“Life is meant to be lived in a cycle of receiving and releasing, and without this order, life comes to a halt altogether.”
A. St. Louis
As I continue to reflect on my 40 Days Lighter journey, this quote from Part II – Release continues to ring incredibly true. This chapter was born out of a moment of realization that I had gotten into the habit of holding in and holding onto ideas, experiences, and just plain old stuff that had come into my life, no longer had a place, yet was taking up a large amount of space.
There were empty promises that had been made to me, friendships, acquaintances, and work relationships that were fraying, but fear of having nothing to replace them deterred me from letting them go – despite how useless they had become. I was holding onto old definitions of who I was, which left very little room for me to embrace the woman I was becoming. I had clothes that I kept because “I might need them” or “so and so gave this to me” or “I don’t know where I’ll find another one”, yet I hadn’t touched them since I moved into my husband’s house (or I wore them and felt insecure every time). I needed to let go and not allow the “what if’s” ringing in my head stop me from experiencing “what could be”.
The truth is, if you aren’t willing to release what is behind you, you limit your view of what is ahead of you. I had to go through the process of divesting myself of old patterns of thinking – physically going through the process of letting go of the way I used to dress, the way I used to think about life, the way I used to think about my potential, and the way I thought about my future. I changed my hair, got my first tattoo, started losing weight – yet none of these things were the defining characteristics of the changes I was undergoing.
I was changing from the inside out – starting the journey to asking God to free me from perfectionism, from the spirit of comparison, from feeling inadequate in the various spaces of my life. I began to see a woman who had a story worth sharing, who deserved to be her own person not limited by the perceptions and opinions of everyone else around me.
I began to write my own story, not knowing that this would be the process, the moment, that change my life – and it was just the beginning.
I want to encourage someone – reflect on your life, release what doesn’t belong to you, and then tell your story.
It will surprise you to see just how far you’ve come.
~ Andrea ~