Letting Go

December 5 – Let Go.
What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
(Author: Alice Bradley)

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Letting go has so many meanings for  many people.  It means something different for each of us. There is the letting go that is positive and necessary in order for us to move on and grow as people.  Then there is the letting go that is bittersweet, painful and difficult and also necessary in order to prevent further pain, degradation and stunting of growth.

In many ways, 2010 feels like it has been a year of letting go for me – both good and bad.  I discussed this a little bit in my first prompt in relationship to the word doubt and how certain things that have happened this year have caused me to doubt myself.

There’s been letting go through death, letting go of friendships and acquaintances, letting go of old notions, old hangups, old feelings, etc…  Mostly though, I think I am just trying to let go – let go of myself – the me that is hanging on to dear life for the safety and normalcy of things.  Letting go to find myself is a good thing and I embrace it.

Then there is the me that is clinging to the idea that my father will actually love me and suddenly be the dad I have always wanted. The me that was holding out hope that he had in fact truly changed finally, for once and for all. But he has not and I am finally, slowly, painfully, learning to let go.  I have come to the realization that he will never be the dad I so desperately wish I had.  He will never be my “Pa Ingalls”.  I know that any contact with him leads to hurt, betrayal and suffering. It is just not worth it so I let go. I let go and I move on.

I have had to let go of a friendship that still smarts in the way it ended.  I didn’t see it coming.  I had no clue.  I’m still processing it. I’m still uncertain of the how and the why and yet, I must let go.  One person holding on when the other has let go is just pointless. So, I let it go. Sadly so.

My husband’s grandfather passed away in June.  He was the only Grandpa I had ever really known.  He treated me and loved me as though I were his own grand-daughter.  His passing is especially difficult because we last saw Grandma and Grandpa two years ago when they came out here to Wisconsin from Montana for a visit.  That was the last time we saw them.  We were going to go out to Montana in April when we first heard Grandpa wasn’t well.

It was the day before we were supposed to leave to drive out when my husband’s lovely place of employment informed him that day that he did not have enough vacation time (due to clerical error on their part).  They KNEW the stress we were under with Grandpa’s health and still…  So, we had to cancel our trip.  We never made it out there.

While we know that Grandpa is no longer with us and we understand that he is gone, it really has not hit us that he is dead.  I don’t think it will truly hit us until the first time we walk into Grandma’s and Grandpa’s home and he is not there, sitting in his chair smiling up at us.  In so many ways I want to pretend that he is still out there, still breathing, still watching “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” or listening to his favorite bluegrass music. I don’t want to let go.

Some of us are holding on for dear life, and for good reason because to let go means to lose everything and yet for some, to let go means to gain everything.  I fall on both sides of that logic, I think.  I need to let go of myself more and discover who I truly am.  I need to not worry so much, to not stress, to not concern myself with things of which I have no control.  I simply need to let go of the “little” things that stand in my way and that I make more of then I really should.  Then there is the part of me that needs to, has to, and wants to hold on tightly to the things that  matter most – the people in my life who are there for me unconditionally, who want me as much as I want and need them.  I pull my three-year-old close and hug her tightly to me for as long as I can until it is time  – the right time – for her to one day spread her wings to start her own life and let go of me.

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