What we Really Lose When we Hold On.

“The woman you are becoming will cost you people, relationships, spaces, and material things. Choose her over everything.”
— Unknown

In the quiet stillness of Winter Solstice, Autumn’s lesson got to me in the eleventh hour: I can’t hold myself and hold onto everyone at once. In everything, there is loss, whether I think I’m choosing it or not. For in choosing to hold it all—I’m losing myself.

I’ve received this lesson before, but my mind is pretty clever about convincing me to hang on to just about everything. If I’m being completely honest, I feel like I hang on to most things as much as I ever have, I’m just more discerning now about which I form a connection with in the first place. A healthier city, more supportive friends, beautiful teachers and spiritual practices, and so on. I’m so blessed. And it’s big progress, but I know I still get hooked.

Hanging on is a shadow of this deep-loving heart of mine. Because my love is BIG. But with big love (untrained) comes big attachments. And every attachment gives a little bit of ourselves away.

How? Because attachments tell us that we’re NOT OKAY unless we have those people, those things, that house, so much money in the bank, etc, etc, (unfurl the mile-long list of everything outside of our own being that equates with our okayness). Each one’s a little chip on our shoulder saying we’re not enough.

This is self-loss.

This may seem like a no-brainer. Why would we not choose our own Highest Good? But if we don’t value ourselves, self-loss doesn’t feel like such a cost. The other people and things seem more important. We think:

“My boyfriend is the best I’m ever going to get, if I lose him it’s downhill from here.”

“If I follow this tug to change jobs, I’ll destroy my entire network and go broke.”

“No one would want to come visit me in a crappy apartment… I’ll make this spendy place work and take out another credit card.”

I mean, how dramatic does our little wounded ego get? When we start listening, it becomes clear how LITTLE we trust ourselves in this Life, and how little we believe we deserve (or are even capable of connecting with) beautiful people and things.

It’s pretty ridiculous when we listen through Love’s ears or look through Love’s eyes. Because when we love ourselves, we realize that self-loss is the deepest loss. We never can truly show up to meet the people we love, enjoy the spaces we live in, or receive the knowledge/wisdom trying to reach us. We lose everything we were trying to hold on to.

Learning to love and trust and know myself more has been such deep work for me this year. I’m learning how to say “no.” How to draw boundaries based on my own wellbeing rather that my perception of other people’s expectations/needs. How to actually appreciate my solitude. How to prioritize my own work and creativity. And I am IN IT, so don’t be fooled into thinking this has been easy. It’s been a difficult but beautiful process, one I am deeply grateful for. I feel more in touch with my authentic self and at home in my Life than I ever have.

I write this post now, before “the holidays,” for a reason: to encourage each of you beautiful, individual, perfect humans to honor yourself this week.

Open your heart to receive what you love about these traditions, but consider what your spirit truly desires and what your inner-child truly needs to feel safe and loved. Make space for yourself. Don’t feel obligated to be anything other than you are exactly in this moment. Beautifully enough. Your only obligation is to bring your Truth to the table, even if that means saying “no” or choosing something completely new.

Take a moment to consider if  you are carrying any attachments, expectations, or fears into this week, and see if you can lovingly release them—or at least soften them a bit. We never know what is waiting in the wings for us, ready to enter as soon as we make the space.

May the clarity of this sacred time of year be present with each of us as we bring this year to a close and open ourselves to the new Life wanting to be born through us every day, in every moment.

In Soul, this Christmas and always,

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