Doretta Bendalin
4 min readMay 25, 2020


When Something is Taken Away

When I was the happiest I’d ever been, when everything was working out for me, out of nowhere a I was blasted with a criticism.

“I’m not enough?” Where did that come from?

I had come to a wine and food festival in Carmel with my son and my composure had been fine until I suddenly felt abandoned by my recent husband. He was the man I’d dreamed of when I was in an unhappy marriage. Ben was everything my first husband hadn’t been. Ben was attentive, caring, supportive, and he loved me.

On top of my not being enough, another, more intimidating statement thrust through the fracas . “I’m not complete.”

I didn’t want to deal with my reaction to what Ben’s being late meant, but the truth of the words were so right-on, I must have been deficient. Instead of thinking about why I’d criticized myself, I focused on talking to my son until Ben finally showed up with my daughter.

The reason I’m sharing this experience is that remembering this moment, I realized that telling ourselves we’re not enough is usually just a knee-jerk response to our critic’s judgment. And our critic doesn’t go away. If we learn not to listen, the critic is rarely there.

Realizing we’re not complete is a whole different subject. When we are not complete, it’s because we need something outside ourselves for our well-being. If we have a hard time letting go of anything outside ourselves, it’s addiction.

Most of us are feeling the loss of so much we’ve been depending on for our well being during this coronavirus pandemic. We’re realizing how much we’ve been needing what is being taken away.

I thought Ben completing me was a spiritual thing. Because he was everything I dreamed of, I believed God sent him to me. (Well, maybe God did, but He didn’t intend Ben to complete me. God knows we’re complete as we are).

I didn’t know then was that I would have a hard time letting go of Ben. I didn’t realize how dependent I had become on him. I didn’t think I could experience the happiness he gave me without him.

Having low esteem, coupled with depending on things outside of myself, I spent a long time attempting to let go of Ben, only to come back to him again and again..

When you’re having a hard time letting go of what’s being taken away during this pandemic, be sure to remind yourself you’re giving your power away to something else.

Remember, you need to have your power to feel complete.

A long time ago I read that any time there’s a challenge in my life, I say to myself, “This wouldn’t be happening to me unless something better is coming into my life. That’s been true for me with each challenge since.

  • Remind yourself that when something is being taken away, it’s for your good.
  • Stay distant from the object or person. Whether it’s depending on a person or something you count on habitually, it’s easier when you don’t think about it.
  • Focus on yourself. Address the pain, then bring yourself back to the present and what you’re grateful for.
  • Stay in the present. The more we can bring our focus to the present moment, the less impact our past or future has on us.
  • Allow yourself to feel your emotions. Let them flow out of you. Fighting them can leave you stuck.
  • Engage in Self-Care. The more we implement self-care into our daily lives, the more empowered we are.
  • Surround yourself with people or something you do that fills you up
  • It’s okay to talk or write about it.

Many people have helped themselves let go. Some things or people you’ve become dependent on might be harder to let go of. You may need an experienced professional to help guide you through the process in that case.

I would never have known how much more powerful I could be, how much more esteem I would have for myself, to think I deserved more in my life, and to manifest more without letting completely go.

Believe me when I tell you that only you can give you more. It’s as if — for me — that I open myself to a higher experience where I’m one with all that is and where there is more to choose from.

Go to my post, “How to Eliminate Irritating Negative Thoughts “ to learn more about your inner critic.



Doretta Bendalin

Doretta Bendalin is an accomplished artist whose passion is writing about creativity in the arts and how it pertains to life. Visit her blog at