As the first weekend of fall rolls in, I thought it would be timely to share how the 'trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.'
The change of the seasons is the perfect time to change your mindset and let things go.
We can all benefit from ridding our house of unused items and clearing out our minds of insignificant worries. But if you are like how I was pre-diagnosis, you would agree that it can be easier said than done.
The phrase "let it go" used to really irritate me because I didn't know exactly how to do it, and sometimes I still struggle with doing so today.
As an analytical person, I need visual aids and practical steps to help me understand and accomplish something. It's the 'Virgo, college student with a type-A personality' in me.
My preference of concrete ideas tells me that to let go is to take your hands off of your child's bicycle when teaching them how to ride without training wheels, making it very difficult for myself to detach my mind from the negative thoughts lingering in my head.
The kind of letting go that involves a conscious choice versus a physical action, however, can be extremely challenging and scary at first.
But holding on to pain doesn't fix anything, replaying the past over and over again doesn't change it, and wishing things were different doesn't make it so.
Truthfully, you can only accept how it is/was and then let it go, especially when it comes to the past. That's how everything changes. Thoughts are only thoughts and what you chose to do with them can make or break you.
The more we watch our thoughts come and go without attaching our identity to them, the easier letting go will be. Even if it feels impossible, your new reality is just around the corner.
This first year after treatment has really taught me a lot and changed me as a person. My internal dialogue and external conversations have changed. My values, morals and aspirations have shifted. What was important to me before is not was is important to me now.
Let me also say, I am not an expert in letting go whatsoever. Most of my readers have a few more years on me and could've been practicing the art of letting go well before I was even thought of. To be honest, the paranoia of cancer recurrence is on my mind quite frequently. I can sit there and question why so-and-so got cancer, or why I lived and this other person didn't. But you know what? I try my best not to ruminate and instead let it all go. Can you imagine the life I'd be living if I harbored all of those thoughts every time they popped up?
Nonetheless, after all that has occurred, I can honestly say that with or without a significant lifestyle change, anyone can live their best life if they change their mindset — it all starts with understanding how to let go.
Letting go is releasing all doubt, worry and fear about a situation, person or outcome.
It's releasing anything or anyone that disrupts your peace and no longer serves you or your happiness.
Letting go is making the choice that you will no longer ruminate on what you cannot control, and to instead channel your energy toward all that you can control.
Letting go creates space for fresh beginnings: stripping you of what happened yesterday and opening the doors of new opportunities right now.
It involves much more than just saying you have to let go. It's an internal process that must happen for you to truly feel better and get on with your life in a healthy way.
Whether it is a physical task, emotional thought process, or a lingering friendship, letting go of what no longer serves you or improves the quality of your life can be one of the most liberating gifts you can give to yourself.
Lately, I have been decluttering my room, bathroom and closet of all the items that no longer bring me joy. Cleaning and decluttering is a cathartic process for me, and the end result of a clearer space helps me appreciate what I already have. (Let's be real, I need the room for fall decorations, too!)
Having the ability to express your emotions in a healthy way is key whether it is for physical or emotional purposes.
For me, decluttering my mind and letting go of stress and toxic behavior looks like putting all my thoughts on paper to help process them before deciding to let them go. The same goes for friendships and relationships with the outside world. As a writer, this is very important to me because writing serves as a form of catharsis and creative release.
It's all about finding what works for you, and then following through with it.
Talk to a friend. Chat with me! Donate your unused clutter. Learn to forgive others who aren't even sorry. Accept the apology you are never going to get. Journal your stream of consciousness. Accept the past and stay in the present. You owe it to yourself to be more kind to yourself.
Start small, and let your progress snowball. Leaves are just as pretty when they let go!
So tell me, what will you do to let go?
Take care of yourselves,