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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Letting go is not giving up... or is it?

There's something I have been thinking about lately.... a lot...  because I am at a turning point in my life... I have a difficulty discerning between letting go and giving up... when I am letting go? when I am giving up? There are as many ways to explain the difference between the two as there are people explaining it... in clear, I have looked...  but did not find a satisfying answer... so I had to come up with my own...

As human being we are brought up and raised a given way...  depending on our parents, environment, country we live in, religion or lack of, education system and society we live in...  For example, I was brought into this world in 1972 in Montreal, Canada in a middle class family... French speaking... My parents, like any parents, did the best they could with what they had to instill me some values and beliefs...  to show me a way to live...  had I been born same year in a country in Africa, Asia or Europe, I would have received a completely different education, values and belief system...would it have been better? No... just different... is what I received better?  no... just different...  who's to say what is better or not... nonetheless, the way we are brought up shapes our lives s adults...whether we like it or not!

Now, here I come with my giving up and letting go...

I have come to realise over the years that what I have learn as a kid, no longer suits me...  for many reasons...  Life as made it such that those values and beliefs system no longer agree with my path...  Now this is difficult for some to accept... namely my parents... and I understand... and the goal here is not to discuss their reaction to my behavior but reasons for my behavior...

I have had a very bumpy road over the last few years... First I had several health issues in my late 20s...  then I almost died while giving birth... I was then diagnosed with a chronic degenerative disease (MS) ...  lost a few jobs...  went bankrupt...   After all that, I obviously started questioning myself...  when ALL that happen over the course of 10 years, you can't help but wonder "why me?" "why all of that?"... Seriously, what sometimes happens to others in the course of a lifetime had happened to me over the supposedly 10 best years of my life!!! If that were the best years... what should I expect for the future??? It scared me... really!!!!

I got scared and depress... and I had to figure out how to make things better...  obviously I was doing something wrong...  but what was it???  I don't believe in bad luck or good luck....  never did... I believe you make your own luck...  so I was obviously doing something wrong! But what???

So I took up yoga.. and meditation...  and by keeping this practice for a few months, things started to change... not outside of me.. but within me... something was happening...  but I could not explain it...  I suddenly had an urge to "clean" stuff... things... people... I started questioning what was given to me as education, belief system and values...  and I came to realise that they were hurting me... not that they were bad in themselves... they were not convenient for me... and they were holding me back...  the values I received were that of hard work, responsibility, respect, honesty....  how could that be bad? It was not... what I was doing with them, how I was thought to use those was what was hurting me...  and it took me many many years to get that!!!

Hard work is good... when you work hard towards something you like.... or preferably something you love and are passionate about... not when you work hard at something that goes against you...   I was working hard on the wrong things... I was working hard on securing my financial life and future... I was working hard at blending into society... not expressing my true self...  It was hard work... but directed the wrong way.. and this is why I had to let go of it... let go of that hard work.. and work hard at finding who I was... who I wanted to be... what were my dreams...  and now work hard on realising those... I did not give up the value I received of hard work... I had to let go of what I was working hard on... I did not wanted to give up "hard work".

Therefore, slowly, by keeping my yoga practice, my inner self, that was buried over the years under society and family expectation was re-awakened...

Only to find that contrary to what I believed until my mid thirties:

1- stuff does not make me happy
2- more stuff neither...
3- I really do not care for material possession...
4- I want to work with people....  help them out...
5- I couldn't care less for a house and a car
6- I want to be a nomad... I love to live in different places....  love to move!
7- I want to work for myself
8- I want to be free
9- I am quite unconventional
10- I do not want to hide myself anymore and pretend to be who I am not...

Now that I know all that... how do I live it??? That was something else.... It required I made many changes to my life... It required that I let go of stuff...  let go of situations.... let go of people...let go of thinking that how I was brought up was the only way to live... it was the best way my parents knew... but it is no longer convenient to me...  I am not giving up on it... because it actually made me who I am today.... but I need to let go and find my own ways....

I believe that we all have to do that... and our kids will have to do it to.... I mean my parents raised me in a way they assume was best for me... and I am raising my son in a way I assume to be best for him.... but has he grows up, he will have to give and take... he will keep some of it... and let go of other stuff... and that's OK!!! 

In summary I am not giving up on anything... On contrary... I am using what I was given to go elsewhere... to go where I want to... and on that path, I have to let go of stuff, situation and people in order to not give up on my dreams! In order to not give up on myself!

I can't give up on myself... therefore I need to let go of what is weighing me down!

I am glad in the end that I got that stupid disease.... it was, in retrospect, the best thing that ever happen to me...  because it forced me to dig deep and figure things out...  It had me start doing yoga... which woke me up...

In the end, I am grateful for MS, yoga and my new self!
And I really have no regrets...
All that happen brought me to be who I am today... and this is just as perfect as it could be!

What about you? What do you need to let go off? Are you giving up on anything that is deep down very important to you?


1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post Nathalie! Inspirational, as always! I agree and see myself in those 10 points you wrote. We are free-spirits, nonconformists and there's nothing wrong with that - we're happier than most "normal" people!