Sometimes it feels as though the past has the hem of my dress in its grasp and is holding me back. I mean, there's slight movement. I'm inching along, there is forward motion, but it's a struggle. The past has so much power. Okay, yeah, I know it only has the power I give it and life is all about the now, but it's a lie to pretend it dosn't matter. Because it's a part of us. It brought us to this moment. Surely, we shouldn't let it hinder us, but to pretend it isn't important seems a bit ridiculous.
Am I talking complete nonesense?
And so, here begins the art of letting go. It takes time and is different for everyone.
There's something odd about knowing you must let go. Wanting to. But simply not being able to pull the trigger. Imagine what you want to let go of, let's say it's hurting someone you love, it's a ball in your hand. You're standing there, at the edge of a cliff, this orb of guilt and shame and sadness sitting on your palm. And you release it. But it's stuck there. It won't leave you, no matter how many times you shake your hand or blow it off.
I spend time thinking through the things I've done. The people I have hurt. Mistakes I've made. At times, I think I'm doing a good job. I confront my fear. Mend my fences. Forage friendships from the ashes of a relationship I thought would be my last. Things seem okay.
Then I'm bending over at work, stooping to sweep up a pile of hair off the floor, and I'm thrown back five years ago. Or three. Two. And there are tears in my eyes, and that unnegotionable headache pinching between my brows.
Sadness ebbs and flows. I can actually feel it washing through me and leaving again, like it is a living breathing creature. These emotions aren't necessarily a bad thing, but they can surprise me, because they are ones I fooled myself into thinking I let go off. Set free. Come to terms with.They aren't supposed to come back and knock the wind from me.
The question is there, it's bothering me, prodding me.
Why does it still hurt?
Is it because I haven't let go? Or have I, and I simply won't forget? Can you let something go, only to have it come back to you for a random visit in the middle of a grey Wednesday? There is that saying about how if you love something you set it free and if it comes back it is meant to be. Or whatever.
Does that apply to hurts and mistakes and residual feelings of guilt?
I don't know.
All I know is this letting go business is more difficult than anyone lets on. It's a process. A journey.
Not something done overnight after a cleansing meditation session and a crisp apple. At least that's what I thought it entaild. How wrong I was.