The Subtle Art of Letting Go.
BY KUDI MARADZIKA
Radical honesty will change your life. Why? Because everybody lies, the only variable is about what. Lies are great for storytelling, but terrible for real life. We’re all guilty of accepting lies as commonplace. But it wears us out. I just finished watching Chernobyl the HBO series and the line that stood out for me the most was: ‘What is the cost of lies? It's not that we'll mistake them for the truth. The real danger is that if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognise the truth at all’.
So why do we lie and what does lying have to do with letting go? Everything. We don’t lie because we’re all sociopaths with no conscience. We don’t lie to protect others. We lie ultimately to escape ourselves. Lying is what we do when we don’t know who we are and we are too ashamed to be ourselves and be truly vulnerable with others.
Everybody lies, the only variable is about what. Lies are great for storytelling, but terrible for real life.
How do we stop lying to ourself? By living with radical honesty. By not being afraid to speak truth. By being vulnerable. By being honest no matter how hard it is. By letting go of things that no longer serve us.
It is with this radical honesty that I took a year that a lot of people would have assumed at face value to be the worst and turned it to what is now easily one of the best years of my life.
How did I do it?
I set myself on fire…
I know, dramatic! I did though, then I started all over again. Questioned everything from what my values are to who I was and to all the lies I had believed about myself, what mattered and the life I had lived so far. An example of a lie? My value is determined by what other people think about me. That being in a relationship is the only way to feel valued. That I understood human nature. That I wasn’t responsible for the misfortune in my life.
It has been a year of continuous learning and rebuilding and after a lot of stops and start I admit, the jungle is the only way out. There is nothing easy about trying to live a life with radical honestly and although I admit that I still haven’t stopped the small lies to myself that we are all guilty of, (like the fact that I can function on 4 hours of sleep), I at least have figured out how to live more truthfully for the benefit of myself and the people around me.
So what is the subtle art of moving on? It’s a list of truths I now hold true and a list that stops me from lying to myself by reminding me to see and live with brutal honesty.
KNOW THINESELF, LOVE THINESELF & TO THINESELF BE TRUE:
It goes without saying that without knowing who you are and what your firm boundaries and deal-breakers are in life, you will subject yourself to people in life who have no problem with blurring the lines of what is right in order to get ahead. If getting ahead means taking advantage of you or lying to you, then these people have no issues with that at all, but can you blame them? A lack of boundaries and values means that you will be taken advantage of and you will be undervalued. A lie I used to tell myself was that bad people were ‘there’, but there is a shadow side in us all. Including myself. Knowing this about yourself and anticipating this in other people allows you to see people for exactly who and what they are and nothing else. As Maya Angelou says', ‘when people show you who they are the first time, believe them’. Knowing yourself means you’re more likely to trust that gut feeling about people and places the first time. That said, the shadow is always lurking in us all, but so is the light. Both are you, both deserve love.
YOUR HAPPINESS IS DIRECTLY LINKED TO HOW MUCH YOU VALUE YOURSELF:
Because there are no real-life villains, you and you alone are responsible for standing up for what you believe to be true, for your thoughts and for your emotions. If you and you alone are responsible, there should be no expectation that someone can complete you, fix and pander to your childhood trauma or unresolved baggage, that someone is responsible for your happiness or success. No one, not a lover, not a job, not your family. You are not an empty vessel to be filled. You were born whole and you are whole. So whilst there may be parts of you that are broken, you and you alone are responsible for fixing this. Where do you start? By loving and accepting yourself for exactly what you are however broken you may feel you are. You do this by also understanding that you can only attract what you already have inside. If you want happiness, start by being happy. Why? Because you value enough to know you deserve this.
RADICAL HONESTY WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
there ARE NO MISTAKES, ONLY lessons. the lessons will be repeated until they are learnt.
As I set myself on fire, I realise that I hadn’t heeded the age-old caution that fire burns. And so the lesson had to be repeated. Call it karmic flow or even cause and effect, ultimately the universe or God is always talking to you, always trying to show you the way, always trying to show you the lesson. Sometimes the lesson is easy to learn and obvious and other times the lesson comes at too high a cost; letting go of old beliefs we hold to be true. So we ignore the lesson and the potential for growth over and over again. But just like in school you can’t advance much further unless you keep learning and if you want to grow spiritually or as a person you have to keep learning. Learn about the world, but mostly about yourself. From Reiki masters to shamans, to therapists, to Ayuhuaska to Vipassana’s, this has been THE year of learning and relearning lessons I had forgotten. The art of letting go is to continue to do the work, even when its hard but especially because it’s hard.
LET IT GO:
Never look back unless you’re going that way. Now I’m one to talk. We can all get bogged down with thoughts, recycling and going over things that happened over and over again, trying to make sense of things, of what went wrong, wondering if there are things you could have done differently in a messed up form of emotional PTSD. Truth is reflecting on the past does nothing but stop you from not only living in the present, it also stops you from taking a cold hard look at yourself and your flaws. It stops you from doing the work.Instead of improving yourself, all you're doing is focusing on the former version of yourself. All you do when you fail to let go of things is live in a feedback loop of trauma and pain. I’m not saying ignore your feelings, not at all. Face your emotions, cry, laugh, weep, do it over and over again but at some point you need to make the decision to let things go. As Oprah says, ‘forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different’. Everything happened as it was supposed to. There is nothing you could have done to change things so focus your energy on what matters, the now. Be grateful for the life you have NOW. The art of letting go is not letting the past live rent free in your mind. Commit to you, your growth and your future.
Letting go will allow you to be open to everything and attached to nothing, making room for what is meant to be in your life.
BY HEY KUDISCO
Work, Wellness, Beauty and Balance.