The Garage Sale
This past weekend, I helped my aunt and uncle, Carole and Russ, with their garage sale. They had a lifetime’s worth of “things” displayed in their garage…things that were filled with memories and stories, things that were being sold to strangers and categorized with a dollar sign in place of memories and emotions. As I sorted through all of Carole and Russ’s goodies, treasures, and “junk” it truly struck a chord. Letting go is scary, it makes you vulnerable, it has meaning, and we cannot move on, whether that is figuratively or literally, until we truly let go. This made me think, why is it that we hold onto things with all of our might, especially when it is so clear that letting go would be the healthiest and best choice? Sometimes it seems like it should be so easy, but it’s the “simple” things that are truly the hardest to let go!
When it comes to my own journey within eating disorder recovery, my Eating Disorder (ED) was much like an abusive relationship. I fought with ED, I bickered with ED, I was emotionally intimate with ED, I lived with ED, ED abused me, I was in love with ED. Yes, I loved ED, ED was comfortable, ED was all I knew, ED helped me function, and cope with life. I lived within a codependent relationship with ED, therefore when I was forced to look ED straight in the eye and breakup with him (it), it was the scariest thing I ever had to do…little did I know that it would be the start to a terrifying yet beautiful journey.
Please let it be known, I am not saying that you should let go of everything and anything….I am strictly talking about letting go of the things that are unhealthy to you and your life, constricting you from living a fulfilling life, preventing you from loving yourself, the toxic things within your life….or in some cases just letting go of things because it is time to move on!
This beautiful journey was my road to recovery, and after an intensive treatment plan, I started to come to terms with the fact that in order to truly move on from ED, I had to LET GO of ED and everything that came along with him (it).
Letting go is scary, because usually we are not ready to confront the main reason that is keeping us from letting go…so I challenge you to ask yourself why you are so reluctant to let go, be gentle with yourself because the reason may seem simple, but your emotion tied to the reason, is most likely incredibly complex.
Guilt and shame prevent us from setting boundaries that would be in our best interest, guilt and shame prevent us from taking care of ourselves and doing what is healthiest for ourselves….so go easy on yourself, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself why you are so reluctant to let go. As unique individual’s, we have the right to set boundaries and to insist that we treat ourselves with love and care! Once we set these boundaries we can truly start to let go, and once we let go we can move on!
It is easy to be negative about our past behaviors, our past mistakes, and our past feelings, but it is important to remember that these past behaviors and series of events are lessons that will advance us to higher levels of living and self love. Once we reach this place of self-love, we can truly find peace in letting go.
Yes letting go of ED, past jobs, relationships and behaviors was and still is a major battle….but the little things are tough as well!
So there it is….my embarrassing dirty laundry…literally! I have yet to let go of my childhood blankie….yes, it is over twenty five years old, it is most likely infested with germs and god knows what else…..but it is filled with emotions, stories, and comforts….healthy comforts that is!
Everyone has to let go of something at some point…whether that be your old blankie, that rusty lamp that won’t fit in your new home, a lost loved one, an old boyfriend or girlfriend, a past job, or your eating disorder, and depending on who you are letting go may be harder than it is for others. For those of you who are living with your eating disorder, living in recovery, or are fully recovered, my assumption is that you fall under that category, in that letting go is harder than it is for others. Letting go of that past job, may be that much harder for you because letting go, of something of meaning, is triggering for you. It means you have to relearn, and reinvest; reinvest your emotions and energy into something new. This is scary, terrifying even…. but once you truly let go, you can move on! And let me tell you… moving on, from that old jersey, that old rusty lamp, that job, moving on from ED, will empower you and bring you peace! I promise you!
So as you let go of whatever it is that you are letting go of, take care of yourself, worry about yourself first and foremost, set boundaries, come to a place of awareness and peace, find what it is that is making your reluctant to letting go…. once you do this you will be able to move on, to find peace, and to find self love! Self care is not just about material things, and practicing in outward ways, it is also about learning how to truly care for yourself, and in order to care for yourself you have to let go.
So as we continue to live our lives, lets start doing it for self love, for ourselves, and once we do this, we will truly start practicing self love and self care!