I was listening to a woman speak today and talk about how she wants her alter ego self to die. It struck me that in wanting a part of us to die, it is taking away from the whole. All of who we are, are the many pieces of a whole, like drops are to the ocean. We learn to reorganize the parts that reside within us and give more attention to new behaviours we wish to cultivate. Slow by slow, eventually the alter ego or whatever part of you, you want to rid yourself of moves into the background and the more desirable has room to grow. We need all our parts to be whole.
As we transition from one to the other, we must allow space for everything and hold and nurture yourself allowing all parts of who you are, the good, the bad and the ugly.
Acceptance of old patterns of behaviour that no longer serve you.
Diminishing the light that shines from them, a turning down of old thought patterns and igniting different ones, gentler ones, more loving ones and finally escorting the old to a seat in the back row, still very much still a part of you but moved to the back row. Eventually old patterns fade into the background and become a distant memory, like trinkets on a dusty shelf.
I imagine gently setting each trinket down onto a wooden shelf mounted to the wall, with tiny glass doors with which to close. Each figurine represents a part of you that you are ready to let go, gather dust, and observe from a distance. The figurines represent the parts of you that you are no longer identified with, like alcoholism or anything that fits for each one of you.
We never fully rid ourselves of our past and who we once were, because without it, you wouldn’t be who you are today.
These are the gifts and lessons we gain by deeply shifting perspective and you begin a new, like putting on a new pair of glasses.
Each phase of our life teaches us lessons, gives us gifts, and showers us with learning. So much of the messages we are given are through self, quiet reflection, introspection, and also through people, the messengers. It becomes our task to learn from each lesson and take away the gifts, the silver lining. We become aware of a part of ourselves that no longer serves us and we chose the path of surrender and release. We set our intentions in the direction we wish to go and give it all of our attention, the force of the universe will receive it and start the manifestation of that intention right away. It is magical to watch it unfold. It is available to everyone.
When I first accepted the fact that I was using alcohol for all the wrong reasons and way too much, I couldn’t look myself in the mirror for quite some time, my eyes averted my eyes. I was ashamed. I was sad. I was scared. I felt lost.
I didn’t know who I would be without alcohol, it defined me, it rescued me while at the very same time, it held me prisoner. It had become many things for me but as my life started to change being drunk didn’t feel good anymore. It was so much more than that; it was my crutch, my inhibition release, my social barometer, it was a side of me I liked. I was really social, having conversations, talking about myself, sexy, dynamite, and loved everyone. She was quite the character, big, bold, boisterous and bossy!
I was using alcohol to cope with my erratic thoughts, emotions, agitation and dark suicidal depression.
Acceptance of the fact that I was an alcoholic and I was a mother would unravel over time. I was distraught that I had repeated the same patterns that unfolded in my family or origin; my kids grew up in an alcoholic family where both parents were alcoholics.
I told myself many times I would never repeat this pattern. I repeated the pattern or played out genetics, perhaps both should gain some approval.
Letting go of a trusted friend and knowing that I was losing a very important companion felt like torture in the beginning. Never, ever again touching alcohol for the rest of my life; a bold and courageous move that took time to place on the shelf and shift my attention and perspective to believing that I do not drink, ever. Thought, actions and behaviour all supporting this notion.
To accept such a title meant I had to do a bunch of work around it to put it on the shelf. The first year of stepping out of addiction was particularly difficult, I had nothing to hold onto, it was what kept me steady. I held onto the programs that have changed the lives of so many, AA. I went to meetings, I even tried the steps, it was helpful in the beginning when I felt like I had nowhere to go. I went, I listened, I learned and I spoke my truth out loud to other people, which immediately meant it was losing power.
I believe so wholly that where you put your attention is where the universe will meet you and give you more of what you are asking for; therefore attending the AA program lost its luster quite quickly. I didn’t want to give attention to my disease. I attended long enough to learn all about it, surrender to it and then put in on the proverbial shelf allowing it to collect the dust it deserves, as sobriety was in the front row.
This becomes a transition, a time letting go of a part of you, a part that held real identity. Taking it out of the front row of your life and letting go of any more power it continues to hold over you, letting go of the power, releasing the hold.
Once we have become identified with something that makes us who we are, like a caregiver for example, sometimes it is all you know, it’s all you have done, you know no different. To put that part of you down, a part of who you are and without it you’re not sure who you are anymore, leaving it behind takes great courage and unbelievable unconditional love of self.
Allowing space for this new way of being takes time and work. Acceptance, surrender and letting go start the domino effect coupled with strength and fearlessness, can create a resolve that is unbreakable! The switch has been switched.
Believing in this new way of being, no matter how uncomfortable it becomes is imperative, no easy outs! A decision has been made and there was no going back; the consequences for me were dire, there was no longer a choice. I knew I had been called to break the chain of alcoholism in my immediate family, with hopes and dreams to continue supporting members of my extended family who still suffer.
I wanted/needed them to see that I was a strong woman and I could stick to what I said I was going to do, which has not always been the case. I could never let them down in this way again and more importantly; I could never let myself down in this way, again.
This became so important to me because I believed that my calling, my purpose, my gift in this lifetime is to break the chain of dysfunction, in my family of origin and my own family, and create healthy, deep relationships. To give my daughters the awareness of generations past and the difficulties suffered, with addiction and mental health.
The whole purpose being the passing of awareness early to the next generations so that they can do it better, they can go in with awareness of the genetics their children will likely have passed down to them. They can be bow down to the strong, fearless women before them who died, who suffered, who accepted and those that had the courage to look deeper, make the change and pave the way.
Having a purpose, a reason is the driving force behind change, which is, inevitably followed by transition. Transitioning into the new role, the new behaviour, the new you begs for a deep resolve, a true discernment and heartfelt love.
Transition creates the space for something new.
It is through the darkness that we see the light.