Darbella’s Articles — Letting Go!

Hi there,

Writ­ing these past few weeks has been dif­fi­cult. Work is up to my eye­balls and spilling over, as I am in the mid­dle of report cards. I have a new assign­ment this year and the report­ing process is quite dif­fer­ent. I con­tin­ue to approach life dif­fer­ent­ly than I have in the past. I’m not over­whelm­ing myself with the work and it is tak­ing a lot of my time and ener­gy. I’ve felt it more in the last week. When I take the time to breathe, I find myself fight­ing back the tears. My choice is often to stop the tears. My goal in the next week is to breathe more and let the tears hap­pen when I am aware of them. I can real­ly hold on to not let­ting this happen.

My choice was to not write an arti­cle for Into the Cen­tre again this week. I just fin­ished writ­ing an email response to a friend from Phase 1 at Haven and I real­ized how much I enjoy writ­ing and how much I have learned from tak­ing the time to write in these past few years. I decid­ed to start writ­ing this and see where it went. I also decid­ed to go back to journaling.

Last night, I sat in front of the TV watch­ing a movie and sort­ing through anoth­er of the end­less box­es we have in stor­age. This one con­tained old jour­nals and cards. I found a cou­ple of jour­nals from before I start­ed ther­a­py back in 1982. I skimmed through some of the entries. Wow — have I ever learned a lot since then! I was amazed. I almost threw them out, think­ing they had no mean­ing for me. In the end I decid­ed to keep them as a reminder of where I have come from.

As I wrote to my friend just a few moments ago, life is about liv­ing in the present and let­ting go of the past. My friend is strug­gling with let­ting go of the past. She won­dered if her expe­ri­ence was just a nec­es­sary part of let­ting go. I respond­ed that “noth­ing is nec­es­sary.” Let­ting go just is. I think let­ting go is just attach­ing less impor­tance to some­thing. In fact, it can be very sim­ple — and she is mak­ing it a very long and dif­fi­cult process.

I reflect­ed back on my jour­nals and remem­bered how dif­fi­cult it was, back then, to let go of so much. I strug­gled and strug­gled, try­ing to let go, and there I was stuck for some time. The more I strug­gled, the less it seemed like­ly that I would ever be able to let go. Life seemed to be just that — a strug­gle. And then I chose dif­fer­ent­ly. I sim­ply let go of my grasp­ing. Noth­ing to it. An open­ing of my hands. A change of my focus. Turn­ing my atten­tion in a dif­fer­ent direc­tion. A real­iza­tion that the past is sim­ply that — the past. It has no impact on the present except the one I choose to give it.

Let­ting go was sim­ply mak­ing anoth­er choice. Try­ing out new pat­terns. Rec­og­niz­ing the old ones for what they are. Giv­ing myself grief for catch­ing myself in an old pat­tern is a com­plete waste of time. They will always be there. They will sneak out of the most unusu­al places and I will get caught. From those expe­ri­ences, I will learn. That is my life and I imag­ine that is true for most peo­ple. It is all about get­ting more ele­gant at catch­ing our­selves, not about giv­ing our­selves grief for all the times we got some­thing wrong. There is no mov­ing for­ward from that place.

I can catch myself hold­ing on. Not want­i­ng to let go. And I can hold on very, very tight­ly. At this moment, I am des­per­ate­ly hold­ing on to the belief that I can’t let go and let the tears flow. I’m not caught in the strug­gle of this. I don’t expect to ever go back into that strug­gle again. I don’t see it as a great long learn­ing process that I have to work my way through. It is sim­ply my choice at this moment. Not a “good” one — and it is my choice. I rec­og­nize that. If I choose not to let go, then I take respon­si­bil­i­ty for that choice.

I may choose to hold onto some­thing because I am not ready sim­ply to let go. I’m sim­ply not ready to let go of the con­trol I have over my tears. It is not because let­ting go is too dif­fi­cult or there is this great list of expe­ri­ences that I have to go through before I can let go. I don’t see it as a long process. I see it as a choice. I will let go when I make that choice.

At that moment it will be sim­ple. The tears will flow. I’ll go back to the con­trol again and again. I will choose to let go of the con­trol again and again. I will sim­ply notice when I choose con­trol over expres­sion and won­der why. I will not go into self hate because I did it again. That serves no use­ful pur­pose in my life.

My past is filled with hurts and pain. I accept all of that with grat­i­tude. It has made me who I am today. I would not change a thing. I like who I have become. I have worked through the anger and let it go. I have let the past go. Those expe­ri­ences have played a big part in me becom­ing me. I will often catch myself in old pat­terns. When I notice, I sim­ply make dif­fer­ent choic­es. Ones that work for me now. It is all learn­ing. It is all me. It is all about choice.

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