Written by: Gracie Mayer, contributing writer and Facebook manager of Unpolished Journey
Written for August’s monthly intention of Letting Go.
In my early recovery I remember having a transformative conversation with one of my friends. I told her, “I have been praying and praying that God will take my eating disorder from me.” Her reply was earth-shattering, and brilliant, and infuriating and one of the deepest truths I have ever heard. She said, “God can’t take something from you if you are still gripping it as tight as you can.”
She was right.
I was begging God to free me from my eating disorder. I wanted freedom, relief and a return to normalcy around food and eating. I was begging God to take my eating disorder from me without doing the work of actually letting it go. I still wake up every day and make a conscious effort to let it go–to loosen my grip and to turn it over to a higher power. But more and more each day I have such gratitude for my eating disorder because it has strengthened my ability to let go, my unwavering belief that this too shall pass and my constant journey to embrace change.
There are so many categories of letting go. I have had to let go of people because they let go of me. I have had to let go of behaviors that didn’t serve me. I have had to let go of thoughts that diminish my worth and convince me I am unloveable. I have had to let go of the expectations for how I thought things or my life would be. I have had to let go of the need to control and predict every step in my journey.
But with all of the things I have let go–there are so many things that I have gained. I have gained improved relationships with many of my friends, learning to focus on loving without expectations or conditions. I have gained new activities and behaviors like yoga and daily meditation that serve me and nourish me. I have gained new patterns of thinking that affirm my worth and empower my goals. I have gained a beautiful perspective that allows me to embrace the alternative routes, detours and scenic routes I have taken in my life. I have gained gratefulness and an ability to lean into the unknown with excitement and hope instead of dread and anxiety.
I am constantly learning, and every step is part of the process–the process of learning to love and let go, the process of learning how to breath and begin a new journey by letting go of the past, the process of remembering to not sweat the small stuff and let go of the trivial day to day mistakes that don’t matter.
I began to notice that the pain I feared in letting go was soothed by abundance that filled my life when I finally did start letting go. Sometimes we have to let go in order to clear space for the new adventures, growth and relationships. When we empty ourselves of everything that does not serve us, does not bring us joy and does not align with our life’s higher purpose we allow ourself the space to invite in new opportunities and transformation.
To recover I must transform.
To transform I must let go.