It was 1991…the final relay of our final meet and I was the anchor swimmer. 100 yards of freestyle between me and the gold (or like whatever they gave us for winning — a pizza party?). I was the MVP of my junior high swimteam. Everyone was counting on me.
I was also an early bloomer, so I was on my period. Too scared to use tampons,* I had a wad of toilet paper bunched in my speedo, bent over, ass up, wings out, poised to dive.
When I flew into the water, I got 50 yards in and I just gave up. I was SOOO tired. I remember telling myself, “It’s ok to slow down. You can’t do it. It’s just TOO HARD.”
So I quit. Right in the middle of my final lap of my final race of my final year on swimteam (I’d been in since I was 6 years old).
When I got out, everyone said, “goodjobgoodjobgoodjob” really fast and without really looking at me. My coach said, “what the hell happened out there, Balicki?!”
I don’t remember anything else except that awful feeling of losing, and my confusion about how easy it was to give myself permission to just give up.
After that, when something felt too hard I would just be like, hey, this sucks, I can quit if I want to. I did it before! And I would.
Private school? Nope. Chemistry class? Done-zo. Mildly difficult boyfriends? Boi bye.
While I’ve still managed to be a wildly committed person (sometimes a little TOO), I’ve so often given myself outs — permission to feel safe by shutting down and avoiding completion in the face of conflict or difficulty.
I get how it feels easier to push something down (feelings) or away (situations/relationships) than to deal with it/them. More vulnerability = more risk.
Ultimately, you’re prolonging the thing you don’t want to experience because you’ve tied yourself to it energetically. Forever. Until you complete and let go.
When you don’t complete with integrity, those feelings will turn into regrets. Shame. Negativity. Drain.
The energetic cord you’ve created (and cultivate each time you think about the situation and feel bad) will keep you reeling in the past and dragging your past into the present.
It’s time to look in…and ask a few questions for your own liberation:
- Where, in the past, have you avoided closing the loop with someone?**
- Why? What seemed “too hard”?
- See if that “too hard” reason/rationale comes from an earlier time in your life. A time when you had less agency or power. (You’re a grown ass human, now.)
- Where are you currently resisting/avoiding completion on something/with someone?
- Can you imagine what it would feel like to be complete? See if you can align with that feeling. Let it inspire you and guide you forward…
- Forgive yourself.
- Summon your courage.
- Create the space for completion.
Obvs, I had to actively forgive myself for the swim meet (I mean, periods, c’mon) and relearn the value of completion. Somewhat recently as I was completing a big project that took a year to wrap, I began constantly visualizing myself swimming hard to the finish line. I learned how to finish strong.
No, you can’t go back in time to make a different choice, but you can make a choice today and cut the cord to the old story, now.
PS Join me via facebook live on 6/2 at 11am pst to talk about closing with grace and integrity. Join me every Friday at 11am pst (or rewatch it later) here.
And join my private facebook group — the hi-vibe lo-down — to dig even deeper with me on all things transformational.
* OMG how scary were tampons when you were a kid?? I think I blacked out trying to use one the first time.
** Important Note: This is not about judging the closing of something that wasn’t working. There are circumstances where closure isn’t possible for extreme reasons. And if you really tried and couldn’t close with integrity, no shame. These questions are about when you KNOW you didn’t complete with authenticity or integrity and it was, really, your choice.