Life Happens

From the Heart of Grace Waters…

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Holding On is Not Letting Go

We all have some things we need to let go. Maybe the thoughts of things we have done wrong weigh heavy on us, or maybe there is a certain someone who we know we need to move on from, but it seems to be too much to really let go. After all, letting go in our mind sometimes means that we then have to forget. We do not always want to forget past experiences and people. We want to move on, but not forget. Sometimes that is ok. The problem comes in when we say that we have let that or them go, but we are still holding on. What happens when old thoughts and people stop us from experiencing the fullness of our life in the present–even when we claim to have moved on. I will admit that I have been one who has struggled with letting go of some things. I justified not letting go because I said that I needed to remember everything so that I did not go back. I placed myself in a cycle, because not letting go made me face the very things I did not want to go back and face–all because I did not want to forget. Today, I had a mini conversation with someone, and as we spoke, I realized what I needed to do. Although letting go is hard, it is often necessary. Sometimes when you let go, things come back to you. Sometimes they do not. Letting go means that you can not hold on anymore, regardless of how you feel. I had to come to that hard realization. While I may never fully forget the memories, and while sometimes I may see something or someone who reminds me of things from the past, I have to be determined enough to keep going forward. If I hold on, that is not letting go. This is a hard lesson to learn because, I will admit, I like to be in control. I would be perfectly alright if I could decide when things would happen the way I would like them to, and if I could orchestrate every facet of my life with no consequences. However, that is not how life plays out. There are unexpected twists, climatic moments, roller coaster rides with severe drops, and none of it can be anticipated. When we learn to let go, we open up our lives for more, and we begin to understand that letting go does not mean the memories have to go away (unless we want them to fade). We can sift out the great memories, and the best things about the things/people we have to let go, and we can live knowing that we are forever enriched because of what was. If what we let go is meant to come back, it will, but if not life does go on. If we look back over the years at things we have released even when it was tough, we will realize that we continued to live, even after that. So if you are holding on to something, know that holding on only keeps you held back. Let it go. You will be better because of it. Move forward.