Monday, September 24, 2012

Letting Go

You know, we each have lessons that we must learn in life.  Most lessons are universal: learning how to give and receive love, patience, forgiveness, tolerance, etc.  Some are more tailored to the individual.  Some people have more lessons than others.  And some have lessons that seem to repeat over and over maybe because they are the hardest to retain.  I know for sure that one of the lessons I have been required to learn is the art of letting go.

When I was in middle school my parents divorced.  My dad moved out of state and along with him went my sense of home, normalcy and childhood.  A house that was once filled with the light and lilt of innocence and childish repose was now a stark place of urgency and distress.  Emotions were in a state of upheaval and everything that my younger sister and I held dear soon followed; utilities were shut off, two guys broke into our house while we slept upstairs (my mom chased them out) and the powder blue Ford LTD was now inoperable.  With nothing but a few bags of clothes, we left the house and everything in it late one night and "house hopped" for a few months.  My mom eventually sent my sister and me to stay with a "family friend" while she tried to get things together.   Yeah, a "family friend" that used to make us buy our own toilet paper because she said we used too much.  We never did return to our house and I quickly had to let go of all that I thought was important at that time in my little life and grow up.  

I've had to let go of needy friends and abusive boyfriends, not that this was hard for me to do, but it still hurt.  My best friend in high school "broke up" with me via a letter and I could not understand why.  It hurt me, but I never chased.  Had to let that pain go.  My musician boyfriend didn't reveal his true nature until he grabbed me by my wrists out of anger and threatened to throw me out of a window.  Umm, yeah - had to let go of him.  A no-brainer.  But the next one was harder to let go of because he was my best friend.  We really had a connection and I had never felt so close to someone before nor since.  But he did something to me that took me years to even be able to talk about...  And then I ended up seeing him years later... and he apologized.  And we started to talk.  And then we met up and all these ideas started dancing in my head... Maybe?  Possibly?  And then BOOM!  I found out that he hadn't really changed and the love I thought was there was never there in the first place.  Had to finally let go of the past, let go of the memories and stop replaying them. 

In my travels and moving from place to place, state to state, I've lost countless prized possessions, pictures and personal effects.  Gone with no idea where they are or how they were lost.  Had to let go of that sense of confusion, anger and loss.  When I was a kid, I had my life all planned out: I was to be married by twenty-five and start having kids by the time I was thirty.  Well, I have neither a husband nor kids yet and this messed with me for a while.  But I've had to let go of this perfect "timeline" I had assigned to my life.  It was causing me to panic and that's not healthy.  Faith and fear cannot reside in the same place at the same time, therefore, I've had to let go of fear so that my faith in having these things will take root and stay rooted.

And I've had to let go of this affliction of perfection.  I'm still working on this.  I'm one who will make a mistake then play it over and over in my head, chastising myself for not having done it right the first time.  If I misplace my keys or something, I brow beat myself.  If I wash my hair and it doesn't come out right, I will wash it again immediately and primp it until it is.  I am extremely hard on myself.  Extremely!  And I know I have to let this go, this futile pursuit of perfection.  Not that I should aim to be mediocre, no!  Just that I need to absorb the reality that if my straight line bends a little to the left, IT'S OK.  If I don't get something right the first time, IT'S OK.  I'm perfectly imperfect and my imperfections are perfectly fine. 

In one of my favorite movies, HEAT, De Niro's character warned, "Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in thirty seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner."  Well, although it has taken me longer than thirty seconds, I have learned that I must let go and purge myself of certain people, things, emotions and ideas because it is necessary for personal and spiritual growth.  It seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life.  And I'm learning to master it... lesson by lesson. 


  1. Wow, I am waaaaay late on this post BUT, it is wonderfully written. I am sure you have accomplished your goals stated here. I applaud your honesty, and your frankness. Love it!

    1. Thank you so much, Sadi. This one was very cathartic to write. I'm so glad you enjoyed it and thanks for taking the time out to read it!