To Remove and Find Freedom
We're honored to share this powerful guest blog post by the amazing Kanyn Doan. This powerful woman is a true visionary and we're so grateful to share her words of wisdom and insights with you here. Enjoy!
1. to get rid of; to eliminate
re - back mīvati - she moves, pushes
to push or move back
“Life is an ongoing series of choices between safety out of fear, or risk for the sake of growth.”
I want to begin with a disclaimer. The concept of removing and eliminating will look different for every individual. We all have wants and needs and desires, which are all very different. There is an endless number of paths we are each taking, and there will be phases where deep removal is necessary, and will feel as though our entire reality is being flipped onto its head. Removal ignites transformation. Removal invokes the process of death in order to be born again. Removal is a vital piece of reclamation. I am in no way attempting to say that removal is an easy process. It is one that I have only just begun, and it is still a decision I have to recommit to everyday. Because it isn’t fucking comfortable. People will feel disappointment because of you. You will feel shaky at first. You will feel as though the world as you know it is crumbling. But let me ask you: how much longer are you going to remain in the business of pleasing everyone around you at the sake of your own sanity and well-being?
When we remove what no longer serves us, we create space for all that is meant to ignite our growth. However, no one else can make this choice for you.
It feels as though you are standing on the top of a cliff, looking down as the deep blue and indigo water beneath you. Your heart begins to race, as it realizes the very last task you must fulfill is to step into the endless air surrounding you. You’re uncertain as to how your body is going to make it safely to the world below the surface, and your mind is screaming at you: “you’re going to get hurt, you’re going to fail, you’re going to trip, you’re going to regret this…” Your stomach knots as you commit to the jump. You don’t close your eyes, you keep them open, because you want to see the view change around you. Without thinking, both of your feet come off of the stable rocks below them, and you devote yourself to the insecurity and endless possibilities of the breeze engulfing you. There is no thought in the fall. There is silence. No doubt. No fear. No regret. It is only that moment of complete surrender, and you. Your body is shocked back into awakening as it crashes gently in to a new reality, one without gravity, without weight, without expectations. You are soaking within it. You are still here, safe, whole and alive. Yet everything has changed.
I have just recently been able to identify myself as an empath. I am still in the midst of my research and complete understanding of what this means, but what I can tell you is that an empath is an individual who holds such deep and wholesome empathy for the emotions and feelings of those they come into contact with, it is almost as though they are experiencing the pain of those emotions themselves. Empaths reflect the emotion they are witnessing, feeling, and hearing, almost making it their own. My connection to this probably (and definitely) has something to do with the fact that six planets within my natal chart are in water signs. And even though knowing this about myself allows me to make deeper connection with my emotional body, it has been a very tumultuous road to this space. I have placed myself in to much emotional turmoil within the past that has exploited my safety as an empath: not setting strong boundaries to ensure ample and respected alone time, becoming highly overwhelmed in intimate relationships, being taken advantage of by energy vampires, and drowning within emotion that is not my own.
Because of the demand that I end emotional cycles and self sabotage in my life in order to serve my higher purpose and Self, I embarked on the removal of all people, environments, energy, words, assumptions and emotions that no longer served me, and never actually did.
However, I am not sure what is worse: being the one who is removed, or being the person doing the removing. I will tell you that as a compassionate, empathetic and intuitive womyn, the latter is far more difficult.
Removal is probably one of the most difficult necessities that we will ever do as womyn. We hold intuition, compassion, empathy, kindness, hope and deep wisdom, and though these are the necessary tools in healing ourselves, they are incredibly difficult weight to bare when choosing to remove negative, stagnant and draining energy in your life. Being inclined towards emotion makes us inclined to think about the aftermath of our storm. Questioning how our waves are going to impact the land they will inevitably hit, and then choosing to not create them for the sake of others' emotions, feelings and triggers. This only harms us more. And though our softness and unwavering gift of kindness has been turned and used against us, these are our strengths and the attributes in which we find our most power.
I have been really leaning in to the concept that we are truly the only beings who can heal ourselves. It will not be our therapist. It will not be our energy worker. It will not be our naturopath. It will not be our partner. It will not be our best friend, or our sibling, or Western medicine or drugs or alcohol or even God.
It will, and always will be only ourselves that can heal the pain we hold.
For five years, I thought that I was capable of healing her pain. For five years, I thought that if I allowed for her to lean on me, she would get better. For five years I listened and I comforted. For five years, I belittled my own hurt because I felt that it had no comparison to hers. For five years, I thought that if I stayed strong, remained present, and continued to provide her with the space to process through her trauma, that she would eventually heal and be able to be the partner that I knew I deserved. For five years, I could only see myself through clouds that were placed upon my eyes by emotion, pain and trauma that were not my own. For five years, I endured emotional and mental pain inflicted upon me. For five fucking years, I traveled in a cycle of truly believing that it was going to change, that there was light at the end of the tunnel, that we were good for one another and that there was a chance for us. I wholeheartedly had so much hope that she was going to be able to heal from the years of hurt she had endured, and the triggers she faced every day. I thought that her jealousy, rage, insecurity, grief and manipulation were bearable because they were validated within the hurt she had no control in facing. I chose to overlook the way she treated me because I thought that I deserved it. For five years, I sank into the background as she acted selfishly in the name of her pain and trauma. I gave her every piece of who I was. I chose to look the other way, time and time again. I chose her, and did not choose myself.
No, we do not have a choice on what we endure on this earth. What we do have a choice in, however, is how we choose to allow those experiences to shape us. My sister has a phrase that she tells me when I am in the midst of allowing my super-ego to control my emotions and thoughts. She tells me: “what you resist, persists.” What we continue to push up against is what will continue to be what we fall back upon when we tire out. We have a choice, every single damn day, on how we are going to allow for our experiences thus far in this life to impact us or ignite us. How we are going to choose to acknowledge them as pieces of who we are. How we are going to choose to love them, and to love ourselves. How we must make the choice to either live in pain, or live in love. And how we are going to choose to heal.
It was not until a few short weeks ago that I had to look at myself and say, “Kanyn, it is not your responsibility to heal anyone other than yourself.” And quite frankly, it isn’t ethical to believe that we can fix other people! I cannot want something for someone more than they want it for themselves. The only choices I have control over are my own. And with that, I cut the cords with a relationship that I had cycled through for five years. There was no other choice. Because I am choosing to heal and choosing to not live within the past anymore. And it wasn’t until this past weekend that I began the process of forgiveness. I forgive her. I forgive myself. I forgive the pain that we inflicted on to one another. I forgive the ways we treated one another out of insecurity, fear and grief. I forgive myself for not setting boundaries, and for lowering my voice in the moments that it demanded to be heard.
I have chosen to heal. I have chosen to forgive. And I have chosen to grow.
With this process comes the need to remove.
Remove yourself from environments that drain your energy.
Remove yourself from communities that do not align with your values.
Remove yourself from jobs and positions that don’t feed your fucking soul.
Remove people who do not respect your boundaries.
Remove people who do not support your growth.
Remove thoughts that lead you to believe that you aren’t worthy of having everything that you want.
Remove shame, guilt, remorse, disappointment and embarrassment.
Remove thoughts that say you aren’t deserving.
Remove clothes that don’t make you feel radiant.
Remove the walls you have built up around yourself out of self-protection.
Remove the masks you have hidden behind.
Remove the chains of your heart and the barriers of your mind.
Remove alllllll that doesn’t make you feel good.
Remove yourself from spaces that don’t feel like home.
Remove all that does not align with who you want to be.
I think we get really caught up in the idea of timing. Stalling removal and placing it upon the back burner in the name of safety, and security that is usually bound up within expectations of the comfort sold to us by capitalism. What about being fully safe and secure within yourself? Within your space? Within your heart, your mind, your body and your encounters?
What would that feel like?