2022 was a challenge for many; Covid-19 and its variants, housing difficulties, job and financial losses certainly have tested our proverbial mettle. Even I could not escape its most antagonistic grasp. I was forced, often to my chagrin, to face aspects (read: imperfections, failures) of my personality, relationships and life in general as I worked through some difficult and oft-repeating themes. In moments of overwhelm, I simply decided to let go. Why was I hanging on to people, places and things that no longer fed or supported me emotionally or spiritually?
The Great Escapes
At the onset of 2022, one of the first tasks was to walk away – no, ESCAPE from – a lousy job of 2.5 years. High stress, high turnover, low pay, filthy working conditions, etc. I had so many reasons for leaving but couldn’t muster the courage to take that leap of faith. Not only did I walk away but I managed to secure a long-term seasonal job with better pay, (much) lower stress, and a (much) smaller workforce (total of 7 of us in the office). I finalized my escape at the end of January 2022.
In the spring, I ESCAPED a living situation that had gone from slightly uncomfortable (two very different, occasionally opposing personalities) to over-controlling and immovable (on her part). As an Aries, I can tell you that the one thing you CANNOT do is trap, ensnare or corner us – we’ll lash out in some way. My way was to move out. End of story. (I stayed my course and am now living in a way I CHOOSE for myself. Can’t get anymore Arian than that!)
Mercury retrograde through May knocked me on my keister but I knew Jupiter in Aries was soon to follow so I hung in there best I could. I picked up another long-term temp gig with a company that has kept me working (most of the time) and at a much higher rate of pay than most jobs here.
Over the summer, I cleared out my storage unit of unwanted pieces of my life that were no longer useful. Done. Now I can breathe. Being tethered to less and less of the material world has helped free my spirit and has lightened my load in so many ways.
Hangin’ In There But Still Letting Go…
Indian summer/fall found me struggling with another Mercury retrograde (while Jupiter was still in Aries so it didn’t hit so hard) but still working. Then I got hit with a medical issue that brought me to the ER after much arguing with myself that it really wasn’t that serious. It wasn’t, turns out, but there was something else that was discovered in a follow-up appointment with my PCP. I was taken aback at first; for someone who’s always been a foodie (I love my veggies and fruit over junk food) and relatively healthy, this new diagnosis was a surprise, albeit a scary one – at first. Once the initial shock wore down, I did some research (I did have a medical license for some years, after all) and realized that I could do what was needed without having to make too many changes in my food choices or daily habits.
I decided to let go of the fear of the negative long-term possibilities and scheduled an appointment with a local talented Acupuncturist/Chinese herbalist. I’ve kept going and boy, what a difference! I’m constantly amazed (and disgusted) by the defeatist attitude so prevalent in Western medicine. They consider my situation nonreversible but that’s not true in Chinese medicine. It rarely is. If one is willing to make some changes in diet/lifestyle for the long term good, the outcome will no doubt be to your liking.
When It Comes to Family and Friends…
And then there’s family – or at least what’s left of it. With mine, sadly, there were some losses in 2022 but it’s my generation’s turn so not much to be done about that. Facing mortality is a fact of life, especially when you reach my age. (I find myself more and more pragmatic about it the closer to the other end I get. That’s good right? Acceptance?) Even old friends, long gone from my life (for not always the right reasons) and still on my mind had to go. I had to make space in my heart for the new in 2023.
What I’m referring to is the letting go of relationships or perceived relationships that I have been unwilling to sever, for lack of reciprocity. I’m not a hopeful romantic but I have spent far too many years ‘hoping’ that certain friends and family members would – how to say this – change the way they feel about me, the way they treat me.
Not gonna happen.
In the wee hours of this very morning, I did a visualization: I conjured up images/faces of those particular family and old friends with a satin-like ribbon extending from their images to my body. I took a pair of scissors to each ribbon and, one by one, SNIP SNIP SNIP. What a release! What a nice way to close what has been a very challenging year (for so many, not just me)!
Once completed, I felt relief. Emotional freedom and the permission to go about my life as I choose. I don’t care anymore. I can’t. It’s been draining me for too long because I’ve received NOTHING in return. Some people just can’t be the people we envision, the people we need, the people we hope they can become. For whatever reason, they simply cannot or will not be what they could be. So I have to let them go.
In Elizabeth Gilbert’s movie Eat Pray Love, Richard from Texas (actor Richard Jenkins) tells Elizabeth (actress Julia Roberts): “So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, then drop it.”
That’s what I’m gonna do. I will send them love and light when I think of them and then I’ll drop it. I’ll let go. So I can be free. To be me, warts and all.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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I’ve always been curious about this perspective. I still hold grudges against a certain few, and I understand that doing so only makes things worse for me. They say love is the best state to be in, and even when wrong, we should learn to love. Maybe someday I shall enter this state, but when I think of those certain few, I know that I still have some resentment to deal with there. Anyway, thanks for this post!
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Stop giving them free rent in your head .. forgive them, send them love and light, then LET IT GO.
ah much of this courage do I need! thanks for this post.