I’ve been going through a process over the last few weeks of writing about my life, to try to understand better not only who I am, but why and how I have become who I am.
It’s easy when you live your life day-to-day to just act and not sit back, reflect and look at yourself objectively. It’s a mistake many people make – I used to see this type of reflection as dwelling on the past or wallowing in self-pity. Or even, regretting things you should have done or not enjoying happiness when you have it.
When I started going through the writing process, what really surprised me, was the amount of information I had about myself that I not only didn’t share with others close to me, but that I avoided sharing with myself. I realised that I had lived these moments, experienced these emotions with good and bad outcomes, but had never let myself see or feel that. It’s amazing how much can be stacked up inside over a long period of time.
It’s also amazing how you make decisions based on past, often false interpretations of situations. I saw quite quickly the things I thought had been significant, weren’t and the things I thought I had dealt with long ago, or didn’t matter that much, did. I saw that I had based past decisions on these inaccurate interpretations and that had created the consequences that followed. It would be so easy just to put that onto others, rather than take responsibility for myself and my huge part to play.
The true reflection came a couple of nights ago, when I went to a business event in Zurich and listened to a very inspirational lady speak – Carla Kaufmann of Geschäftsfrau.ch. The theme was lessons learnt and she had three postcards for us to take away.
The first card was ‘mach’s!’. That means do. Never let anything hold you back and always try. I think I’m pretty good at that one. I do always try, even though I struggle when I fail. But that never stops me from trying something else – even though at times I have stopped myself based on others’ views.
The second card was ‘loslah…’, or loslassen. That means to let something go. I saw that through my writing I had seen some things about myself that I wasn’t sure about and that I hadn’t really faced up to some things. To let go is something that many of us struggle to do. I want to let go of some of those things, so that I can clear a space to move forward in my life and my world as it is today, not as it was over the last 20 years. I realise that I am the same person, but the feelings I felt only serve as lessons to learn from – then let go of and apply those learnings in the next phase. That applies personally and professionally. Letting go is a necessity and a something every person owes to themselves.
The last card was ‘ich kann’s.’. I can. Of course I can. I can do, I can let go and I can keep on doing. That’s only about self-belief and without that I won’t get anywhere.
So in what has been a challenging week for me, these three cards have resonated and solidified those reflective thoughts since I started writing. I have a lot to do and for sure some quite rocky mountains to climb, but I do believe that I can. Even on the days that I think I can’t.
Those days, I’ll let go of.
Photo credits: Cards courtesy of Geschaeftsfrau.ch