected on such a deep level has been hard, there are very few people I connect that deeply with.  So many don’t go deep, and I know I go deeper than most.  I keep reminding myself that the universe must have something even better in store for me. I continue to do the work to heal me and the universe will shift for me, I have faith in that.

Moments like this when I gain such clarity and focus energize me. I love the feeling of letting go of all of that angst, anger, frustration and sadness. Stepping forward emotionally is freeing. Grieve. Let go. Embrace.

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