Tuesday, November 5, 2013

On Letting Go

"I have learned to take pleasure in pain because it is simply a signal that a truth is stirring and I must wake up to find it. And usually for me waking up means letting go of a belief." - Jada Pinkett Smith, The Trials of a Fatherless daughter (facebook post, January 23, 2013)

The last few months have been as close to perfect as life on earth can be, for me. Lots of time spent with family, nature, and space to just breathe and be. Not every day has been great, there are still struggles, but we have been unhurried, with commitments to no one but ourselves.

"God creates and enjoys the process of life... The opposite of going too fast is going too slow. Process assumes a change... Beware of trying to get things done too fast and watch out for hanging onto things too long." - Bob Schultz in his book Created for Work

Part of wisdom is knowing when it's time to let go and of what to let go. I am not good at this. I hold on, linger. Try to keep too much.

"There's a sweetness to owning your dreams so tightly and vividly that you can taste them while they're still just dreams. And in the very next heartbeat, there's a certain bitter in loosening your hold on what could've been. What I've decided... is that it's okay (Good even?) to plant your feet right into that saltiness. To let yourself feel that sadness and that letting go. 

In fact, it might be the only way to take that step forward." 

Making decisions is bittersweet because it sends us down a certain path. As C.S. Lewis said, "Choices are real but not infinite." Saying yes is also saying no.
Why am I so torn up about this? Because I will never live close to everyone I love. 

For a time, we were not sure if we'd be heading back to South America. I love it there and I love what we do, so when I looked at what was really holding me back, it was fear. And fear is not from God. Peace is. If I take fear out of the picture, then going back is the clear choice, this time. 

This also means saying goodbye to family, again. The leaving gets harder and harder. Our time here on earth is also finite. How many more visits will we have? Will our moments together be enough to fill the gaping hole made when we fly away. I mourn, I grieve. My heart wants to live in this moment of togetherness and not see past it. 

But even if we stayed, I would have to let go at some point to live my life. This idle idyll could not last. Instead, I will drink it to the last drop, and keep the cup, and a picture of the cup, and the napkin the cup sat on, and the box the cup came in...

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