Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Letting Go

Letting Go has always been a struggle for me. It's an art that I'm not sure I'll ever perfect nor do I think I'll ever feel comfortable with it. Yet, I find myself still yearning for that exact moment in time where letting go will just feel natural and propitious. 

Over the years I've had to let go of many things, many people, and many places that were once apart of me. Friends who moved away, friendships that have ended, friends who have passed, family who have passed, moved away, etc. I've let go of jobs I loved, jobs hated, and jobs I so desperately wish I had. I've had to let go of pride, comfort, contentment, anger, resentment, heartbreak, and all of the stones that have built my past. Now I understand that letting go is organic and we all go through it; not that going through it often makes it any less easier. 

There is this fear, that I believe we all have, when it comes to letting go. It's the fear that maybe we didn't make the right choice. Maybe we shouldn't have let go so soon, maybe we should of held on to hope just a little longer. And so, that sting and ache of letting go sets in and we feel uncomfortable for a little while until being without whatever it was we set free feels effortless. We  dive into this fear of the unknown, factoring that we aren't ever positive with what comes next and adjacent to that fear comes a wave of grief. To me, grief and fear go hand and hand; whether it's grieving someone who has passed, the ending of a friendship, or the loss of anything that makes you feel unsure of whats next. We grieve the loss of (this thing/person/feeling) and we are afraid of that unknown beyond. So what do we do? We build a glass box around us and keep our feelings in not letting anyone know we are actually enduring on the inside. And this is why I believe finding a way to let go is necessary. 

My Twenties have been a series of stepping stones in learning to let go. Around 18-19 I had to let go of a nearly 14 year friendship that in my mind still had time left. In reality, the friendship had started to make it's slow crawl outward towards the end of our junior year of high school. I was bitter for a long time. I was angry that I was no longer my best friends number one, I was angry that I felt the blame of a failing friendship was all on me, I was angry that voicing my feelings made me "dramatic." I was angry when I wasn't apart of this friends wedding day, or that I felt unwanted as a support system when tragedy hit. And when I finally accepted that we weren't meant to be friends passed our childhood/teen-years, I was able to let go on resentment towards her, her new inner circle, and her life which was now without me. and I found happiness within myself and happy that her life has now become what she'd always talked about wanting. 

And yet, I met needing to let go face to face several more times over these last 8 years in my twenties and not once has it ever made me feel comfortable. In fact, there are still things I have yet to let go of, fully. I think that happens to all of us from time time. We struggle with fully letting go because deep down in the depths of our souls...We are still disappointed. -- A few weeks ago I was talking to a close friend about letting go of people/things, and I was reminded of a few sweet facts. One. To be truly happy, it's crucial for us to let go of the things and people that no longer serve a purpose to our life. Two. Just because you've been friends for a (certain) length of time doesn't mean you're required to remain friends for a (certain) length of time. Three. If the thought of this (thing) or (person) gives you negative feelings and anxiety, they are toxic and need to be let go of. Four. You can only grow by making hard decisions. Five. If you are putting IN more than what you're getting in return, It's not healthy, nor is it fair. Six. We must ALWAYS accept the apology we never got. 

With time, I've had to learn to accept that ending a friendship doesn't automatically make me "alone." Which I often feel like that's why we don't end toxic relationships, The fear of being alone. But that's not what it makes you, or me. It just means that we are letting go so that we can be happy, be ourselves and move on - even when it's uncomfortable. I'd rather be alone than anxious. Does momentarily uncomfortable sound better than long-term unhappiness? Of course it does; because letting go of expired relationships, old jobs, old houses, etc. just makes room for new adventures, new people, new (things). And isn't that what it's all about anyways? -- I've never known someone to regret Letting Go, and that's the bottomline. 

Maybe 28 will be my year to muster up the courage to finally say "I set you free" to the things and people that no longer serve purpose in my life. Maybe it will be the year I stop letting my anxiety get the best of me and bravely take that next stepping stone on my life's path. Or maybe 28 will still be me working through Letting Go. Who Knows..Life is uncertain and maybe I've already worked through letting go of things/people that haven't been revealed yet because it was effortless and unnoticeable. Time will tell - and that's the great thing about Letting Go. 


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