Unsubscribing & Doing The Work to Heal

February 17, 2024

Earlier this week, I was feeling incredibly overwhelmed by my emails. Amidst the scrolling, reading, filtering and deleting, I got the sudden urge to remove myself from lists I no longer cared about. So, I spent the next several minutes hitting that unsubscribe button, tediously clearing away the digital clutter.

Fewer random emails showing up in my inbox in the days that followed=major win for this clutter-averse brain.

The Click of A Button

And because I’m that person whose mind can easily go off in the weeds, I started to imagine how nice it would be to utilize an “unsubscribe” button for LIFE.

Like, what if I could simply remove myself with the click of a button from the things I no longer wanted to be affiliated with, the relationships I no longer wanted to be involved in, and the ideas I no longer wanted to believe or accept? I want the easy button because I’m tired, ya’ll.

People-pleasing. UNSUBSCRIBE. No more fu*ks to give, thank you very much.

Patriarchy. As Taylor Swift once said, ” I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative.” UNSUBSCRIBE.

9-5 jobs, 5 days/week. UNSUBSCRIBE. (What happened to the conversations about four-day work weeks? Can we get that convo going again?)

Comparison. UNSUBSCRIBE.

Dealing with phones at school. UNSUBSCRIBE.

Another damn election year?! UNSUBSCRIBE.

Diet culture. Would have loved to UNSUBSCRIBE when it really counted.

High demand religion, rules, perfectionism, forced belief. UNSUBSCRIBE.

No Shortcuts

Hmmm….now I’m starting to wonder what would remain? When society and little ol’ me have accepted and normalized so many constructs for so long, it’s hard to imagine a world where they wouldn’t exist. What kind of life would I suddenly be living if these things just went POOF!

So that’s where my daydreaming hits a dead-end. I’m not silly enough to think I can shortcut my way to freedom. My sensitive little self would pay a lot of money for a shortcut, and God knows the click of a button would do wonders for my mental health. Maybe I would actually acquire that thing people talk about…what’s that word again? PEEEEEAAAAACE (cue Ariel).

Did I Miss the Memo?

Frankly, it wasn’t that long ago that I realized that this unsubscribing business is a real thing people spend years, even LIFETIMES doing. Whether you wanna call it unlearning, deconstructing, or healing, it’s not for the faint of heart. Maybe this is actually what it means to be an adult and I just missed the memo. (It’s a pretty big memo to miss if you ask me, though. Like hi mom, why didn’t you tell me the whole second half of life is just about unlearning everything from the first half. Woulda been nice to know.)

If unsubscribing from the constructs, patterns and status quo of our lives was easy, everybody would do it in a heartbeat. The bad news is, it takes loads of intention, humility and emotional resilience to change course in a world (or a family) where the course was set long ago.

It takes a patient partner (hi, Rory).

It takes heightened awareness and sensitivity and empathy.

It takes courage to decide something is no longer working and leave it in the dust.

It takes stamina to continually choose yourself and actually enforce boundaries you never had before. Ugh, why so exhausting?!

Growing Pains

As much as I would like to be a woman with no fu*ks to give, I’m not. I actually give SO. MANY. FU*KS. And that’s why I’m here. Honestly, sometimes I wish I didn’t care so much. Some days I would give anything to go back to my blissful, stagnant little bubble.

But, I have come to realize that the tides are changing, so I can either accept the invitation to evolve or I can hide. If I don’t do the conscious work, someone else will. Like my children. This is why therapists and psychologists speak about healing generational trauma. Because it lives in us and it’s WORK to deprogram that shit.

Enter growing pains. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO SUDDENLY STOP BEING A PEOPLE-PLEASER WHEN IT’S GOTTEN YOU THIS FAR IN LIFE. Holding my tongue when I’m tempted to over-explain or profusely apologize is like experiencing literal withdrawals. But, I guess that’s another post.

Getting Honest and Rebuilding

For me, getting honest and facing the truth about things that weren’t working, whether in my personal life or on a societal level, has been a job in and of itself. Then there’s the work and grief of the deconstruction and the absolute madness of trying to understand how I ever accepted the very things that now repulse me. It’s watching the collapse of the towers and then staring at the vastness of ground zero, cursing the past and feeling utterly overwhelmed and uncertain about the future (thanks for that metaphor, Autumn).

But each day, baby steps. A little rebuilding here, a little there.

Each day, actively choosing to unsubscribe from the beliefs and patterns that no longer serve me.

Each day, trusting myself a little more.

Each day, caring what others think a little less.

Whew. And that is why I quit life every day at 7:30 pm.

Tell me, what are you unsubscribing from?

Here’s to healing, choosing new paths and eliminating all that mental clutter that stands in the way of becoming our freest, most authentic selves. It’s work, ya’ll. We got this.

You might also like You are Free, and You Always Have Been… , You Are A Force and Forged in the Fire

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