Letting Go of the Person You Use to Be

One of the most beautiful parts of my work is guiding clients to let go.

To let go of a career that’s not serving them anymore, a relationship they know isn’t right for them anymore, or anger or resentment toward themselves or a family member that’s keeping their heart from truly opening.

It can also be to let go of an identity – the person they use to be.

You see, that was me. I was attached to who I was. I defined myself by what I could do with my body, and my work title. Who was I if I wasn’t those things? Who was I if I couldn’t keep up on the trail, or win a race, or climb a mountain?

I didn’t ask the question until I was forced to by my body with a 2 year virus and couldn’t do those things. I couldn’t work as I once was able to in the mountains. So who was I?

There’s a great book titled, “Letting go of the person you use to be” by Lama Surya Das. Through the Buddhist lens, he talks about loss as we go through life. This book was really important for me as I was going through this enormous loss of identity.

It could be losing relationships, friends, parents, jobs, careers, pets, and our body through aging, down to the little things like the loss of today when tomorrow comes and the loss of this moment to the next one.

Sounds pretty grim doesn’t it?

The truth is, it’s not grim, because when you are able to let go of one thing, it gives you the eyes to see the beauty of what’s in front of you – and within you. To know yourself, perhaps for the first time.

When I let go of who I thought I was (my body, my thoughts, my career), I actually opened into much more happiness, joy, and excitement for life. It’s like someone took off the barrier of mental confinement, and I was free to play. Free!

That’s the reward for letting go. Yes, there is loss, but it inevitably brings you to more freedom, more aliveness, more awake to be truly you.

But it took the loss itself of not having what I thought I wanted, and letting go of that loss. As long as I held on, believing I’d be better soon and return to “normal,” I would be o.k.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross says it beautifully, “If you truly want to grow as a person and learn, you should realize that the universe has enrolled you in the graduate program of life, called loss.”

I won’t lie…letting go can be a painful process. The ego doesn’t want to let go. It wants to hold on for dear life. It pushes, it pulls, it stomps it’s feet, it screams, it cries, and says, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” to the loss.

Here’s the thing, the moment you let go, the MOMENT you truly let go, you will feel an ease in your body, a release, a relaxation. There may even be some sadness and grieving too (and that’s important), but you’ll find relief mixed in with it.

Be free. Be free to be you. Be free to open into this moment, this truth, to you as you are. Let go of who you believe you should be so that you can be the person that you are meant to be with all the beautiful gifts, quirks, creativity, and love that’s inside you. I promise, you’ll never go back once you feel it.

Want to be more of who you are truly are and see for yourself what it’s like to let go and let ease into your heart? Join me for the Opening the Heart Residential Meditation Retreat coming up at Homestake Lodge May 30-June 1. A beautiful location to open to the beauty within you.

Categories: Heart Centered Living

About the Author: Angela Patnode

My passion, my calling, is for you to be totally you. Through private coaching, in-depth retreats, and online group coaching programs, I help you tap into your intuition and clarify your desires and vision, I guide you to take active steps toward making your desires a reality.

4 comments to “Letting Go of the Person You Use to Be

  1. Robin

    The more I let go of limiting thoughts; open and embrace new possibilities, the easier I can breathe and flow through life. I am learning that it really takes time ~ time to focus; be present; in each moment and leave “getting things done” and multi-tasking behind. Each moment is precious and I am so much happier when I immerse myself in whatever is before me. Thank you for your continued encouragement to let go, no matter how much the ego want to stay attached. It’s a constant awareness, but a blessed one. Thanks, Angela.

    1. Angela Patnode

      You’re welcome Robin! This is the journey, opening to this moment just as it is. As you are noticing, it takes time, patience, and commitment to the path. Doing it over and over and over again. Well done Robin!

  2. Roxane Lessa

    Angela, I went through this when I had to stop my ballet career. It was so painful, and I truly didn’t know who I was for a long time. But the cool thing is that it opened up to what I am doing now, with my fiber art and teaching. If I had stayed stuck in the dance world, none of this would have been possible. Your articles are always well written and valuable!

    1. Angela Patnode

      Thanks so much for sharing your journey Roxane. I’m so happy for you in what you experienced as you let go of ballet. It’s incredibly hard to let go of something we love or identify with, but ultimately it opens the door for something else. I’m glad you are enjoying the articles!

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