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Letting Go

By HERWriter
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We all carry baggage that we’ve collected over the years, problems that others or we ourselves created. We pack them up and haul them around as evidence of the wrongs done to us.

As a cancer survivor, I sought to lessen the burdens of the past because they impede my ability to live in the present. One powerful lesson came from my teacher, Deepak Chopra.

A live-in at Chopra Central, I was given an assignment one night. Go write your story, the master told us, in vivid detail with whatever comes to mind –- the faces, the feelings, the anguish. Go put it all down as you remember it, as you dream about it. Pour everything into the journal that you want righted from the past. Hold nothing back, he instructed.

All through the night I labored to spill the cosmic beans on the unfairness of it all. I remembered different times when life had been unjust, could see the players of the drama as though I’d watched the movie just last night. I wrote and wrote. One by one, the scars were revealed, the pain unique to each one. One by one. It was a long night.

The next day, armed with my tome, I arrived at class early and ready to go through what ever ritual we would use to exorcize the demons. Would it be fire? Would it be tearful? Would it be cathartic?

Dr. Chopra began class and much to my amazement said simply, “That is your old story and it’s there should you ever need it, but you no longer have to carry it with you. So, now take this new journal and go write your new story. Write your life story beginning now, completely unencumbered by your past grievances.

But . . . but . . . was that it? Was it that simple? No magic? No mystery? No chanting?

The lesson, Chopra said, is that we choose our life every day. By hanging on to old pains, we are choosing to keep them alive and they smudge the lens through which we see our new life. The first journal was merely an exercise to park these burdens on a shelf, to externalize them.

The second journal represented our power to decide what we want our life to be. The blank pages hungered for words of optimism and dreams and happiness. It was pure without justification or reconciliation. It was a portal through which I could go and live my new story without the burden of my burdens.

As we say good bye to another decade, I am writing my new story for a decade that I thought I would never see. I am joyful in my new story, brimming with hope. I am grateful. I am useful.

I am alive.

Add a Comment5 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Proper guidance at the right moment can bring instant liberation to our souls. This is a very moving account of how we can change and enrich our lives!

December 28, 2009 - 7:47pm
EmpowHER Guest

If you're a fan of Deepak Chopra, you might want to check out his new stress reducing program; it’s a first of its kind iPhone application implementing a comprehensive program to remove stress from daily life.

You can also learn more about the iPhone app on our Facebook page.

December 24, 2009 - 11:12am

Great read, I am a fixer kind of person. This read was inspiring .

December 24, 2009 - 5:04am

As always, Annette, you have eloquently penned a thought provoking article and given us all a tool to that we should all do as part of our New Year's resolution for 2010! I am sharing it with all my friends and family!

December 23, 2009 - 7:49pm
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Hi Annette - What a gift you've given us by sharing your story just before the New Year begins. As women we tend to want to "fix" things which may be one of the reasons we go over things from the past in our minds. Of course that's pretty useless when you think about it since the past is already gone, over, done with. What better way to really, really feel that than through the exercise you went through and the process of beginning a new life through a new journal. I'm inspired - thanks!
Take good care,

December 23, 2009 - 5:35pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.