Thursday, June 19, 2008

Letting Go

I have a problem with letting things go. Not material things, but emotional and mental things, especially if I feel like I haven't had closure. I also have a burning desire to know “why”. Why? That's been the question I've asked ever since I knew what the word meant. "But Whyyyyyyy?" Recently I've learned that sometimes there isn't a why, or that the why is personally distasteful to me.

And I don't like that. For all that I'm emotional and empathetic, I'm surprisingly pedantic and literal when it comes to Why. Even unto my own issues. I know I have a problem with feeling unworthy; have done since I was a kid and I don't know where it's come from. Not truly. I know I feel enraged when reading a lot of Fat Acceptance literature yet I keep reading. Both of these things are a form of not letting go. When talking about it in group therapy on the weekend, the girls all pretty much responded with the same thing, “It doesn't matter why you had that feeling of unworthiness yesterday or when you were a kid. What matters is that here and now, you are good enough.”

Lemme tell you. It wasn't until then that I understood self acceptance. That I understood what all those positive affirmation books are talking about. Here and now is where the moment of power is. Binged yesterday or last week, or for years and years? So what. Felt unworthy? So what. Let it go. It's the past. Especially for me who's worked through so much of my crap, it's now time to let the worked through stuff go. I've been looking back, congratulating myself on how far I've come, plus trying to work out those niggling Whys.

The FA movement I've also been using as a way to look back, or forward by worrying about how our kids are going to be growing up in such a skewed world. Worried that they'll end up with eating disorders too. Every time, lately, I felt my anger start to recede, I went and reread some more of the injustice that's done to fat people. I used it to flagellate myself into trying to accept my body as I am right now. And of course because it was coming from a place of anger and fear, all it was doing was emphasizing my hate and fear of my fat and my physical weakness.

Why? And FA. Two excuses I've been using to hide behind.

The third excuse is learning to let go of my family.

My Mum, Dad, and Brother were my immediate family for over twenty six years. I didn't go away to college. I spent only three months away from home with the housemates from hell, then tucked tail and went back home. Logically I know all of my life had been leading up to moving over here with Alaskaboy, it didn't make the moving part any easier. Or should I say, the living away from Home part any easier.

I've done a lot of talking with Alaskaboy, my family and my friends recently, and I kept bemoaning the fact that “This Wasn't How My Life Was Meant To Be”. I assumed growing up that I'd move out of home when I got married and buy a house and land package, as is done where I'm from. Move a few suburbs away from my family, if not stay in the same suburb because it is an awesome one, and go over and visit both sides of the family whenever was wanted by all concerned. Yet, here I am in a large city where buying your own, very much preowned, home is akin to winning the lottery. And I'm very far away from my large extended family.

And there's the crux of the third matter; my extended family. For the past five years I've struggled with the fact that my immediate family is now my extended family. You'd think I'd have got the hint from all those forms that list Alaskaboy and me as each other's next of kin. But, no, I didn't. Daddy's little ray of sunshine now bathes another man in her radiance. Mummy's girl is all grown up and going to be a mum to someone else one day. But I've been mourning for five years the letting go of my first and strongest safety net. Looking back at what I'd “lost” instead of at what I have gained.

My mum keeps asking me, “What do you want with your life? What suits you and Alaskaboy best?”
Various blog archives I've read recently have all mentioned Wants and Needs at different points.
My eating group talked about letting go.

This is what I've been fighting so hard recently. Letting go is why I wanted to let go of all the benefits I get from blogging. How ironic, I was running away from the truest Why I've come across in a long time. Why? Because it's time to let my past go. Why? Because I'm ready to get healthy out of love for myself. Why? Because I am happy here where I live, who I live with, and with the job I do. Why? Because I'm ready to let go of my childhood and become an adult, knowingly. Why? Because I'm learning who I am, foibles and fabulousness together, and I like who I am. Why? Because I'm ready to stop reacting and start acting.

The FA movement, I have to step back from at the moment. I've been using it as a wall of anger to hide behind. So much easier to rage against social injustice, than admit the injustice I'm doing myself in avoiding looking within myself first. Both social change and a community begin at home. Raging at what I'm reading about doesn't do me or anyone else any good. Living my life by the Health At Every Size principles does everybody good. But especially my own body. Regular exercise is one of my Needs.(More on that tomorrow.)

Why have I always had this not good enough attitude? I know that I've figured out most of it. But, by focusing on tracking down the last tiniest whys was allowing me to avoid doing something about changing and letting go of the whys I had already discovered. I need self acceptance now. I've done a lot of work to get where I am. It's time to let go of the past and love myself as I am now. Accept where I've been, where I've come from and believe that I did/do the best I could/can with the tools I had/have at hand in any given moment. I AM good enough. And anyone else who says otherwise is obviously not looking close enough. Or I haven't yet learned enough. . .yet. But I'm learning everyday, you better believe it!

I still love my family. All of my extended family. Even when I don't like some of them very much sometimes. LOL But that's just it, they are my extended family. Now I know this, I can focus more of my energy on my immediate family. Alaskaboy, me and any future kidlets we may have. This IS how my life was meant to be. All of my choices have led me to here and now. It's my life. I'm living it. I'm loving it. And I'm letting go of things/people/past experiences that I no longer need. Why? Because I want to, because I need to, and because I can.

3 Nibbles:

kathrynoh said...

At the park near my house, someone spraypainted "I'm good enough as am I right now..." on the footpath. Every time I see that it wipes away all my negative thoughts (yet the govt has just bought in legislation making spray cans illegal - I reckon they should be providing them for ppl if they're going to right stuff like that).

Joc said...

I love this post! You have put in to words some of the things that I too have been feeling/experiencing/dealing with over the past 12 months or so.

It is so much about acceptance of who we are right now, and a willingness to do things every day to make our lives even better, and stop pining for the life we thought we wanted, but loving the life we have.

And we can, you can, I can.

cmae said...

Great post. I was married for three years before I began to see my former immediate family as my extended family. It was especially difficult because I have three very young half-sisters still living at home. When they draw pictures of their families for school, they don't draw me. It's painful...but it's truer than pretending we are all one big tight-knit family. Children are so wise. They don't feign anything and they don't feel any guilt about it.