Let Go | Self Portraits

Listen to this. Seriously.

There’s an unparalleled feminine strength that I’ve been tapping into within myself these past couple of months. I can feel the stories of women in my family coursing through my veins and lifting me in resilience. Reminding me of my inherent worth, pushing me to never settle for mediocrity, and teaching me what it means to have to let go of something I love that no longer lets me thrive.   

Releasing myself from the prison that is anxiety and self doubt is an every day fight and one that I advocate the validity of vehemently for everyone around me. It’s a fight that paralyzed me for a lot of my life, and a war that I’ve just won, with many battles still lost. 

But, negative energies are obviously parts of ourselves that never serve us. It’s no question that if given the choice to just eradicate our demons, we would. No one is inviting our shame triggers in for a cup of tea. 

Coming to terms with the fact that something we once loved is no longer allowing us to grow is a grieving process that is daunting at best and hard to navigate. I am a fiercely loyal person and strive to fight for the people that I love (Who else is a Hufflepuff?)

I have a tendency to let situations and relationships get rotten rather than gently, and lovingly closing a chapter of my life that I know isn’t going to grow with me, but against me. 

This is a lesson I am still digesting and meditating on, but friends: 

You can fiercely love and be loyal to commitments, communicate through conflict, AND recognize when God is telling you that it is time to let go. Any scenario that makes you feel like you can’t stand in your truth or one that has you deviate from your truest self for an extended period is one that you should consider gently letting go and grieving. 

The story of several of the women in my life is one of sacrifice of self to try to heal another person or group of people. We can hold each other in the light, hold space and empathy for one another, but we can not single handedly fix or cure anything on our own if it doesn’t want to change. 

I knew this logically, but I lead with my heart, and grieving this reality in this season of my life was one that terrified me to my depths. I felt like so much of my worth was tied up in circumstances outside of the simple fact that I am alive and doing my best. We all are.

I made it out on the other side of loss. I have many times, and you will too, stronger. Stay strong. Stay soft, do not let grief make you hard. Invite it in and listen to what it needs. It will not swallow you whole. It does not define you. 

When I was forced to let go in this season, I knew that I needed the nudge, and when I was shoved into unknown, I clothed myself in light armor. In the dress sent to me by the women in my family who have lived this truth. I’m spending a lot of time just listening.

You do not have to drown at the expense of others. Tune in your truest self, speak to be heard, and grow without limits. Stumble a lot and be imperfect and stunningly human. 

Give yourself permission.

Copyright © Annie Velenovsky Photography 2020
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