Wednesday Wellness: Are You Holding A Cactus?

This was written by a very special friend of mine and trainer at Body Firm.  Her name is Stacia, and she is quite an inspiration…. Spring. A time for renewal, rebirth, cleansing. And yet, how many of us struggle to let go of things that we KNOW are no longer of any service to us? Whether that be an unhealthy food, habit or relationship--we KNOW we should walk away, stop engaging in the behavior, and yet we continue to do so. Why?

I have often heard the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Or even better, “doing the same thing over and over again, knowing the result I’ll get, and still doing it anyway.” That pretty much sums it up for me. I spent years and years and years (yes, that many) of my life consumed by behaviors or even foods that I desperately wanted to stop doing and or eating, knowing they were only harming me, yet I felt powerless to stop.

At some point, a wise person told me that I was holding on to my own personal cactus. Think about it this way--if you were to grasp a cactus, the needles would hurt and sting and cut you. If you were “sane,” you’d drop the cactus right away in order to avoid the ensuing pain. But if you’re like me, you grasp tighter, clinging to your cactus until the needles (behavior, food or relationship, etc.) are embedded so deeply in you that you no longer realize how much pain you’re in as a result of holding on so tightly.

The challenge comes when you finally decide to let go. The needles need to literally be ripped out. So the pain is more acute as you let go--one needle at a time. In fear, sometimes we will grab again and seek the comfort of the known pain. But if we truly let go--be willing to do whatever it takes to be free of our own personal cactus--we may never have to endure the pain and suffering of holding on, being unwilling to let go, and then the pain of letting go. There is a true freedom in letting go...which is obviously simple, just never easy.

So in this spring time of rebirth and renewal, ask yourself what personal “cactus” are you clinging to? And in that knowledge, move forward and KNOW you can let go. It only hurts at first....the joy of the freedom can last a lifetime.

Stacia Carney