On burying versus letting go.

I’ve reached a point.

I am ready to surrender. I want to let go.

I do not have the energy to keep overthinking, over-analyzing, over-worrying.

I picture myself walking along a cliff, as the sun is setting. The colors are magnificent. My heart and soul are as burdened down as I am now. I look at the sunset, drop to my knees, and just sob. In my tears are all the heavy things that weigh me down. In this moment, I surrender to the earth and sky, begging my higher power to take some of it away.

I want to let it go.

I do not want to keep holding on to the pain, the knowledge, the negativity, the anxiety…the loss.

I want to let it go.

My entire life, I have defined myself–survived the trauma–by framing myself as resilient. Shitty stuff happened. But I never, ever really acknowledged the gravity of any of it.

I spoke of my mother overcoming her demons and settling down with a nice man who wanted to be my father. I never spoke of the fact that she was still fighting demons, or the fact that this man could be harsh and punitive.

I spoke of my achievements–straight A student, valedictorian, successful performer, summa cum laude collegiate graduate. All extrinsic achievements that, until this year, defined who I was more than the intrinsic qualities.

Despite all the crap, I overcame. I was successful. I was well-known. I was well-regarded.

Then, I got married. Had kids. Became a stay at home mom.

I totally lost my identity. I was no longer the successful student or well-known community member. I was a nobody. Yes, I had two beautiful babies that I loved–but, extrinsically I had no way to gauge the value of myself. 

Because, that is what I have always done.

Months ago, I had an EMDR session that really rocked my world. In that session, I realized that I never define myself by internal qualities. In that moment, my therapist described me as “A great mother. A good wife. A compassionate person. A kind friend.”

This was a defining moment.

This moment really dimmed my resilience. Instead of thinking of my accomplishments–the great grades, the performances, the people who liked me–I thought of the cost of these things. I thought of the stress and anxiety my perfectionism places on me–the need for straight A’s comes not from a desire to learn, but a desire to be the best, to stand out, to impress so that no other questions might be asked. They define my worth. My desire to be well-liked is not because I am social–but because I desperately want to know that others find some value in me. If they don’t, I feel crushed.

This moment made me realize that my resilience, while necessary to survive in my own way, also had a cost.

The last few months have also shown me what a cost my childhood has had in general. WHY am I a perfectionist? A pleaser? An overachiever?

Because of all of the stuff that they did. 

Why do I have these problems today?

Because of all of the stuff that they did.

My identity is being re-formed. My worth is being realized, for the first time ever. My purpose is being found.

But, my pain is also real. My heart hurts. The loss is huge. The anger surfaces, but I can’t express it. The injustice feels, at times, absolutely unbearable. Why did this have to happen to ME? Why can’t I cope with it?

I am tempted to stop. To bury it all in my soul again. I feel better when I have a break. When I don’t think about it. When I get busy.

But, I am not addressing it. I am not meeting it head on the way I should.

By burying it, I would simply be putting off the inevitable–that moment where it all decides to explode out of me once more.

The question I struggle with is HOW. How do I let it go? How do I surrender?

I am feeling ready.

I am ready to drop to my knees and let it go.

I am ready.

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