The Art of Letting Go

It strikes a discordant note when I read essays, poems or song lyrics supposedly about letting go but the sentiments expressed are actually that of holding on to the person, the memories or the feelings. The unwillingness to let go is so obvious it almost smacks you right across the face.

The need to let go is brought on by the realization that a relationship is going nowhere, isn’t doing anyone any good, needs to end or has already ended. It may be done voluntarily or because you are left with no choice.

Letting go means detaching yourself not only from the person and what the person means or once meant to you, but also from the feelings. It’s not easy to forget a person who once meant or who may still mean so much to you… It’s not easy to forget the things the two of you used to enjoy doing together… It’s not easy to forget being half of a couple. But life has so many cycles of beginnings and endings.

After the split, the transition from being part of a couple to being single again could be difficult and certainly feel strange. There are so many things to remind you. If you turn on the tv, you’ll see shows, ads or movies you used to enjoy watching together or you both loved or hated or you were forced to watch because he used to like it. If you go out, there are restaurants the two of you used to frequent, movie houses where you used to watch movies, coffee shops where you used to collect stamps together, places where you used to hang out. The sight of a shop or store where the other person buys his stuff would also remind you of the person.

Rather than avoid all these places, you must learn to go there alone or with others, relearn to enjoy going out as a single person. You can’t keep away from these places forever. Why inconvenience yourself to find other places where you didn’t go as a couple when the reason you chose to go to these places was because you liked the service, the product, the ambiance or the convenience? Don’t deprive yourself. The longer you put off going there, the harder it will be for you to get back on the track of normal daily life.

There is also the music. Since Filipinos are a music-loving lot, it is inevitable that you will hear the songs which used to be meaningful to both of you blaring in the malls, in public transport, in restaurants, in your officemate’s music player or in your neighbor’s radio. As with the places, do not avoid it. It will be tiring and troublesome to always try to escape the music or the place where it’s being played. Offset it by playing songs that will help you move on. Personally, I’ve worn out the tracks of Leona Lewis’ Better In Time, Fergie’s Big Girls Don’t Cry, Lifehouse’s Blind, Rihanna’s Take A Bow, One Republic’s Apologize, Daughtry’s Over You, and, don’t forget the timeless and ever reliable I Will Survive.

Of course I acknowledge that even if one makes the decision to let go, it doesn’t mean it will happen in a snap. There will be good days and there will be bad days. I think of it as like a yoyo, rolling away from you then the next moment drawing near you. Pulling away from you, then returning. It will do the same cycle maybe a few more times, maybe countless times before, mercifully, it will get worn out and lose the energy to rebound, or gravity will win and not allow it to return, or the string will get cut.

Once a decision is made to let go, you must not waver. Do not prevaricate. Enough of the excuses. Refuse to yield to the temptation to hang on. Take courage to leave your comfort zone. Blaze new trails. Discover more of the world. Embark on new journeys. You may feel weak, unable to do it. You may think you can’t do it, that you lack the strength to move on and forward with your life. So pray and ask for God’s help. Do not hesitate to ask friends to pray for you.

These are reflections, the first reading and prayer for the day:

Faith is great, but it is lived in the little things of daily life. The persecuted people to whom this letter is addressed need not undertake new tasks. They will manifest their faith through an upright and generous life. They will also have to accept their situation of being marginalized, sharing the same of Christ. (~ Christian Community Bible, Catholic Pastoral Edition)

Hebrews13:1-8

Let brotherly love continue.

Do not neglect hospitality,

for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.

Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment,

and of the ill-treated as of yourselves,

for you also are in the body.

Let marriage be honored among all

and the marriage bed be kept undefiled,

for God will judge the immoral and adulterers.

Let your life be free from love of money

but be content with what you have,

for he has said, I will never forsake you or abandon you.

Thus we may say with confidence:

The Lord is my helper,

and I will not be afraid.

What can anyone do to me?

Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you.

Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

What can anyone do to me?

Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you.

Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

 

Lord, grant me clear vision to walk in Your light, letting go of all that is not Your will.

(from http://www.sanbiagio)

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