myspokenheart

musings on life, love and laughter from my spoken heart to yours


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Sometimes We Just Need to Let Go…

I recently entered a writing contest.  The request was for an essay that represented a possible TED Talk. It was the first time I had ever submitted any of my writing to well literally anything. And even though I did not make it to the finals this act of showing a piece of myself to a group of strangers was what pushed me to start my blog – I actually put up my first post the day after receiving my  very sweet rejection letter (e-mail). The following is my submission:

Sometimes We Just Need to Let Go…

Sometimes life is complicated… sometimes it feels like life just really sucks… sometimes we make mistakes, we get hurt, or we just get handed a raw deal… yes sometimes it’s completely out of our control and we are blindsided by life’s swift cruelty… and yet sometimes we are foolish and bring the pain upon ourselves via our decisions and actions…

And what do we do? we spend far too much time replaying it, beating ourselves up over it, clinging to it… playing the woulda, coulda, shoulda game… as if by owning it and making it a part of us could somehow fix it or make it go away… yet the only thing we can really do is take a deep breath, close our eyes, wipe them dry and let it go… whatever IT is… however IT happened… whoever’s fault IT may or may not be…

Truthfully we may need a little time to sit on the bathroom floor and cry it out (we may even make ourselves literally sick – did you know you can cry yourself sick, and just when you think there can’t possibly be any tears left… they start all over again?)… or we might need to eat an entire tub of ice cream alone in the dark… or to stay in bed with the blankets pulled over our head until we just can’t stand it any longer…

But we can’t live there in that hurt filled moment… we can’t dwell there… letting it consume us… hitting rewind and play over, and over, and over again… asking why?… screaming BUT!? BUT it’s not fair… BUT it wasn’t my fault (or maybe it was)… BUT if only… BUT WHY? WE JUST CAN’T LIVE THERE!!!

We have to accept that the past is past… and that time moves forward even if we choose not too… and although it causes the future to unfold in specific ways it cannot be altered… we can think positively… visualize… mumble our mantras till the cows come home… but no matter how hard we try we CANNOT change the past…

So how do we cope with these moments of grief? How do we move forward? The only way I know to truly let go is to take hold of hope…

Hope is believing in what we cannot see, trusting in what we cannot feel, having faith in what we do not understand… and at the time of hurt we only see, and feel, and understand the hurt itself… we don’t comprehend the circumstances surrounding it… we cannot see the outcome… And so we have to find the strength inside of us that compels us to put one foot in front of the other and to leave the hurt where it belongs… in the past with whatever it was that caused it in the first place…

We have to learn how to let go of blame… blaming ourselves, blaming some-one else, blaming God… blame, blame, blame…  it happened – does blame change it? NO! So let it go!!! Letting go is finding forgiveness… and acceptance… it is not saying it was ok… but rather saying it happened… and I will carry on… and I will be better for it – eventually…

This isn’t about optimistic clichés… ‘I’m sure it could have been worse’… ‘just keep your chin up’… ‘when life gives you lemons, just make lemonade’… (maybe it could have been worse… or maybe it couldn’t possibly have been any worse than this… and maybe my self worth has been obliterated and I can’t hold my chin up right now… and what the hell do lemons have to do with my life falling apart???)… besides the clichés only keep the focus on the situation, even if they are ‘positive’… letting go is about removing it from focus – not pretending it didn’t happen… not focusing on it ‘positively’… but setting it down and carrying on… leaving it where it happened…

We must learn to let go, knowing we have learned something – even if we haven’t figured out what that something is yet… it may take half our lives to figure out what we have learned from the hurt… yet one day we will be able to smile and be grateful for the lesson, to embrace the experience…

And yet the ah-ha moment doesn’t even matter right now… because it can take years to fully recover… you may need to literally let it go several times… maybe every morning… or perhaps every nite before bed… letting go is a choice… and you can choose to pick it back up again any time if you really want to… and maybe down the road, in order to fully heal, that might be something that needs to be done…

But we cannot hold on with a death grip and expect to function properly, expect to find healing, peace or forgiveness… so take a deep breath… and choose to let go… having hope, trust and faith in right now, in tomorrow, in the rest of your beautiful life… because right now the greatest thing we can allow ourselves to do, is to just let whatever IT is go and carry on…

and that my friends is what got myspokeheart going,

From my spoken heart to yours, xox

Andrea Crowell