h2>Dating : When Letting Go Means Leaving Something You Love
E2T 90 Day Letting Go Experiment Days 7&8
Let go and let God, I decided just seven days before. For 90 Days I would experience life to the fullest, bringing as much exploration, fun, joy, and passion to my life as possible while letting go of judgment.
It felt strange to let go of my problems, to seek out happiness in the midst of two situations I call X and Y beating me up, but by the end of the week I was sleeping deeper than I had in years. My anxiety lessened, and each time X, the situation I see as the bigger issue in my life, tried to get attention I gave it dancing shoes.
By day five and six, I had gone through a deeply spiritual experience at the American Contemporary Skating Festival and released judgement, found freedom in movement, played and let go of fear.
It took only one week to feel renewed, but it turns out sometimes growth causes you to leave behind the parts of your life you love the most.
For 3.5 years, I’ve had my little girl dream of becoming a dancer and a stage performer come true. Through an incredible studio, I learned lifts and tricks and crazy fun spins. I partnered with people I adored, and when situation X and Y reared their ugly heads over the last three years, I knew I could find sanctuary from the pain, within my second home — my studio — among my second family — my dance team.
It was one of the greatest blessings in my life.
Until, on day seven of my experiment, I recognized that I needed to grow beyond what was available to me at this time at the studio.
It didn’t make sense to me. I wanted to hold on to my safe circle. I went to my director and tried to explain, but I was told if I took a break, I may not be able to return. My spot wouldn’t be held open, and I needed to stay and train the way my directors were guiding the team.
In my heart I wanted to stay — to keep my life the way it was. I dance seven days per week at the studio. I run to make class time, and set aside ten hours per week to practice. Often, after class, I spend time with my fellow dancers at dinners or laughing over drinks.
To leave, felt like a break up with an intimate relationship, a divorce from my family.
I couldn’t make the final decision to leave. Why did my experiment have to include letting go of this beautiful part of my life? What would fill this space?
I was still battling with my decision during my skating lesson on day eight. Over the weekend, my coach had seen a change in my skating. “I don’t think you understand,” she said, “knowing you over the years, coaching you, I’ve seen what’s inside you. Yet you have never given yourself permission to allow it to come out. Some of it is fear. Another part, is that you don’t trust yourself to break the rules and allow your full expression to be experienced. After this weekend, it’s like the latch has opened on the box you kept yourself within.”
And there it was. The latch had opened on the box, and I didn’t want to close it. I’d been taught dance technique, and would always continue to drill the gift of my fundamentals, but I wanted time to explore what I’d been holding back. No one else could bring it out, only I could.
To leave was one of the hardest decisions I could make, not wanting it to be permanent, not knowing if it would be. The uncertainty made me feel like I was walking on a tight rope trying to keep my balance between my desires and that of my studio.
I thought about the times I’d left relationships. At first, I wanted to cling to the known, even if it wasn’t the right fit. I can make it work, I’d think. I’ll find a way to grow within the situation. There has to be a way, because I love this person, I want it to work. What if there’s no one else afterwards?
The same holds true of a job, or a home that I’ve outgrown. The certainty is comforting, but the longing, the need to follow my instinct pushing me forward, can’t be denied.
I think oftentimes we deny things for a long time, staying where we no longer fit, for fear there’s no return if we leave.
Life though wants us to expand. It wants us to grow and express its beauty. When we hold it back for others needs or rules, or out of fear of losing a relationship forever, we stifle our own growth creating discontent within our spirits.
On day 8 of my letting go experiment, I didn’t walk into my dance studio. It felt sad and a little lonely, a feeling of loss in my heart. I went for a walk on the lake during sunset, and as I looked at nature I felt like dancing. Not for anyone else, but for me. When I arrived home, I turned on music, and I moved, just like when I was a little girl in her bedroom, free to be whomever she wanted to be with no one watching.
I’m uncertain where this journey is taking me, I hope it will return me to my studio home, but I’m now fully in for the ride. I have 81 days left to this experiment, to find out.
What have you tried to let go of that you deeply love? What did you find in the process? I’d love to hear your thoughts about letting go of the things you love in order to find something more.