I have a tendency
to hold on
to everything

yes, everything

I guess you could say
I am an emotional hoarder

And I have been
looking at this lately
to see why
what is driving me
to never let go

And here is what I got…

It is as if I think
that my letting go means
one of a few things

1. That I am saying
something that was not okay
with me is okay
As if by letting go
I am admitting defeat
or worse, resignation
As if by holding on
at least I am making
my preferences known

2. I don’t know what the future holds
so I get scared that I might let go
of something I could need someday
And then the fear is
it would never again
be available to me
As if by letting go
I am saying goodbye permanently
As if by holding on
at least I am assuring
I can come back if need be

3. It sometimes feels weak, like a giving up
and I see myself as more of a fighter
not a quitter
so I don’t want any evidence
to the contrary
As if by letting go
I am acknowledging that I could not
make it better
As if by holding on
at least I am still
kinda trying

4. Holding on
can help me justify
how I am being now
in a way that is moderately comforting
as it allows me to take less responsibility
almost conveniently
As if by letting go
I would have to own more fully
how I am choosing to be now
regardless of the past
and my stories
about why I am the way I am
As if by holding on
I am able to explain away so much
of why I am the way I am

5. Sometimes it feels like I just don’t want
to put in the work
So even when I believe
that it’s best for me to let go
walk away, say goodbye
I can find myself looping endlessly
holding onto what used to be
or what I imagined could be
And I know it requires work,
sometimes a lot of work
to regain “control” of my mind
It takes commitment
to insist on thinking differently
instead of just allowing my mind
to run the show
focusing on what it pleases
torturing me
with its compulsivity
So by holding on
at least I am not having to face
this part of me
that lacks the self mastery
to choose differently

6. Sometimes I fear
what I will feel
Because while holding on
can be a unique flavor of challenging
it can at least be familiar
it can at least be its own kind of comforting
Often when I find it hard to let go
it is because I don’t want to feel
what I will feel
as soon as I release
Because in my experience
even when it is for the best
even when it is much needed
even when it is clearly what is happening
that doesn’t mean it feels good
that doesn’t mean it’s easy
that doesn’t mean I feel better immediately
And so at least by holding on
I know the suffering I am choosing

Humbling to see
how I justify
holding on
often desperately
But awareness helps
and in some cases

When I get clear on what I am doing
When I understand what story I am letting run me
I have a way better chance of releasing
I have a way better opportunity
to let in more of what is good for me
And let go of more of what is no longer serving me

Perhaps you see yourself in these
I find one of the most common questions I get is
Yes, but how do I let go
How do I move on….

To which I say,
I am not sure for you
but I can say that what has helped me
is getting clear on why I am holding on
in the first place

And then I do what is necessary
to remember what is true for me
to get my needs met differently
so I am no longer relying on
what I know is hurting me
so I can let go less terrifyingly

And I remind myself
that letting go
makes room
for something
Something else
I choose

It isn’t always easy
but in my experience
always worth it

Always worth it
to reclaim
your mind
your energy
your heart

May you too
let go
of what you
need to

❤ Emily Joy Rosen

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Emily Rosen is the co-owner and CEO of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating where she oversees business development strategies, student affairs, marketing and public relations, and keeps a pulse on the fields of eating psychology and nutrition to ensure the Institute’s position as a leader worldwide. Emily makes things happen. Her passion for health and transformation has provided her the opportunity to speak and present internationally and be at the forefront of a new generation of women leaders committed to making a heartfelt difference in the world. Her tireless work and faithful commitment have touched the lives of millions of fans and followers worldwide.