For the past couple of weeks, this topic of ‘letting go’ has been coming up in my world. A girlfriend who had been struggling for over a year to let go of what was going on with her children finally made some headway. As soon as she really let go, the whole situation turned around, and now they are safe and sound in her home. She laughed at the irony that as soon as she was able to have peace with letting them have their life, they wanted to come back to live in her space. I’ve begun to think of letting go as a practice which allows other people to make their own decisions without their reactions to me. Our relationships are a dance. If one person lets go, the other one must free-fall into the universe and ultimately feel what it is like to be out of relationship. They can then decide if they really want that person in their life. When we are still hanging on, they often react by pushing away. It’s only when the dance stops – one partner quits doing their steps – that real decisions can be made.
I’m taking an Ayurveda class at my neighborhood yoga studio. Last night, I grabbed a journal out of my chest to take with me for notes. I have this habit of journaling throughout my life that progresses in fits and starts. When I need to journal, I grab whatever journal is at hand, and I write. So, I have several journals filled halfway with entries dated years ago. I always find it fun to read the last journal entry to see where I was the last time I picked up that journal. Amazingly, the last entry I wrote in the journal I picked up yesterday was the day I left my husband. There are days in my life that are truly significant, and that day may actually be the most significant day of all. It took me so long and so much work to get there. It was a culmination of years of work in setting boundaries, learning to love and care for myself and walking through fear. I read it with great interest as I sat waiting for our instructor to begin. My heart went out to that woman that I was on that day. I was so afraid, but I was insistent that I was supported, and that I knew I couldn’t keep doing what I was doing.
“Well, I left him. I am having a crazy time right now with a lot of confusion. However, I think I’m right where I’m supposed to be. …… My heart wants to make it work, but I have to let go of the outcome. …. I’m afraid my marriage is over. My reading this morning said my level of control is in direct relation to my level of fear. My fear level is high right now….. If he is going to miss me, I need to go away. Then, I’ll see where his heart really is. I will let myself hurt, and I will find comfort in God and my friends. I am so grateful for my friends.”
I recently heard a woman describe her experience with letting go of a situation. When I hold on, my focus leaves me and begins to settle on someone .. some situation … or some thing. It can easily become an obsession because, honestly, even though I think I’m holding on, I have no control. It’s an illusion. So, the process of letting go is actually me adjusting to reality. So, the woman said she took a walk and realized that she was really done. This time she couldn’t hold on any longer. She wanted … needed … had to let go. She said she began to feel very relaxed and relieved. She saw herself sitting on the bench. She saw the outline of her body, and it was as if she was coloring herself in for the first time. I remember that feeling. That feeling of becoming important to myself … of my needs becoming visible to me … of the awareness that my husband ... my marriage … my love ... was not me. They were all separate things that I could not control. The only thing I could do was focus on me and what I needed.
That day, July 7, 2007 was a big day in my life. I don’t know why I don’t celebrate it, and maybe I will celebrate it this year. It was a day of liberation for me. And, it ended up being a day of liberation for my husband, too. He went on to have an affair and ultimately divorce me. I got my answer on whether or not he would miss me. The relationship was over, and I was holding on to something that didn’t even exist. What was really important about that day, though, was what I did for myself. I gave a very clear message to the Universe … to God … to myself …. that I did not want this any more. I did not want to hold on to something that was out of my control. I would rather walk through fear than accept what was happening in my life. And, ultimately, I said to God, “I trust you.” That is what letting go is all about. It’s accepting that I don’t know what’s best, and I’m going to quit trying to make a situation turn out a certain way. Everything I was afraid of happening happened. Deep in my heart I knew it would. But, what I didn’t know was that God had something even better planned for me. I just had to let go in order for it to unfold.