On Letting Go
I have to let go. I know that. Even as I grasp this situation, this person, the way someone grasps desperately at leaves of grass as she tumbles off of a cliff, I know that my grasping is only doing damage, and will not help either of us. I've become someone I'm not proud of, someone who lashes out with jealous comments and little snipes to ease the pain of loss. Last night, at a very special event that fills me with pride and joy, I was forced to act easeful, happy, and welcoming in a group of others. I was the hostess, I had to be strong and poised, even though that morning I had been weeping, angry, and desolate. After that night, I knew, my new life would start, one that I had to walk into with the same poise and confidence that I displayed to our guests. As I closed that door behind me after a wonderful evening, carrying with me flowers and compliments and a strong feeling of the love and support of the people around me, I wanted to cry, I wanted to rage, to be called back and to be told that it was all a mistake, that I didn't have to walk away, that I didn't have to let go. Even as I write this, when a car drives up in front of my house, I look, halfway hoping to see that familiar car. The joy of witnessing something I helped create come to a gorgeous crescendo is still inside of me, as is the feeling of love for someone that will never (hopefully) go away, even if our relationship must change.
I just wrote a blog post for Psychology Today about how accepting the feelings of anxiety and terror that I used to have about driving a car helped me finally get my driver's license at age 36. I realized as I wrote that I can use those same skills now, as I make a new life for myself. I can sit with the loss, the grief, the sadness, and even the hope and the good memories, and still choose to move my life in a direction that supports my values of being a good friend, speaking and acting with compassion, surrounding myself with beauty, supporting creativity in myself and others, and generally living a life of integrity. I realize that, in the recent past, I have not acted in accordance with my values, and that, though it hurts to let go, that letting go will actually help me get back to my valued path. At the event where I helped host, I was able to be there for others, be strong, confident, welcoming, and happy even though I knew that every hour that passed brought me closer to walking out of a door that I never wanted to have to walk out of ever again. If I could do it then, in the midst of people and chaos, music and laughter, I can do it now, in the silence of my house, with the light streaming in and the warm breeze. I can let go of wanting life to be different than it is, and I can wish everyone in my life - past present, future and maybe-future - love and wholeness.