Journal your way to self-trust and self-forgivenessApr 01, 2021
[Guest post by Heather Epps, AMP Tribe community member + journaling student + Mastermind participant]
How do you say goodbye to your dream?
I have been struggling with how to move on after closing my business. How do you grieve that kind of loss? It was partially Covid-related, but truthfully, it was my choice.
I made the decision to close my company. To move on and shut the door behind me. Not slightly ajar or looking over my shoulder, as I did for months and months. But resolutely closing the door, then moving onward, away from the business I built with every part of my being.
And yet I can’t seem to actually say goodbye. I can’t give myself the space I need to grieve. To forgive.
I think if I do, the sadness and the unknown might swallow me whole.
The dark, unbearable feeling of failure. Not just for myself, but thinking I let others down. I didn’t meet expectations. I wasn’t strong enough. I wasn’t willing to sacrifice enough. I didn’t give more of myself. A pound of flesh. My life.
This is not what I want to give my life to anymore. I want my life back.
I choose to live on my terms.
Regret is a word that came up a lot for me as I toiled with the decision. At first, the choice seemed too definite, leaving no room for what-ifs. A foot in the doorway.
I finally realized it’s the fear of letting go and all that comes with it, the journey unknown. What lies ahead.
It’s not regret. I met that asshole head-on and we had a chat. I made sure that if I chose a different fork in the road, regret would not be waiting for me further down the path. I had to do a lot of soul-searching to make sure that at this moment I know that the choice to close my business is what I need and want.
And man, it sucked to realize that. Because now, now I have to act on it.
I am a person completely driven by action and actionable tasks, and yet I’ve found myself unable to undertake the dismantling what was once my dream.
Because, how do you say goodbye to your dream?
I recognize that I evolved and grew into a different person between starting and closing my business. But it was once my dream. One I had for a very long time, finally realized. Realized in a way that was bigger, and brighter, and better than I ever even imagined it could be. It was so much more spectacular and even more in line with who I was becoming, than she ever believed possible.
And yet, it was not the right dream for right now. It was supremely difficult to come to this realization. To say, it’s okay to change direction completely. It’s okay to just force quit this endeavor. Yes, I lost years of my life, years with my children I can’t get back, money... lots of money. It strained relationships and even broke a few. But I am allowed to walk away. I can handle the repercussions because I’m being radically honest with myself and the life I want to live.
I also felt some of the highest highs in my career. I found a level of pride in my work and achievements I had not known were possible. I could see the bright financial future this could lead to, and the security it would bring my family. But I knew in my heart that was not what I needed. This was not going to lead me to the life I wanted.
It ticked so many boxes on paper. It was a natural course for you to follow in your career. It felt like the pinnacle. It still at times feels like the pinnacle, which makes climbing down that much scarier.
To feel that those around you, your family and friends, won’t understand, or worse, disagree with your choice. Certainly clients, competitors, our society will think you’re making the wrong decision. Who walks away after the hard part is over? Who walks away when you are about to get a return on investment? Who walks away from their dream?
I am walking away from a dream that has passed. Past its expiration date.
The right dream at the wrong time. I started something based on the dream of a person that didn’t exist anymore. I knew how to do the work. I excelled. It ticked the boxes. Looked good on paper. Looked even better in person. But was wrong in my soul.
I fought against that feeling so hard. It was there for a long time before I gave it permission to speak. It was longer still before I let that voice be heard. I could have stopped so many times and saved myself so much strife if I had been listening. Really listening.
But I forgive myself for that transgression.
I didn’t know who I was listening for. I didn’t know how to cut through the noise and find her wise knowing voice. I didn’t know how to honor her.
So I am closing down my dream. I forgive myself for not listening sooner. I forgive myself for all that I have lost. I forgive myself for losing time. I forgive myself for losing security.
I forgive myself for not trusting myself.
I take responsibility for my choice and my decision. I take responsibility for taking the next steps to do the actual work, the actionable tasks of physically closing up shop. I take the responsibility for whatever transpires and the repercussions of my decision.
I take responsibility for the frustrations I felt due to my own inability to be honest about what I want and need. I forgive myself for allowing those frustrations to become anger, and for the hurt they caused those closest to me. I will do all in my power to repair the damage done and rebuild honestly and with clarity those relationships.
I will celebrate my accomplishments. I will remember my capabilities. I will call upon my strength. I will listen to the wise words from within. I will be kind and patient with myself and others along the way.
I will look forward to the next dream. I will move towards the next climb. I will know I can reach the next pinnacle. I will dream again.
I will honor my soul as I continue on this journey filled with peaks and valleys, all with something to teach me, and I will listen.
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