Friday, January 8, 2010

On letting go

This morning I said my final goodbye to my beautiful convertible, sporty dream-car. As I handed the keys to the salesperson and begged him to “… take good care of my baby!” I felt a real sense of loss, which could not simply be dismissed as regret at losing a much-loved possession.

This car was about pure ego-gratification for me. I loved the speed, the power, the maneuverability, the pure sex appeal of the car. I loved the way I looked and felt behind the wheel and the attention I received when driving the car. I loved the fact that I had bought, with my own hard-earned cash, the car I most desired. This vehicle was truly a tangible manifestation of my will and my ego. However, I know that a car like that simply doesn’t fit in with my dream of living in the forest. It would very quickly get ruined driving on dirt roads and it is completely impractical for the life I see myself living very shortly.

What I realized today is that I’m not actually saying goodbye to a car; I’m saying goodbye to yet another idea I had of myself. The idea of myself as someone aspiring to be a powerful, wealthy, successful businesswoman who’s made it in the world and deserves the very best. I needed people to know that I was no inconsequential “pretty little lady” and I realize that my car, my job title, my qualifications, my clothing, my lifestyle all contributed to the feeling of being someone who deserved to be taken seriously; someone who deserved respect. Now that these things are no longer there to confirm my status in the eyes of society, how am I going to be taken seriously?!

Well, I guess I’m going to have to find an ok-ness with whatever anyone chooses to think of me. All that matters is how I view myself, really. This thought does take some getting used to, though…

Actually it occurs to me that I’m mourning the loss of several things at the moment. Over the past 2 years I have had to give up many foods (meat, alcohol (except for wine), wheat, eggs, milk…), partying, several friends and acquaintances, and, more recently, my corporate job, my car, my domestic helper, who had been a part of our family for 11 years, credit cards in several metallic hues, loads of possessions and many, many ideas about myself. Next on the list will be our beautiful home. Alas, even wine, which was always one of my great passions, simply doesn’t taste so great anymore and it is definitely not agreeing with me physically. So, I guess wine is next on the list of things to let go of. I didn’t consciously decide to give up any of these things. One-by-one they simply became inappropriate to the person I was becoming and, actually, they gave ME up rather than the other way around.

My only remaining vices are potato crisps and cheese! Seriously! And even the potato crisps are gradually becoming less-and-less palatable. Perhaps shortly I will be wearing kaftans and shoes made of recycled tires and living in a shack off brown rice and lentils, as one friend recently suggested to me! How boring that sounds… So I guess here is yet another idea about myself that I have to give up – the idea that I have to be interesting, according to society’s judgment of what an interesting person should be!

The upside of all this letting go is that releasing my attachment to each of these things, once the pain of loss has passed, certainly causes me to feel lighter and freer. As I use my will and intent to, one-by-one, cut all the little ties holding me back, I find myself better able to freely visualize my new life and suddenly… there’s a little bubble of excitement traveling up my spine. Because the idea of my new life of unfettered, purpose-filled, creative expression of my highest self is a very exciting idea indeed!

And so the journey continues…

Next: The Story of Twiggy

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