How To Let Go Of Your Pride Prisoner

By Claire Lam

People don’t like or want to hear what’s hard to hear. Per usual though, tough tacos! Here’s a dose of hard truth for you: we all will face adversity, negativity, and disappointment somewhere along the way. These uninvited invaders infiltrate our daily routine and life in all shapes, sizes, and frequencies. PSA: We cannot completely shield ourselves from these stealthy, covert ninjas because there’s no way to anticipate their every move. Ninjas are wild and free, right?

Why is it so difficult for us to embrace our unity in togetherness and have solidarity between those shitty moments and ourselves? Reading what’s next might be difficult for some, but I hope the message resonates with you sooner rather than later. So, I’ll cut right to it. 

I personally grappled with “what’s next” for way too freaking long. (In hindsight, everything is always 20/20.) I chose to ignore and avoid what was happening in my mind and body rather than to acknowledge and accept the harsh truth of my health and well-being. I was in big trouble and not in a beautiful mess kind-of-way. 

I felt like a swollen balloon, only what was inside wasn’t light and airy. I was filled with self-doubt, confusion, conflict, depression, anger, and toxicity. I felt ashamed that I allowed unhealthy relationships to develop in my life. I felt embarrassed to live my truth. I felt unaccountable and out of control. For a long time, I believed all this was not supposed to happen to me. Why me? And so, I sealed my fate with bullshit excuses. I became a pride prisoner in my first marriage, my business & work life, my health, my finances, my spirituality, my social circles, my habits, and so on.

The hard question I should have been asking myself all along was, “why not me?” There never was (and still isn’t) anything that says I’m exempt from being faced with adversity, pain, and disappointment. None of us are! That’s why bad things do happen to good people. They happen to ALL people.

However, what I failed to understand early on was that there was no shame in working through my shit to heal, grow, and become better from it. Stepping back to gain perspective of your life, in the midst of turmoil, helps you see your options to overcome the temporary pains. Eventually, I realized that there was nothing wrong with my process for learning how to be vulnerable. Friend, you are allowed to stop, reinvent yourself and to have a fresh start in order to be yourself, however this looks for you!

It’s absolutely ok not to be ok.

Girl, let’s keep it real. Working through and overcoming the “getting your shit together” process requires a level of honesty and accountability that most can’t even imagine, let alone fully understand or appreciate. Why? Because it’s hard AF to hear. But please hear this loud and clear - there’s ab-so-lutely nothing easy when it comes to realizing you’re the one that’s been holding you back this whole time. When confronted with adverse moments and disappointment many of us let these derail our train, am I right?

Now, let me paint a picture in your mind using my balloon reference above. Imagine you have this overwhelmed balloon harboring all the adversity and negativity inside its walls. You can choose from three options to release and transform the balloon: deflate, explode, or float.

#1 Deflate

Imagine this balloon with all of its air let out. What does it look like? I see utter exhaustion. All resources have been drained, whether it be from a slow or quick exhale. It doesn’t even matter because there’s no tank to pump it back up. It’s literally just a shriveled piece of tired ol’ rubber. The sad balloon has lost all of its air and, in turn, any & all form it ever had. Imagine…the balloon has given up on being an inflated balloon and mixed its sad existence back into the jumbo pack of other tired, sad, deflated balloons. That option sounds miserable, doesn’t it?

#2 Explode

Okay, now imagine the balloon is being vigorously pumped up with air. Its walls are stretching so thin in order to hold the swelling air inside of it. Suddenly, it reaches a point where it cannot hold the pressure and tension. All that’s pressing against the interior walls violently erupts. It bursts in desperate hope of finding relief. The torn-up bits of that over-stretched balloon are scattered everywhere, left for someone to pick up the pieces that can never go back together the same way as before. That option sounds brutal, doesn’t it?

#3 Float

Finally, imagine the balloon is on a string being held in your grip. The only thing that’s holding it down is your foundation. You release the string, let it go freely, and then watch as it floats up into the bright blue sky. You watch it bounce around and continue to climb higher and higher into the clouds. It eventually becomes one with the sky and disappears to a place that has new opportunity and purpose. Instead of being lost, it’s finding its own way in its new world. It’s moving forward.

There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind. - C.S. Lewis

Maybe you’re finding yourself on the brink of deflation or explosion. Friend, these are not your only options. They simply are not!  I’ve learned it is okay to not be okay, but it’s never okay to stay not okay. That concept is hard for many people to hear and fully digest.

Remember, there is a third choice in the equation here - you can choose to float to a fresh start and move forward. This is where transformation stories begin and when you find yourself. Your experiences have the power to do so much good in your life and in the lives of others. This is the solidarity we each want that is connected to a higher purpose and abundant life.

Hard truth: I admit that I’ve been toxic to some and a blessing to others. While I know I gave my best effort as a swollen balloon, there will always be others who disagree. These judgements and opinions are white noise because, in the end, I know my way of floating was right for me, even if it was (is) hard for others to hear. I believe the power of now can be jumped-started at any point for any of us. You can choose to float, too!

Celebrate your excellent mistakes and move on with your life.
- Rev. Bill Britt

I will wrap up on this note: F the bullshit. Screw the stigmas. Ignore the chatter. Mute the self-doubt. Do not hold yourself prisoner and wait to deflate or explode. You have another option. Don’t be afraid to let go of that string so that you can fully release your own heavy balloon. You will discover new opportunities are waiting wherever the wind carries you. Believe in yourself and have faith in the positivity that’s beyond the dark moments and negative feelings.



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