I know that Easter has been weeks ago. This post meant to be a post-Easter reflection. I am a practicing Catholic and I have always loved Easter. It is my next favorite holiday next to New Year. I guess you can see that I am drawn to the aspect of newness and fresh start. So after that 40 days of Lent, Easter Sunday was a day of renewal and second chances. For me, it also made me think of the beauty of letting go.
Letting Go of Material Things
If you have been reading my blog lately, I have been embracing the minimalism movement and I have since decluttered, minimised, gave a way, throw and let go of stuff that I did not need in my life to allow space for clarity & peace and space to accept only what is essential & valuable to me.
Discarding stuff for me has always been easy since I was young. But there was once instance recently that it took me a lot of push & pull before I said, ok I am letting you go. It was my Mulberry Bayswater Bag. I was never into branded bags. My mother would give us lots of bags when we were younger without distinguishing the expensive ones to the cheap ones. My care for my bags would be based on just how much I like using it rather than its cost. I later realised that sometimes I took better care of the cheaper fake bags than the authentic ones.
I bought the Mulberry Bayswater Bag in my 2nd year in living here in Singapore out of the encouragement of my husband. He knows how hard I worked here and he said I need to buy something to treat myself and remind myself of my hardwork . Since I was never really into expensive jewelry also, getting a branded bag seems like a better option. I did mention one time if I were to buy a branded bag I would get the bag that I saw a Filipina model, Apple Aberin was carrying. I realised now it was a Mulberry Alexa. I just knew it was a Mulberry brand. Researching through the internet, I settled to buy the Mulberry Bayswater. It comes in hefty price, way beyond the costs of most of my regular bags I usually buy. As I started using it, I realised that beyond its pretty exterior and respectable social standing, I was more stressed in using it rather than loving it. The leather bag was too heavy and I get annoyed by its flappy cover. Also when it rains, I panic because wet droplets can cause permanent horrible stains on the sensitive leather skin. So when I am caught in the rain using the bag, I would shield the bag from the rain than my own head. Little scratches on the metal buckles and ballpen stains inside the bag would pissed me off and made me think of the amount of money I will spend in going to a branded bag doctor.
I finally decided to sell it and most of buyers and bag shops are not keen on the price I gave and they said the brand is not really sellable. After pushing the price a little lower, I finally sold it. I did have tinge of guilt letting it go but I know that it never gave me joy when I used it.
Letting Go of Toxic People
I realised how important real friends are. We do not need a thousand of pseudo-friends that stabs you in the back or are just there when they need you but leaves you when the going gets rough. You may just have a handful of good genuine friends but at least they always have your best interest at heart. I realised it is useless to spend time with people who do not matter and avoidance is the key when you are in close proximity to people who have negative vibes. We do not need to please everyone or else we will end up feeling really worked up. Letting go of toxic people also means unfollowing people in social media that unearth negative emotions when you see them there. Out of sight, out of mind.
Letting Go of Perfection
I have talked about the tough call for parenting perfection nowadays in my previous post. I guess that applies to all aspects of our lives to our home life, social life, career etc. – that pursuit of perfection. But honestly, perfection is an illusion because we are all imperfect humans. We have managed to curate our lives into perfect pinterest-like images in our social media but I will be the first to say that the magnificent imagery that is posted online does not necessarily reflects what is offline. I would tell my friend sometimes who would be occasionally affected with the envy bug when she would reference the amazing life of a mutual Facebook friend and compare it to her “pathetic” life. I would always tell her not to believe everything she sees in social media. I do not think there is anything wrong if people curate their lives in social media. As someone who is involved in the social media business, I totally understand that why we seek to be inspired by beautiful and artistically arranged images. But appropriate word for it is to inspired and not arouse emotions of envy, depression or competition. It is also good to view the kaleidoscope online world with logical realistic perspective. There are beautiful moments but permanence is elusive.
Same goes with letting go of demanding perfection from our loved ones, our kids, our friends and our family. Accepting them as they are allow us to love them without conditions and strains of demands are cut & destroyed. We just accept and allow love to flow freely.
Letting Go of Control
I have always been a planner. Keeping a checklist and a plan for the day/week/month keeps me organised and tides the anxieties away. However, we cannot have complete control of every situation or circumstances. We need to provide room for flexibility and surprises. And it is in the surprises, sometimes, we discover some wonderful things we have never expected before.
There is the control over the attitudes of our loved-ones, family and children which we sometimes try to managed. We keeps close tabs and monitoring of our loved-ones and adult family members that we are almost invading their privacy and space, with us being much aware that they are adults that knows what is right or wrong and knows the consequences to their actions.
Letting Go of Expectations
As William Shakespeare said, expectation is the root to all heartaches. Antonio Banderas also said, expectation is the mother of all frustrations.
Photo Credit: Derek Harvey
How true. But our human nature couldn’t help but expect and have unspoken demands on people and circumstances. And we expect it to be handed to us in a silver platter with no questions asked. The funny thing is the world doesn’t work that way. People operate instinctively in a selfish, inward looking manner that they cannot provide the expectations you demand especially if you do not voice it our explicitly. Sometimes, even if you articulated your desire or expected outcome to the person or people you hope to receive it, you can most often than not get the right blend of what you really want due to many factors.
So how to remedy this? This may be hard but the answers I realised to expectations is to first, let go of all expectations then just accept and do the giving or loving freely & abundantly without any hope for a return or reward. The weird thing about this solution is that when you do not demand or expect, you would magically receive the outcome that you have been hoping all along. And your heart is filled with gratitude with whatever blessings you have received because you have never expected it in the first place.
Thank you Jesus for the realisations and teachings you have spoken softly in my heart. Easter has always been a great start of a new & better life, more intuned with God, family & what matters most. I am letting go and letting God.
How about you? What are your post-Easter realisations? What are you letting go starting now?