Learning to let go: The need to care for oneself

Life is very busy.

It gets even busier as time goes on.

Responsibilities increase as we age and more is expected of us-both from ourselves and from those around us.

In order to take on increasing responsibilities, I have always relied on the feeling of being in control as a way to mitigate stress. Well, it only mitigates stress in my mind…

Whether that’s actually the case or not is more apparent to my loved ones.

A facet of control, sometimes good sometimes bad, is the incessant need to plan for everything. Every action, every moment, every second is accounted for. If Plan A doesn’t work, Plan B will. Of course, I’ll have three more back up plans just in case.

What happens when you are required to pause?

Not stop, but pause. Freeze in your tracks and attend to something you didn’t plan for. Sometimes it’s easier to ignore it and just proceed with life. However, how productive does this turn out to be in the long run?

In that moment:

I can get through this. It isn’t a big deal. I’ll just address it later. Later when? Umm… Clearly before the next challenge. 

The next challenge:

So now? Well, it’s not that bad… Later. 

After reaching a particularly debilitating junction:

I don’t want to stop my life. It isn’t stopping… It’s pausing.Whatever, it doesn’t fit in with my plan. Meh meh meh… 

We can always make excuses that it is the wrong time to deal with an issue. This can be any issue ranging from a toxic relationship to the giant mess in your attic. Nevertheless, resistance is not the answer.

For me, it was admitting that I had been going through a Crohn’s Disease flare up for the past two years. It was coming to terms with the fact that I needed to change my medication to something stronger. It is realising that I still need to stay back and let my body heal.

Sometimes… I still struggle with this.

Struggle with what? Letting go.

I struggle with letting go of my resistance. I struggle with letting go of my need to control the situation. I struggle with letting go my fear that I will not succeed professionally by taking these necessary health breaks.

Struggling is okay, but it is important to make the effort to let go. It may seem like an easy fix to just let life happen and stick to the plan, but if you don’t empty out that overflowing cupboard you will have no space to fill it in with new experiences.

You can not truly take care of yourself until you deal with the impending issues that are holding you back.

As the the first month of the new year comes to a close, I urge you to sit down and think about what you should have left behind in 2015. If there is anything you should have dealt with yesterday, don’t let it hold you back. Free yourself and tend to your needs.

Because NO ONE…

And I seriously mean NO ONE…

Can take care of you, like you can take care of yourself.

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