Letting Go

by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

To let go. 
Some have a hard time 
letting go of what is no longer, 
what cannot be, what is not,
what has never been.

People say 
‘just let go, 
just let go, 
just let go’ 
scattering the platitude like confetti 
immediately swept away by any wind.

What is it exactly, this letting go? 
No longer allowing the eye
to be caught by the hook…
No longer fastening the lock on the door, 
just letting the door swing as it will…
No longer visiting the graves 
where there is no love 
and no blessing in both directions…
No longer reviewing and reviewing the past, 
even the last moment, 
as though there will be a test. 
There will not be a test, dear soul.

What is it exactly, 
this letting go?

Not reading the same chapter over and over
and over and over, futilely attempting 
to make the indelible facts be rewritten… 
Making new memories of quality
to bathe old scars and new life…
Moving into a larger world 
in which the past 
is but a dot on the landscape
rather than the only continent in sight.

We all find our ways… 
letting go is shaking loose,
letting go is turning
in your great coat, into a new wind
forward into new sky and open road
leaving what cannot be,
and taking all treasure
from the wreck.

Each in her own way.
Each in his own way.

This comes with love. Hang in there. No one deserves to be nailing the hem of their cloak to the crossroad that once was, but that is not now.

Protecting and Valuing our Wildish Nature

An excerpt from Women Who Run With The Wolves:

woman in black“When a woman surrenders her instincts that tell her the right time to say yes and when to say no, when she gives up her insight, intuition, and other wildish traits, then she finds herself in situations that promised gold but ultimately give grief. Some women relinquish their art for a grotesque financial marriage, or give up their life’s dream in order to be a “too-good” wife, daughter, or girl, or surrender their true calling in order to lead what they hope will be a more acceptable, fulfilling, and especially, more sanitary life. 

In these ways, and others, we lose our instincts. Instead of our lives being filled with the possibility of enlightenment, we are covered over with a kind of “endarkenment” instead.
Our outer ability to see into the nature of things and our inner seeing are both snoring away so that when the Devil comes a-knocking, we sleepwalk over to the door and let him in.(…)

Yet, it must be emphasized that this is where everyone begins. In this tale the father represents the outer world point of view, the collective ideal that pressures women to be wilted rather than wildish. Even so, there is no shame and no blame if you have given away the flowering boughs. Yes, you have suffered for it, no doubt. And you may have given it away for years, even for decades. But there is hope. The mother in the fairy tale announces to the entire psyche what has occurred. She says,”Wake up! See what you have done!” And everybody wakes up so fast, it hurts.

But still it is good news, for the wishy washy mother of the psyche, the one that once helped to dilute and dull feeling function, has just awakened to the horrible meaning of the bargain. Now a woman’s pain becomes conscious. When it is conscious she can do something with it. She can use it to learn with, to grow strong with, to become a knowing woman.

Over the long term, there will be even better news yet. That which has been given away can be reclaimed. It can be restored to its proper place in the psyche. You will see.” (1)

wild woman with lion

This is basically what I try to achieve with my blog. I try to remind you and me to always stay close to ourselves, to follow our own guidance, to live by our own standards.

When we forget about this sacred truth, we can fall into a slumber and make some wrong decisions along the way, influenced by spending too much time with others and their expectations, and too little with ourselves and our inner wisdom. The answer is always to return within and be radically honest with ourselves. We can only thrive when we know ourselves and our intentions. The universe will respond to our intentions, so we better get them straight, and not make excuses once we know what we want. We have the right to express ourselves fully and truthfully, even when others don’t agree or try to shame us.

Especially when you are very sensitive to other people’s wishes, needs and energy, it can often feel like their wishes are your own, until you have a moment of alone-time, and you discover that your instincts and heart are telling you a very different story.

A lot of us wake up one day, totally empty, with that pressing feeling that we need to make a change, yet we don’t know if we are able to. We don’t want to hurt others and we are unsure about our own ability to cope.
But I find that when we have the courage to trust and to follow through on the changes our hearts whisper us to make, that we are supported by a power bigger than us, and that things seem to fall into place effortlessly.

Don’t be afraid of hard work, though. If you’ve ever thoroughly cleaned a dirty room with your own hands, you know the satisfaction it gives to see everything shine, and to know that you made it so.
Hard work is not only desirable, it is also very necessary for our Soul’s health.
Normally, when you are doing something you love and gives you joy – which is always the way of the heart – working hard for it will come to you naturally, and will give you much satisfaction.
Don’t let anyone take that magic away from you. We all need to dig in the mud of our psyche, to find out who we are. This is so important. We need to have a strong sense of Self to exist within this world in harmony. Otherwise we are very susceptible to false promises and worse, people who prey on our light and energy.

queen

“The unemployed miller, down on his luck, had begun to chop wood. It is hard work to chop wood, is it not? There is much heaving and hauling. Yet this chopping of wood symbolizes vast psychic resources, the ability to provide energy for one’s tasks, to develop one’s ideas, to bring the dream, whatever it be, within reach. So when the miller begins to chop away, we could say the psyche has begun to do the very hard work of bringing light and warmth to itself.

But, the poor ego is always looking for an easy way out. When the Devil suggest he will relieve the miller of hard work in exchange for the light of the deep feminine, the ignorant miller agrees. We seal our own fates in this way. Deep in the wintry parts of our minds, we are hardy stock and know there is no such thing as a work-free transformation. We know that we will have to burn to the ground in one way or another, and then sit right in the ashes of who we once thought we were and go on from there. (2)”

(1) Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With The Wolves, p. 397-398 and 401

(2) p.400

howling wolf

Choose you and walk away from damaging situations

girlA lot of us are scared to be lonely. So much, in fact, that we would rather put up with a unhealthy relationship that detracts from us and makes us feel miserable than to be on our own. I have already written about the benefits of being alone, taking care of yourself, and healing your past. For those of you who need some encouragement:

Learning to trust again

Self-love as an antidote to old wounds

The power of forgiveness

The importance of creating a strong center for yourself

Which beliefs are holding you back?

(links open in new tab)

Let me get one thing straight straight away: there is never an excuse to stay in a situation that makes you miserable, and you know it.
Maybe we could find some reasons in the old way of thinking: being scared of falling into financial hardships, not wanting your children to experience a broken home, not feeling strong enough to “face” life on your own, and the deepest and most profound reason behind it all: secretly or not so secretly thinking you deserve this bad treatment because you consider yourself unworthy and not “good enough”.

I understand. Please don’t think I am judging you. I’ve been there myself, and maybe it’s something we all have to go through in some way to finally start taking full care of ourselves

thoughts
But the first thing you have to start doing is to stop making excuses. You deserve to be happy, full-stop. Love is not about tolerating bad behavior and pretending it’s ok. It’s your birth-right to be free, to live abundantly and joyfully, and to experience all good things in life. Yes, you. The universe didn’t curse you, you are no exception. You deserve all the happiness in the world. You don’t have to stay just to please others. Choose you, and the ones you care most about will benefit as well.

How?
– The one mistreating you might finally get his/her wake-up call by you leaving. They might go on their own journey towards healing, something they wouldn’t have embarked upon if you had continued to tolerate their abuse. Note that it’s not your duty to support them or to stay in touch. That would be a risky endeavor and might cause you to go back when they show the least bit of progress. That wouldn’t be good for anyone, and especially not for you.

– Your children suffer from seeing you unhappy, and I’m sure that if they had a say in the matter, they would certainly prefer you living apart than to witness you living half a life, being dead on the inside. Even if you put on a brave smile every day, children are very emphatic beings who can feel the truth behind the many masks adults put on daily. You can’t fool them.

inner callings
Please also be prepared to face a lot of heavy emotions once the fog clears. The sad news is, you’ve been living in a parallel world, one where you believed that it was ok for someone to treat you like shit and to let that bad treatment go on and on. You have repressed a lot of emotions in order to tolerate this kind of situation. Once you wake up and realise fully what has happened, the anger and grief might hit you hard, and instead of missing your partner or wanting to get back to them, you might be aching for revenge. In a first stage, rage can be a good thing. It can help you to stay away from your ex-partner, and to do what is necessary to get out. Find healthy ways to express your anger: beat on some pillows as hard as you can, write unsent letters to the one who caused you all this pain, and most of all, work on forgiving yourself. We can feel this need to punish ourselves, to beat down on ourselves for staying so long, and that doesn’t help you in the slightest.

Instead, picture how you would react if a dear friend of yours was in the same situation. Would you blame them and criticise them? Or would you gently support them, speaking kind and understanding words? You deserve the same understanding.
Yes, it was a tragic period in your life, and the many deaths your psyche has suffered must be mourned. But give yourself time, and most of all, surround yourself with supportive and nurturing people, and be your own best friend.

I can’t possibly address the many aspects of leaving and getting over a bad relationship in one post, but for now, I would like to give you this very very helpful link that has helped me tremendously to get insight in to my own pattern and to heal.

http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk  

If you wish to read a very good book on dealing with suffering and intense emotions, and how to heal yourself and your creative potential, I would recommend women who run with the wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. She’s a Jungian analyst working with stories to explain which steps should be undertaken to heal your psyche. I would recommend this book to every woman on the planet.

Much love!

wild and free