When I was younger I definitely had this idea of what adult life would be like and a plan for how my life would turn out. I look back now and see how naive I was thinking that you went to school, worked hard, got good grades, went to uni, had all the fun, and that the rest of life just fell into place for you somehow.
I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who thought they’d be ‘successful’, married and on the way to having babies by the time I reached 30. I spent my 20’s trying to do all the things – have a good job, work hard, have a car, clothes and all the material things, work out constantly to look a certain way, and party and do things with my friends.
I look back now and don’t know how I even fit it all in, but mostly I don’t even recognise that person as me!
What I see now, and what it took me a while to realise, is that path is all just what society has you believe is necessary to be happy. When actually nothing could be further from the truth.
Now I’m not saying that anyone who has all these things is bad or wrong, far from it. More that everyone needs to follow their own path, listen to their intuition and find what makes you happy.
Because life never goes to plan or turns out how you thought it would.
I spent a long time after I became ill beating myself up about not being where I thought I would be by 30. My thirtieth birthday was a big issue for me! I felt like I had gone backwards and that it made me a huge failure. I couldn’t do all of the things I spent my 20’s doing and felt like I had completely lost myself and what made me Me.
It’s a horrible thing to go through, and I know all sorts of things happen in life that have people living this same situation.
Realising I had to let it all go, all the preconceptions, all the ideas of what I thought my life should be, and start over from where I was, that is what finally set me free.
When I let go of thinking I had to be a certain way and do certain things to feel myself it lifted a huge weight. It was sad. It was hard. But I love who I am today, and fully believe this situation had to happen to put me on the right path.
Once I stopped focusing on the past and started working on the present. What makes me happy today. I started to find myself again and learn all of what my new life could be.
In fact I wish I knew what I know now a lot sooner. Which brings me to the second part of letting it all go.
Forgiveness is also a huge part of letting everything go. Forgiving yourself, and forgiveness to anyone who you’ve felt had a negative impact on your past or your situation.
In essence, you can’t change your past. You can’t undo what’s already happened so holding a grudge or feeling guilty for something you can’t change is a waste of your precious energy.
This is something I still struggle with. Imagining what my life would be like now if I hadn’t been so focused and overreaching with my energy, hadn’t stayed too long in a relationship I tried too long to fix that drained all my energy, burning the candle at both ends.
But that isn’t what happened, and all I can do it be glad that I finally came to my senses. That I’ve learnt huge lessons from my experiences and will never make those same mistakes again. To forgive my mistakes.
I also had to forgive that guy I wasted all those years on. Yes, he treat me like crap and caused me all sorts of anxiety, but it was my bad decisions. I won’t ever forget, and I still don’t ever want to see or talk to him again. But I have forgiven that part of my past, and him.
Forgiving someone for whatever it was that hurt you in the past. Picturing them in your head and saying ‘I forgive you’ is a huge step, but also a huge weight lifted. You will physically feel lighter.
And it frees your brain up. Instead of replaying old memories and pain you are free to focus on your present and your happinesses now. The people you love that are in your life now, and all the new memories you can make!
You have to choose yourself and no one else can do that for you.
Learning to let go is the best gift you can give yourself.