I have an amazing friend– whose purpose on the planet (besides being amazing) is to empower people to shine by the clothes they choose to put on their bodies. (Check her out here).
This same friend took me shopping years’ ago when I lost all my weight and I had no idea how to be me in this new body. I remember crying in the dressing room because it was the first time I really took myself in— minus all the weight I had been carrying. And I don’t just mean the physical weight of 100+ lbs– I’m talking a stressful career, a disintegrating marriage, an entanglement of lawsuits and financial obligations, a scary health diagnosis. All of it.
I was still dressed in the “old” me– or at least I was on the inside.
Fast forward about six months’ ago and I was having a conversation with this same friend — about my upstairs closet.
I was embarrassed to admit to her– and now to you– that while I had my everyday closet in pretty good shape– upstairs sat an entire container of my former self. This time, it was the self who was single. The self that weighed about 40 lbs less than I do now. The self that watched every calorie and went to the gym everyday.
For some reason, I couldn’t bare or bear to go through that closet and let her go.
And yet, I also knew in my heart’s pocket that holding on to this self– just like I did previously almost 10 years’ ago, was holding me back from completely living in this moment.
In drips and drops of a bag here and there, I had been getting rid of a few items over the past few months. Every time I opened the closet and saw the items, it was like I could validate to myself that I had done it– I had lost the weight. I had been beautiful. I could fit into “skinny” clothes.
It was like if I let the clothes go, I’d no longer have proof that I was this powerful, beauty-full being. I idealized her (because in reality, I would not want to go back to that self if you asked me to now).
They also served my inner mean girl– something fierce. When she saw inside my closet, she had proof that I had failed. That I couldn’t be beautiful unless I could fit into those clothes again. On days I would let her run free though my mind, she’d look at every piece of clothing as evidence I was no longer good enough.
So, this weekend– with much difficulty, I took almost the entire closet out — laid it on the bed, and said good-bye. I did it Marie Kondo style — thanking all of the clothes for the joy they brought me in those past moments.
Knowing that by releasing them to someone else– I would open space for me to embrace this moment’s joy.
The hardest item to part with? This dress pictured here. I wore it the day that things got started between Kerry & me. I felt so daring and beautiful and sexy in that dress— alluring and brave- and all the things that I had ever wanted to feel. Somehow I tied all of those feelings to that particular moment in time– to that particular dress.
And I didn’t want to let it go. Because somehow I had told myself that if I couldn’t wear that dress anymore, I couldn’t be those things.
So, I’m calling myself on myself. My life cannot be measured by my closet– nor my size. My entire life– all of my bravery– all of my love– my struggles– my successes— I carry it all with me, always.
How can I take all of me in– just like I did that day in the dressing room?
The Veterans picked up 4 bags of clothes yesterday. They are gone. I am still feeling a little panicky about it— to be completely honest with you and myself.
And yet, I know that all of them sitting over me each day from upstairs– was keeping me from embracing my alluring, brave, sexy, and daring self in this moment.
Letting go really feels scary. And exciting. Then scary again.
Do you have a secret stash of the past– that is holding energy over you? Maybe it’s a collection of things or maybe it’s a person. I’m here with you cheering you on — to call you on you and to consider letting it go– with love, of course.
One of the reasons I love you so much Stacey Andon, is how you express yourself in such a relatable, uplifting and truthful way. You challenge us to dig dip to the stuff that truly matters…. and to let go of a lot of baggage on the way… Thank you for this beautiful and real blog. You rock my friend