I have to be honest…I have never really understood the idea of “letting go”. I think that I was forced too many times to “let it go”, to “let go”, and to “move on”. I can remember the first time that I consciously recall moving away from the place that I felt was my home, and I was devastated.
My parents’ decision felt like it was being forced upon me, that it wasn’t about choice, and that I was powerless. I hated it. I hated that I had no voice and that I had no say in what was to inevitably happen to my life. And, I think that feeling has always stuck with me to a point. When someone else decides that they are going to change the rules, the parameters, or the expectations…it stops being your choice but it does become your reality.
I am an emotional hoarder, I don’t throw away concert stubs, or little notes, or birthday cards…I don’t want to let go of MY emotions associated with the item, the thought, the event, the experience…so, I have difficulty with letting go of real things, like relationships.
I am so lucky. I really, really am. I have been loved so well in my life. I have been loved by my friends, I have been loved by my students, I have been loved and cared for by so many. I was loved powerfully by my momma, with no conditions, even when I least deserved her love.
But, I have also known pain in love, like we all have. Utter despair and disappointment, questions of what I could have or should have done differently, the classic where did I fail? Those are the questions that haunt me in my internal thinking…the questions that have no answer because they tend to be one sided conversations. Conversations that you can’t have with another person because they left, they walked away, or in some cases…you literally lost them to a fate much bigger than choice.
But, as I age, as I “mature”…(I use that very sparingly because just about every juvenile action having to do with DPOTD makes me crack up)…I am realizing that there are things that I have to let go of with people that I love very much.
I realize that choices and decisions made so long ago can and will have impact today. And, I realize that what I have envisioned as my “sunset” with people that I love won’t necessarily paint the same way in their lives.
I can’t love someone “enough” to stay my friend. I can’t work harder, hold on tighter, or think that somehow abandoning my own dreams and wants and wishes will make anything else okay. And, in spite of all the pain or discomfort, I will not give up what makes me the most me to please anyone.
So, it brings me back to the idea of letting go. I am busy telling my seniors on the daily right now…life is going to change no matter if you are ready…and you will be okay. I tell them that the best time of their life is ahead of them, because I sincerely believe that. I tell them that I will love and support them, that they need to remember who and what they are, and not be so afraid.
So, I better take my own advice. I am responsible for my own happiness. I am going to keep my heart open to love. I am going to insist that others’ around me take responsibility for their decisions, and not attempt to make me carry their burden. I am going to take some opportunities for silence and self care. I am going to love myself.
And, in the process…I’m going to hope to find that it is okay to just let go sometimes.