You are holding on so tightly. So tightly you can barely breathe. You cling to this something with such force that on some days, it knocks you off your feet. Maybe you can’t focus on much else. Maybe you get headaches and the anxiety sweeps through your body like a storm. Or maybe it’s a subtle buzzing that flies about your brain.
Maybe you cling to an unloving relationship. It’s the only thing you know. Maybe you cling to certainty and comfort zones. Maybe you cling to secrets, to shame, guilt and regret. Maybe you cling to a job that’s making you miserable, that leaves little time for you or your family, concerns that keep you up at night.
Margarita Tartakovsky is an associate editor at PsychCentral.com, an award-winning mental health website, and the voice behind Weightless, a blog that helps women deal with body image issues and disordered eating. She also writes a monthly feature for Beliefnet.com, covering topics such as patience and procrastination.
Editor: Nadeem Noor
Maybe you cling to thoughts that scream you’re unworthy. Maybe you cling to the person you love most in this world, because you’re all too familiar with the devastation that is loss.
Maybe you cling to the child growing inside you. Maybe you cling to old objects, old memories and old wounds. Maybe you cling to your anxiety for protection or your worrisome thoughts as a keyless door that keeps you at home.
Maybe you cling to positive outcomes and stringent ideas of success. Maybe you cling to other black-and-white, all-or-nothing ideas and expectations that rule your life. Maybe you cling to beliefs and desires that only hurt you. The desire to be a martyr, to put everyone else first, so much so you never even make the list. The belief you don’t need anyone else.
Maybe you cling to the scale, to calorie counts, to the weight you’ve lost—fearing that if you deviate, you’ll hate yourself, again. Which is such a heavy, back-breaking load to carry. You must be exhausted.
So take off your backpack filled with stones. Put down your too-many, too-heavy bags and boxes. Give yourself a break. You can always pick them up, again.
Explore why you’re holding on so tightly to that something. What lies beneath your clenched fists and hard grasp? Explore how this hold is working for you. Is it working? Does it infringe on other things? Does it support you? And then try to let go.
Let go of these troublesome thoughts, which greet you in the morning and tuck you in at night. Let go of the habits that only perpetuate your fears and attachments. Refocus on taking care of yourself. Really taking care of yourself. Refocus on changing your behavior. Refocus on the moment, savoring what is actually happening. Savoring what is actually present.
And if you need it, reach out for extra support. Why go it alone? And breathe. And breathe. Take long, deep breaths. And let it go.