Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Letting go. Such little words that have the potential to pack a big punch. Possibly life changing. I've been pondering the art of letting go recently.
I'll tell you a story about my son, which comes to mind. When he was a small child he loved cars. He had hundreds of little matchbox cars that he would play with for hours. I remember he kept them in this big canister. One time he reached in and was determined to gather as many as he could in his hand, but when he tried to pull his hand out he could not. He had so many cars clutched in his fist that his hand would not fit through the opening of the canister. He cried and cried, and I rushed into the room. He said "Mommy, my hand is stuck". I said, "Well honey, just let go of the cars!" He said "I can't Mommy I love them and want to play with them!"
Just let go of the cars! It sounds so logical and simple, doesn't it?
Is letting go really logical and simple?
I relate this story to me as an adult. To let go of something means to say goodbye to something or someone I care about. If I let go, I will not have that person or thing which I love so much in my grasp. To let go is unthinkable! This would mean to give up control. This will hurt. But what I've failed to see is by holding on so tightly I actually cannot have the object of my desire close to me anyway. Did I ever really have it?
As a human being, I love. I love big. I give of myself freely. To love means happiness, joy, fulfillment. The cornerstone of life. Pure. An emotion you have to feel to understand. The basis of love is simple, really. Until it isn't.
Letting go could be in reference to a person, a friend. It could be letting go of an idea, or of a character flaw. The truth is, letting go is not so simple when it comes right down to it.
Does the act of letting go mean to give up hope? To me, hope is everything. (Again, it is tattooed on my wrist.) Hope also packs quite a punch. To me, hope equates optimism.
Then there is the theory of holding on. Holding on could portray loyalty and faith. Hope. Or it could represent desperation. Clinging to something or someone, in the hope it will all work out. But at this point does hope become foolishness?
I've found that when the dilemma of letting go vs holding on comes up, as it has to me recently, this is probably time to face a difficult decision. Clearly I am holding on because what I'm holding is very dear to me. In the past, this is the point in time where I would usually go into denial, or try to ignore or numb myself to the situation. To face possible hurt was unthinkable. However, today I am approaching difficult situations in my life with a much clearer mind. I'm being (gasp) logical in my thinking. I've made a lot of changes in recent years. I have had to let go of old ideas, and old behaviors in order to allow growth to come in. I am not saying by a long shot that this has been easy. It has been a lot of work. A lot of soul searching. In effect, I have changed my very personality. Remolded myself. I kid you not.
Friends tell me I'm strong. Maybe. But this doesn't mean I don't hurt. I do. Letting go of something, while it is the right thing to do, is very difficult. When the time comes, I have to detach with love. I hesitate to say this brings closure, because closure is too permanent. Some people think that giving closure is a good thing. I don't believe in complete closure. I don't think any door is ever really closed. It may be a cliche', but I believe when one door closes a window opens.
So today, I am letting go. It is the right thing to do. I feel very sad, but somewhat lighter in having made the right choice.
Just let go of the cars. Because when I let go, there is a chance to take them back, one at a time. Hope.