What Are You Clinging to That’s Dragging You Down?

What Are You Clinging to That's Dragging You Down?

Every great ship has its heavy anchor. It plays different roles in our lives. In a storm it keeps us safely grounded to one spot. When the storm is over we shall continue our journey pulling up the anchors that drag us down no matter how heavy they might be.

What if that anchor is committed to preventing you from making your way and pursuing your dream to become a person you always wanted to be “one day”? What are your “anchors”?

A ship is safe in the harbor, but that is not what ships are for – this beautiful reminder made me think about the things that hold us back most of the time.
And it begged for another question: What are you clinging to that is dragging you down?

What Are You Clinging to That’s Dragging You Down?

Relationships, People & Memories

When I was younger I had this notion that whatever good things, people, and circumstances I had in my life I would make sure that all of them would stay the same. Without any changes. I was young and naive. And that notion brought nothing but pain. Especially when some relationships started decaying for some reason being replaced by new ones. The process seemed unstoppable. I kept trying to cling and hold on as hard as I could.

I felt panic. I wanted to place myself in control of TIME. I wanted to still-frame my life. I wanted to freeze all of the people I loved and enjoyed spending time with. All of the people that were attempting to leave or life itself pushed them out from the picture. How dare they leave me? – my young heart kept asking in fury.

[bctt tweet=”I resisted change until I realised how fruitless all my efforts were.” username=”havingtime”]

If you do not create change, change will create you.

I remember sitting for hours in my parents’ house going down the memory lane, browsing family albums with all the photos I knew by heart. Faces of random people, relatives, different countries and times came to me through space at once. I was staring at the pictures of people I loved who were long gone. People who, you know, passed away and… just stopped living.

I recalled all the good times and what it meant to me. What it taught me. Would I change anything in the past? No. Because all that I went through and all the people I met along the way – I am GRATEFUL for all of them. It all made me a better version of myself that I’m more comfortable to live with today.

All the things, people and relationships we had – we had them for a reason. We grew with them, we fed our mind and soul with them, we learned from them. And when the lesson is learned, we no longer need yesterday’s “lunch”. And that’s just life. We need to move on. No, we HAVE TO move on.

Our past is just a story. Today we are creating a new one. So no regrets. Regrets don’t work. Release and move on.

Base Your Life on Expectations of Yourself

I was so paranoid about my self-image and the way people perceived me. I wanted everyone to like me, to love me, to appreciate me and all that narcissistic stuff I was so fond of before. I just couldn’t help it. I wanted to control other people’ reactions and the way they think about me. I thought that was possible. How delusional I was is beyond my understanding now. We cannot control the way people FEEL about us, and that’s just it. We cannot feel what people feel and we cannot dictate what they should feel.

Then was that long period in my life when I was trying to build my life upon the expectations of other people. I was building my life on expectations and opinions of the people I valued the most. Regardless of what I was thinking and feeling about how my life should have been twisting and turning.

“If you allow others to define your dreams and abilities, then you enable them to hold you back. What you’re capable of achieving is not a function of what other people think is possible for you. What you’re capable of achieving depends on what you choose to do with your time and energy.”

The resistance inside of me grew stronger each day. Especially when I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to do. The more lectures on how to run my life I’ve listened the more angry I got with myself. Until the resistance inside me imploded.

That’s when I realised that: Your life cannot be based on other peoples’ expectations. Period.

So I stopped trying to make an impression on somebody or to be someone I’m not. So much effort. And what for? I’d rather spend this time thinking and acting in a fashion that would shift something in my life to the better.

Excuses, Criticising & Claims

Oh yeah. I know how to grasp all 3 of these at once and hold them strongly till the fingers go numb.

When I wanted to start something new it seemed to me that it wasn’t the”right moment”. I would sit and wait for days and months for that “special” mood and that stroke of inspiration. I was sitting and waiting growing more impatient.

Where the hell was my inspiration? Why do people say that “sometimes you need to let life just happen, you know” without taking any action? Is that so?

And then again I was sitting and staring at the blank page on the screen. I was waiting for that epiphany criticising myself in advance for all the time missed in waiting. But when my claims got even more ridiculous I finally opened my eyes.

I saw all my excuses for what they really were. They were nothing but anchors that held me back, scared of changing the scenery.

Ah, excuses. They served me so well in keeping me in my tight and cozy shell. But I don’t cling to you anymore. At least I’m trying to.

In Conclusion

I cannot possibly see or show your “anchors” that hold you back from moving forward. But think about that.

What are you clinging to that is dragging you down? What possible role do those anchors serve in your life? Are you ready and willing to release your life from the heaviness and move on?

Let it go. Let go of all the things that hold you back or drag you down. You can do it!


By Lesya Li
Photo by Ksenia Bolshakova

Originally published on Nov 7, 2013

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