Healing and Authenticity

“Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you—all of the expectations, all of the beliefs—and becoming who you are.” Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

Absolutely every form of suffering I can think of in my life has come from hanging onto something I ultimately was forced to let go of. People’s approval, straight As, church, lying friends, toxic jobs, and everything else that comes to mind, all of the pain has come from refusing to let go. Holding onto those dreams, childhood needs, and non-reciprocal relationships has almost killed me.

People will extol the virtues of holding on, regardless of the real-life consequences, even martyrdom. There is no inherent virtue in martyrdom. Martyrdom is the ultimate in winning the battle and losing the war. Look at the lives of the people “holding on” to whatever it may be (a dead relationship or church, an ideology, adolescent hopes and dreams, whatever): stuck in the past, unable to move forward (or maybe at all), imprisoned by their own hand.

People want my participation so they can point to me and say, “See! Cindy does it, too.” My approval-seeking actions have been used way too often to justify other people’s submission to oppressive systems.

I think it was Michelangelo who said that he created David by removing everything that wasn’t David. It is time to start chipping away.

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About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

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