Photo credit: Huffington Post
She sat across from me in the chair.
Her shoulders hunched. Tears of sadness streamed down her face.
Her youngest had recently left home to go travelling.
Ironically, tearful mum had looked forward to her daughter’s independence for years, but now that it was here, she felt extreme pain.
A deep, aching pain that she was attempting to soothe with sugar every evening.
Logically, she understood that no amount of sugar could ease the pain in her heart.
Or turn back time.
Or bring her daughter home.
It got me thinking about the many things in life that change, and how we instinctively cling to them.
Why is letting go hard for us?
Most of us find uncertainty scary.
We prefer the comfort of the familiar.
We like the safety of knowing that ‘how things are, is how they will remain.’
But, staying the same goes entirely against the laws of the nature.
Because everything changes
Whether we’re ready or not.
Sobering, I know!
Repeat after me, “Life is change.”
When I work with women to get to the bottom of the extra weight they’re carrying, I commonly hear goals that are anchored in the past.
– “I want to go back to looking like I did in my 21st photos.”
– “I want to feel like I felt when I could wear the jeans I wore at university.”
When we think like that, we’re clinging onto the past.
It’s even reflected in the language we use—”go back”.
We know instinctively that we’d feel happier, freer and more joyful, when we let that go.
…and face forwards.
Start facing forwards
In this client’s case, she needed to move on from the mum/daughter relationship established when she was changing her child’s nappies—and look ahead.
As she looked ahead, her shoulders straightened. She soon saw the unlimited possibilities as to the kind of blossoming relationship she could have with this adventurous young woman!
But if she kept clinging to ‘what was’ by carrying her past, she was limiting her joy, her happiness, and her growth.
Which would keep her stuck in the cycle of comfort eating.
So, the next time you find yourself dwelling on the past, say goodbye to how you were and how it was—with compassion, with gratitude and without regret.
Be gentle on yourself and understand that everything changes.
PS: If you’re struggling with the pain of an empty nest or you find yourself overeating in response to carrying ‘stuff’ from your past, hypnotherapy can help. If you’d like help facing forwards, c’mon over and start a conversation to free up your future?
PSS: The next round of Lighten Up, the 6-week online VGB programme for women, starts 13th of August. More details to follow in your inbox.