Step 59 – Are You Able To Let Your Old Self Go?
I’m lucky enough to have a few friends whom I can share my fears, tears and happy moments with. These are friends with whom I can go through an emotional rollercoaster. It’s very important because it so happens that both I and them decided to change something in our respective lives. We decided we want to grow and… Boy, I can tell you, that’s difficult! The more we learn about ourselves and the more we know what to change in order to evolve, the more we notice just how difficult that is. And the most difficult part of it all is letting go of your old self.
We’re so attached to who we think we are that believing in a new self requires humongous amount of energy. And I’ll be honest with you guys – there are days that I don’t know where to get this energy from. There are days when no resources seem left. You know you’re intelligent, you know what should be done – and yet for some reason, you just fall back to your old self all over again. And everything you’ve learned so far just vanishes. You know it’s there, but you can’t get into it. And nothing helps. This state usually lasts for a few days. A few empty days when you beat yourself up and want to cry about everything (not to mention thinking you’re worth nothing).
I wish there was one universal recipe to come back on track. I wish there was a surefire technique for that, but I don’t think that there is a solution that would work for all of us. What I do during days like that, is I try to come back to gratitude. I’m just grateful for what I have. And I won’t lie – it’s not always enough, but it definitely helps. It’s definitely a great beginning. What I do, is I look up at the sky and say: “Thank you for another day”. I smile because I’m happy that I can see, that I can walk, that I can work and be myself. I’m happy that I can breathe.
Three weeks ago I had an accident. Nothing major – it was raining and I slipped on subway stairs (it happens to many people every day, all over the world). I hit the stairs with my head, back, and hip (I think the fall looked pretty spectacular). When I got up I could barely breathe. I came back home angry, but mostly terrified. I was afraid I broke something and was scared that I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed the next day.
I did get up, but everything was hurting. And as always in moments like that, I had only one thought – I just want to feel as I felt before. All I could think of was this: I just want to be myself again and I’ll be happy. I know it’s a cliché, but it helped me a lot to shift my focus (and I was worrying about stupid things that day). As someone wise said – 90% of things that you worry about won’t even happen. And I think the same about things that bring you down, the ones that you created in your head. Most likely, 90% of them are not even true. What I’m trying to say – instead of giving your attention to things that don’t exist, focus on the now. All you have is this moment right now. So look around. What do you see? Who do you see? Are these things you’re worrying about even real? Why are you choosing coming back to the past (or stressing out about the future) over being happy about the present? When these weird days come back, I just come back to TODAY. Because only TODAY is real. Everything else is just up in the air. What I suggest (also to myself) is this: make the best of today. Be more present and everything around you starts changing. And after today is another TODAY – make the best of that one, too. And of the next day… Start slowly rolling this ball and watch your mindset change. It gets easier, but unfortunately it’s a process that probably never stops, like growing.
I haven’t fully recovered yet (but luckily I can at least swim), but it’s getting better. And this is what I choose to focus on. Now.