You know how they say that the universe will keep giving you the lesson that you need to learn?
First of all, I don’t know who “they” are, but I bought Oreos today, you guys. And I only buy Oreos on two occasions: when I go camping or when I’m eating my feelings. I am not going camping.*
(*and technically I’m not really eating my feelings either, as I’m openly expressing them here. But I needed an excuse, so please don’t deny me that!)
As readers of these posts may know, I am not famous for my Letting Go Skills. I held on to a dying marriage for many, many years. I still have a bag of folded up notes that my friends and I used to pass back and forth in HIGH SCHOOL. And I have moved an old water softener to 4 different houses and not hooked it up at any of them. That’s painful to admit.
Hoarding tendencies aside, I think letting go of ideas and expectations is the hardest of the let go’s, and this is my personal albatross. The last six or seven years have given me so many opportunities to let go – of people, of things, of expectations. I don’t know that it’s something I will ever be good at the way some people are. You know how some people – they’re called “minimalist” – never seem to have extra paperwork or mail or too many clothes or shoes or any stuff? They seem to have zero crap lying around. I walk into their space and I’m like, “Ooooooh yesssss”. I would LOVE to be like that. You guys, I am NOT like that. I will likely NEVER be like that.
But I’m not a total lost cause. I have gotten better. I’ve expunged material items (yes, the garage is the final frontier…but I did just post that water softener on Let Go. Not kidding! I mean, look at me let go!)
I’ve let go of toxic people in my life and that’s a GOOD let go. That’s a “what the hell was I waiting for” let go! That’s an F YES let go!
Most importantly, I think, is that I have learned to let go of the idea of what my life “should” look like and embraced my life exactly as it is. And that’s been the best part.
That’s not to say that I don’t still want or long for certain things. That’s not to say I don’t still strive to gain those things. I’m just not as attached to the ideals that once took up so much space in my head.
And that’s not to say I don’t fight back at times. I’m not all Mama Zen, floating perfectly along like, “Oh, you guys, it’s okay, just trust the journey. And here, have some glitter”.
Oh, no. I have to keep reminding myself about that. I have to keep looking back at my life and seeing that all the times I held on super tight to something was usually when I most needed to let it go. I have to keep looking back and seeing how the life I’ve created didn’t just happen because I magically got everything I wanted. The life I created happened because I course corrected along the way. I held on. I let go. I learned. And here I am.
So, yeah, this is a letting go of something I want. The difference is that I see clearly that I can’t have it now and I see clearly that this is okay. I see clearly that all I can do is accept and embrace this path I’m on and celebrate the experience. Life is constantly presenting us with hard choices, providing us with lessons and giving us opportunities to grow.
So, I let go. Let go. Let go.
Accept that “what’s next” is unknowable, but suffering is a choice. I choose not to suffer.
Accept that loving someone really does mean giving them space to follow their own path. I choose to love in spite of not having a guarantee that love will stay. Love and loss are intertwined and that’s a fact.
Accept that letting go is the way to acceptance, and acceptance is the way to peace. I choose peace. I choose to trust.
And I choose Oreos. At least for today. Yeah, I know Oreos are not the answer. Tomorrow, it’s back to camping only, I promise.