One of the most important lessons I have learned in recent years to keep my mentality, emotions, actions and even body healthy and positive is very simple; to shed excess baggage. Naturally, just because it’s simple, it doesn’t mean it’s easy. We all have things that have happened to us which have caused major upset, pain so bad that we think we will never, ever move past it. Particularly when some other person is involved and/or the situation is extremely uncomfortable or confronting, it is easy for us to decide, consciously or not, to just push down our true feelings, to bury, step over and try to forget our heartache. We often think that we get away with this too, that we can just ignore the problem and it’ll go away.
Let me illustrate what I see the issue with doing this way of operating is. Imagine the only water source available to you was contaminated and stagnant. A big old mess was left in there and now it’s festered and rotten, sunken deep at the bottom of the pool. You hate drinking this water and know it’s making you sick, but can’t be bothered to go near the bad smell, do the work to clean it up and create new channels for fresh water to flow. So instead what you do is pour soda into your reservoir, maybe skim some gunk off the top, and put a nice slice of lemon and some ice in the glasses you drink to show everyone how healthy it is. Now, does the water taste better? At first it might. But over time you’ll notice you’re still feeling sick, that the sense of satisfaction with what your dealing with is not there, and that there’s still a bad aftertaste left in your mouth. In fact, you begin to notice that because you’re being poisoned by this disguised toxic water, it’s impacting other areas of your life, causing more problems to pop up and more contamination, perhaps in your food or making your house smell, and your family and friends are noticing that something’s not quite right.
That water is the area of your life where you are contaminated with upset, resentment, hate, loss etc. which you have not dealt with. It is your incompletion, the thing(s) you are avoiding addressing at all costs to supposedly avoid pain. It is leaking into your system and sapping your strength, subtly perhaps, perhaps not in a way you even notice, until the point that the weight is lifted, and at that point you suddenly you realise it was like an anchor pulling you into the muck. Make no mistake, if you have pushed down or stepped over a major upset, if it remains un-addressed, it IS stealing your life-force. There is no two ways about it.
With that said, this does not mean that the cure is going to be complicated to obtain, or that it must be found alone. It may just take a bit of courage and letting go of some limiting beliefs. One way recently that I felt the power of completion was when I finally, after more than 2 years, fixed some errors which I had missed in the original release of my novel. These were only little mistakes, but they had really bugged me at the time, and it was only at the moment my edits were accepted and I held the new edition in my hand with the jarring mistakes fixed that I realised, with a wave of relief, that I could FINALLY let it go! For years I’d been holding onto annoyance at these errors because I thought it was too hard to address, and it had been like an itch I just couldn’t scratch for all that time. It felt SO good to complete! Now imagine how much more relieving and fulfilling that feeling is when it’s clearing up something really heavy, especially if it’s something that involves another person.
If you do indeed have something you’d like to clean up with someone, there are three straightforward methods which I have found to be very effective. Firstly and most simply, you just may need to talk to the person whom you are upset with, either over the phone or in person. DO NOT have the conversation via texting. Texts are good for sending memes, casually chatting and making plans, not have difficult conversations, there is simply too much that can go wrong and be misinterpreted. When you speak to the person, do not blame them, simply tell them exactly what it was that hurt you without being committed to holding onto your point of view. There are always two sides to a story, and giving both parties the space to say their piece and be heard may be just what is needed to heal the wounds.
Of course in some situations, doing this would not be possible, healthy or potentially even unsafe. When I’ve encountered these kind of situations or had a friend who was in this position, I’ve found that a good place to start can be to write the person a letter. This letter should not be written as though you are necessarily going to send it to them, as if you’re thinking this way you may end up censoring yourself or pulling punches. The purpose of this exercise is to be as self-expressed as possible and not worry about consequences. This is very important to start to lift the weight from your chest, you have to say exactly what is there for you. If you do decide that you want to send them this letter, then you can review it, imagining that you are the one receiving this letter, seeing which parts may be ranting, overly stingy or spiteful and editing them. This is a great way to see if they are open to talking, or just let them know what you experienced.
The third method can be to speak to a surrogate. This is mostly done when the person who you are incomplete with does not want to talk or is unable to (for example if you cannot contact them or they have passed away). This surrogate person should be someone you trust and who is a good listener. What you will do is tell them the situation (preferably without getting too much into it, as you want to leave them as somewhat as a blank slate), then ask them to be a stand in for the person who you’re upset with. You should tell them that you’re just there to get things off your chest and that they should just listen and perhaps ask a few helpful questions like “what do you mean by that?”, but largely just be present with you so that you can express yourself. If you think your speech will get heated, of course warn them of this before hand, and after the fact thank them and let them know that you are grateful for their help.
Completion is one of the most important and yet overlooked ways to improve ones quality of life. If you shed baggage, it leaves you more free to breathe, to move, to act and to be yourself. Incompletion can block your ability to be vulnerable (a vital key to close relationships), to be present and enjoy the moment, and to be authentic. The more you can let go of that which weighs you down, the higher and faster you can soar. The sooner you can get something complete for yourself the better, but it’s never too late to do so. All you need is to be committed to the result you want to achieve, realising that holding onto it costs you far more than it gives your ego satisfaction or protects you from discomfort, and take appropriate actions to fulfil on your goal.
So without further or do, go right now and start practicing completion with what you’re holding onto. It’ll only be painful for a limited time, but it may very well grant you freedom for the rest of your life.
Until next time my compassionate completers! Remember to be Amor and More in your life.