Sometimes we get so attached to a particular story in our lives that we believe it is very difficult to let it go. Often the reason for this may be transferring emotions from one issue to another. That is why I was so impresed with the Travolta family decision to let go the prosecution on extortion that has plagued their family. It reminds me that I may have my own stories buried or under siege by my misdirected emotions.
Because I love a mystery I decided to research what story I may be holding onto that I need to let go. Perhaps you may have one of your own. Let me tell you my story in case it helps you.
I recently stayed a week with my friend who lives in a beautiful small town in rural British Columbia. I have always believed I could not live outside the city. It is because I seek the safety in numbers that a large urban center provides. I believe this is because of my own beleaguered childhood arrested by a woman with control issues who was herself emotionally unbalanced. Her choices affected her children and in fact to some extent still do. I decided to pursue therapy and continued for five years until I had regained a balanced perspective in my own life. It was a decision I am glad I both made and stuck with, until my emotional work was well underway. I say underway because in truth I do not believe our “emotional work” is ever really completed. It is an ongoing journey and in fact my own continues in the form of this blog and indeed this article.
I am aware the number one struggle I have in my own life is in fact confronting my fear and dealing with it. Fear, at least in my life, has many faces and this is why it can be so difficult for me to uncover and then remove. Right now I have a fear that somehow I have fallen afoul of my culture and my society. Even to read this statement is ridiculous. How can I be outside of my own culture? It is not really culture that is an issue, it is the fact that I am a financial planner and I am struggling financially to support my entire family in three countries in three currencies during the worst recession ever. Somehow in my mind I should have the skills to overcome this and yet in truth I must live within an economy just like every other human on planet earth. Were I born in subsuharan Africa I would be glad of the problems I have today. I hope I am always blessed with problems that money can solve. They are the easiest in life to deal with and recover from.
My emotional “misdirection” is really to a concept I call “the perfect Brad”. Somehow I created, or perhaps just bought into what I perceived others (such as my mother) may have wanted to create, a perfect version of Brad. This perfect version does not fail. This perfect version overcomes all adversity. This perfect version learns and does not repeat past behaviors. Of course this perfect Brad does not exist no matter how much energy I put into creating him. The truth is that Brad is already perfect exactly as he is and this is true for all of us.
And so today I let go and make space in my heart to love the real Brad with all my fears, insecurities and other flaws along with all my hopes and dreams and many skills, talents and abilities. In truth who I am is wonderful and what I contribute to the world is important. And remembering this helps me to create a life I love to live.