Letting go

“Pain will leave you, when you let go.”

-Jeremy Aldana

I have been thinking about my desire to go on a pilgrimage. The need to explore, to find what is already there, but I cannot see. When I listen to the voice inside me, the Camino De Santiago is the name that is spoken the loudest.  

I think about the journey, the struggles, the people I will meet, the things I will see, the solitude and loneliness. I think about what I hope to find. I think about the pack I will carry, what will I bring, how much will it weigh? How much can I carry and for how long can I carry it? This made me think. 

What about what I carry every day?

The burden that thoughts and negativity carry. Weighing me down, to the point of affecting my posture. Mental weight that affects my body physically. One of the hopes of my journey is to shed some of this weight, to come out of it on the other side lighter than when I started.

But why not now? Why wait for a trip that depending on how I allow fear to influence me may or may not happen?

I, and all us, carry a pack on our backs everyday. We go to bed with them, and we wake up with them. Our packs hold us back, they burden us, they cause us stress. It does not have to be this way. 

I want to let go, it is time to let go, can I let go?

Our packs are sneaky. They slowly grow larger and larger, so subtly that we don’t even realize that we are carrying so much with us. That this weight is with us all of the time. It takes some work to see what it is that we carry. It requires honesty with ourselves to see whats in there.  I see what holds me down, what causes my shoulders to hunch forward from the weight.  There is a lot of shit, and this list isn’t complete. 

I want to let go of: 

The past, the future, of certain people, of thoughts, fear, what was and will never be, who I thought I was, what I thought I could have been, who I thought people were, preconceptions, assumptions, resentment, jealousy, arrogance, self-centeredness, words that were spoken, my sense of unworthiness, expectations, old pain, old hurt, attachments and judgments.

Writing and acknowledging this has provided some relief.  Seeing it on the screen, staring back at me. Knowing that all of this and more is with me everyday. I want to take each one these things out of my pack and discard it. I want to be free of what weighs me down. This is no easy task, that is a lot of things to let go of. 

To do this will require time, patience, empathy and compassion for myself. I will falter along the way, I will stumble and fall. I hope to have the strength to pick myself up, dust myself off and try, try again. I hope I reach out to someone I love if I can’t do it alone. 

The reward of doing this is too great to ignore.

“Sometimes you have to let things go.  Sometimes you have to stop caring for a minute.”

-Trina Etmanskie

I will walk taller without the burden of these things resting on my shoulders.  I will free space in my pack for more important things. Things I care about, things that will direct me towards being the man want to be. I do not have to wait for the pack to be empty before I add to it. Letting go and adding to are not mutually exclusive.  

I know what I want to add and I work on them everyday: 

I love myself. I am enough. I am worthy. I forgive myself.

This too not a complete list, but my beginning.

The amazing thing about adding these to my pack is that they do not carry any weight. None of the positives do. The positives have the polar opposite effect of the negatives. They lift you up, even when the negatives try to push you back down. 

My 1% for today is to begin freeing myself from the mental burdens I carry. This will not be done in one day, it is impossible to say how long it will take. But I have to start somewhere and this is it.


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