I was having a conversation with a dear friend this week when I found myself overwhelmed with emotions. Sadness, regret, and disappointment. The tears took me by surprise.., and so did the accompanying awareness.

I realized in that moment that so much of the personal and spiritual growth work I have done over the years has been about letting things go. Releasing old behaviors. Getting rid of old beliefs and biases. Clearing out the parts of me that were no longer aligned with where I saw myself going. Who I thought I was becoming.

I took pride in ridding myself of the old and outdated aspects of myself, that going forward, I was sure I would never need again.

Who knows how or why this particular conversation was such a strong catalyst for a new awareness. Who knows why it triggered a range of emotions that would make it almost impossible for me to speak. But in that instant I knew I had been betraying and shaming myself for being who I was… who I am.

I had this flash of knowing that it was time to call back all aspects of my past. To embrace the younger versions of me that didn’t know the answers; who struggled with identity; who made choices or decisions with limited or incomplete knowledge; who pretended to be someone or something they weren’t.

I had banished them to a place where I would not have to look at them again. Where who I was, who I am, and who I am becoming could live autonomously from one another. I took the powerful work of releasing those things that were not in alignment with where I wanted to be, and made those aspects of myself wrong.., bad.., and undeserving.

I cast them out, so I wouldn’t have to look at them any more. So that only beauty exists in the evolved new life I have worked to create for myself!

Yet this week, I knew I had to call all of those energies and aspects of myself back. To not only absorb them into my being…, but to love them as well. To remove the labels of flaw, mistake, not enough, foolish, deceitful, weak, misguided, etc, etc. To recognize them for the important contributions they have made to make me who I am.

It was never about casting them out or erasing them from my past. But the part of me who wanted to get “evolving” right, didn’t know what else to do. It was easier to try and eliminate them, then it was to integrate them. It was easier to pretend they didn’t exist.

This week I know better. I know how important it is to embrace all of me. Who I am and who I have been. There are no bad parts. There is nothing I can’t acknowledge, accept and embrace. In fact., now that I recognize this.., I feel so much compassion and love for these younger versions. Their resourcefulness and adaptability. The ability to respond to all that life throws at us., with the level of knowledge or awareness that we have at any given time.

It has all been perfect. There is nothing I would change. There is not an aspect of myself that is unloved. In fact, there is a sense of wholeness now, that has been missing for a long time.

And what perfect timing! As I head off to my next adventure… I take ALL aspects of myself with me! I leave feeling whole!

Thank You for being with me over these past nine years. Allowing me to share the ups and downs, accomplishments and stumbles, lessons and awareness, that have come my way. I know we often have conversations about how we seem to have a parallel process or our own version of each other’s experience. Sharing it in this form has been a real gift for me!

Starting next week, Victoria Barna will be the one writing these newsletters. At least for the next 3 months. Please know I will be thinking of you… and look forward to reconnecting in September! I just realized, I am bookending my adventure with two holidays! From Memorial Day to Labor Day! How fun is that!

Have an AWESOME summer!

With Light, Love, and Laughter
Charles

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