You often hear about the need to overcome something, right?

You need to overcome the loss of a job, a heartbreak, a disappointment, grief over the loss of a loved one, various forms of addictions, codependency, and the list goes on.

I have discovered that it isn’t the thing, the situation, or the person we have to overcome. It isn’t the job, the ex-partner, the overeating, excessive drinking, depression, anxiety, or sense of despair that we need to get over, it is ourselves.

Stay with me here.

It is our own attachment to those things, situations, and people that is making us miserable. It is our attachment to the idea it was “supposed” to be different – that somehow we could control how everything turned out – that feeds our discontent. It is our attachment to what we are making it all mean that is causing us the most pain. 

When my best dog died, he was my sole companion. I was living alone in a country that wasn’t my own. I didn’t have any close friends or family there with me, just my pup. When he died suddenly, I was devastated. This is normal. Grief is normal. It was the weeks that followed that stirred up the darkness.

You see, in my mind, my pup was “supposed” to come back home to the US with me. I had brought him with me. I was responsible for him, thus it was my fault he died. I should’ve played God somehow in some way to have prevented his death. I made it mean I was irresponsible. I was guilty. I was a bad person. I was stupid for bringing him with me in the first place.

So what did I do to deal with all the ugliness that I was creating? I drank. I told myself it was ok because it was wine. It wasn’t like I was drinking the hard stuff. (oh lovely excuses!)

It didn’t make it better, of course. I felt even worse. I had started down a dark path, one of self-hatred, distrust, and depression. 

Why? It wasn’t the loss. It was what I made the loss mean about me. It was me being angry that life hadn’t turned out according to MY plans. And, it was me who had placed a lot of my happiness outside of me. 

It is much easier to be upset about a loss than it is to deal with all the baggage the loss brings up. So we often stay on the surface. We indulge in self-pity and become a bit hardened on the inside.

What if this rupture in our identity and sense of self that was created by this loss was not to take us into the depths of despair but to let more light in to all the broken bits inside of us? 

Not many will choose this path as it isn’t easy. But, then again, how easy is it to live with the burden of guilt and shame for the rest of your life? That ain’t no cakewalk, my friend. 

The darkness may frighten us but is often in our darkest moments that we begin to see the light we had been hiding all along. 

Anytime we choose to ignore or suppress our uncomfortable emotions, we deny ourselves the opportunity to learn from them and become a more whole soul.

If you are wrestling with your own inner gremlins, telling you just to lose the weight already, get over the ex for crying out loud, get out of debt now, write the damn book, get to the gym regularly, give up the drink, cut back on sugar, have that challenging conversation, cut back on social media or tv, reduce your spending, get a new job, or change your diet for the love of God, it’s not about the actual thing. 

It’s about letting go of all those old stories about who you are, who you were meant to be, and how life was meant to turn out and allowing the true you to emerge. The life the true you creates will blow all that other stuff out of the water. And you’ll wonder why you held on to it all for so long in the first place. 

Are you ready to let go of that thing that is holding you back – your addiction or distraction of choice – to make way for you to embody the true you?

What you will discover and experience is a new level of emotional stability, inner security, calm confidence, powerful presence, true freedom, and joy. 

Ain’t no wine, chocolate, job, or person that can give you that.