What do I mean by things? Yes, I’m being intentionally vague because holding onto things can be our thoughts, a belief, mantra, patterns and so on.
Sometimes we hold on to something so tightly, and we don’t even realize that we’re doing it. Just because you may distract, ignore, compartmentalize or dismiss something doesn’t necessarily mean you are “letting it go.” It could mean that you are storing it in your body. In some way, believing that if you look elsewhere, it will go away.
Here’s the irony
What we avoid only grows bigger, and our grip on it tighter. How is this so? Here’s how it works in relationships:
Are you holding on to the potential of someone, believing that one day they’ll wake up and become the person you hoped they’d be? Logic tells you that it may never happen. But you still hold on so tightly to the possibility that they’ll change and become someone else.
I envision holding a stress ball so tightly not wanting to let go out of fear that if you drop the ball, your tightly held hopes, wants and desires will vanish along with the ball.
What if you loosen your grip and allow uncertainty to fill that space?
What’s that like? What emotions can surface that enable you to breathe into the space that once occupied your grip? Here, in this space, you hold your fears and hopes.
Being curious and open are what enable you to look at what you hold so tightly.
I’ve done this exercise with clients and interestingly, they’ve all asked if they can take the stress ball with them as a reminder. One client said she looks forward to the day she’s able to let go of the ball — possibly even throw it in the lake. I chuckled at this, and we had a cathartic laugh about all the things she could do with the ball when she’s ready to let go.
When we become aware of how holding on to what’s not working truly affects us physically and mentally, we become open to wanting to do the work.
This case developed over years of unhealthy patterns that played out with her partner. However, the stress ball metaphor is helpful for anything in life we’re holding on to so tightly, sometimes not knowing why.
It takes courage to recognize our faults and to take a leap of faith to do something different. Even if it’s healthier, change is scary.
When you know better, you can do better.
Be present and analyze if you are holding onto things. Is it preventing you from being in alignment with your true self?