(A chapter from my book, "Getting Through It")
“To want something to go is to push it away, and because every single thing that’s ever happened to you has value, the only way to keep it from being an obstacle is to see it, look at it, integrate the value into your life, and boom! You get to move forward.”
A few years ago it occurred to me that I had often said things like, “I’m just gonna let that go” and rarely did that declaration actually do anything.
I asked people about how they let things go and would often get answers like “I just decided to.” I wondered if something was wrong with me for a long time. Why couldn’t I just let it go? Why did this (thing) keep coming up again and again? What am I missing here? I also became pretty disillusioned when, as I got to know the same people who said they could just magically decide to let things go and were successful at it, that when I actually spent time with them - I found that no, they weren’t able to just let it go either. That stuff they claimed they didn’t have anymore was alive and well and popping up, just like my stuff.
That begged the question: So, what then? How does one successfully move on from something? Especially something that’s messing up my ability to fully live, express myself, feel good, safe, connected, and alive? WHAT? What does one do, dammit?
I didn’t get the answer to that question. I experienced it. What I discovered not only worked, but also restored a flow to my life that feels really good. Here it is:
You don’t let anything go. To want something to go is to push it away, and because every single thing that’s ever happened to you has value, the only way to keep it from being an obstacle is to see it, look at it, integrate the value into your life, and boom! You get to move forward. That wound is no longer an obstacle, a liability, but it becomes part of who you are and is a very strong and valuable asset in your life.
You can begin this today with just that small shift in how you perceive things. Everything has value, and the best, greatest fertilizer you could ever use to grow things that nourish and offer value: shit.
It’s the shit in your life that gives you depth, empathy, compassion. It’s the shit that wakes you up and makes you say things like, “I’m going to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else, not on my watch.” Shit is the cause for more good in the world than good itself, most everything that’s amazing in the world was grown with a sprinkle of shit on it.
This doesn’t mean you’ll ALWAYS be driven and motivated by shit. That’s not true either. But I can guarantee that you won’t truly touch that deep expression, love-based living until you realize that the shit has value. If you deny the existence of it, try to push it away, or just let it go without really feeling and acknowledging the value it brought, that shit will become like an annoying 4 year old saying, “Look at me! Look at me! LOOOOOOK AAAAT MEEEEEE!”
If you want to let it go, then let it in. It’s really the only way to turn pain into fuel, energy, fulfillment, and purpose. Everything has value. Remember that.