Letting go? What is this? Letting go is always painful, I guess. . .
I remembered when my best friend (my confidante), Sarah had to say goodbye because she’s getting married. She was so miserable and frustrated with life that I could even hear her groans even when I was already home. She married her boyfriend at age 17 and the guy was 19 because she wanted to escape from a family’s mess. Her parents got separated and their youngest was then 3 years old. Although it pained me, having Sarah gone, but I have to release her because that was best for her at that time. I didn’t have enough knowledge on counseling yet, I was still in school … After long years, my friend was able to connect with me again through my facebook. Now, Sarah got 2 wonderful kids and a loving husband. Her life has become a self-made as she used to dream of it before. Thanks to the many moments of letting go, although painful, she is now self-assured and have her own life. She now resides in Vancouver, Canada with her happy family.
For me, letting go means letting people be, no matter how irrational and crazy they appear to us. We have no right to mold people according to what we want them to be. If we do, we deprive them of their freedom of self-determination. Each one is a unique being. We don’t steal from them such ownership. It is one thing to guide or assist. And it is another thing to control or dominate. We have choices to make and decisions to give. If our advices fall on deaf ears, then let it be. There are times that even the closest to us become stupid or downright shameful, it’s their choice. We cannot hold them on their neck. We might not understand them, at least we respect them no matter how disgusting they have shown us.
When we learn to let go, we begin to look at those weighty negative emotions in a new light. We don’t allow ourselves to be enslaved by them. We learn that when we hate, get jealous or become bitter it is not because some people made us feel that way but rather because we allow them to make us feel that way. By letting go we confront our feelings and realizing that by continually nursing our wounds and pains we don't become better persons but rather we become our own enemies. Letting go of any ill feelings lets us free ourselves and will cause us to recognize our worth as persons. After we come to our senses, we can, at the moment, see the pettiness of it all. Only then can we become bigger than our heartaches and problems. So, we don’t maximize negativity, instead maximize the positivity.
It took me quite a time to accept that my best friend, Sarah is getting married…and that I would be left alone. I was then 17 years old and for me at that time, separation was a puzzle. I kept consoling myself for days that Sarah would come back and decide not to marry her boyfriend (she was still young and we had many good times together). It would refresh me a lot knowing I won’t be alone, because I’m used being with her all the time…in laughter and during our upstream and downstream. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, I became aware of my own solitariness until it dawned on me that my friend, Sarah would be having her new world and won’t come back to me full time.
I realized though that letting go is not only forgiving ourselves and but also others. We all make mistakes, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. We all have stories to tell. The wrongs that we commit at times, no matter how simple or grievous, can be a source of uninvited guilt or an awakening. "If only I could turn back the clock, I would have chosen differently." But there's no turning back anymore. There is only a moving on. We just have to let go of the sorrow that comes from sinning and forgive ourselves, to hope that there have been lessons learned along the way, to pray that we become better persons, and that we can right the wrongs we have done. Letting go is allowing ourselves, unafraid, to confront that which cannot be undone anymore and to take heart that we can still do otherwise.
An excerpt from the movie, “The Hiding Place” made me realized that nothing is held permanent on the face of the earth. Everything changes and everything experiences shaking. In the movie, Corrie Teen Boom said: “There is no pit that is so deep that HE(God) is not deeper still”. She uttered this passage after she was freed from the Concentration Camp. As a human being, though she was a dedicated Christian, it was, I guess hard for her to accept that her family was shattered and her sister died inside the camp because of pressure and torture by the Nazi army. But letting go of pain from people who did all the mess to her family was her means of surrendering to and accepting the inevitable, the what is and the what can never be . . .all because of God’s amazing love and grace bestowed to her.
In retrospect, letting go is just a matter of being more open . . . being more loving . . . and being more kinder to ourselves and others. No one is perfect and nobody can never be one. We have limitations and weaknesses; within the sphere of what we can be and cannot be, within the bounds of what we can do and cannot do and devoting on a certain responsibility to the best of what we are and who we are. When I was able to let go, I began to play again and to smile. I had to surrender Sarah so I could live again and find another Sarah in the person of other friends.
“It Takes God’s Grace to let go of a person we love . . . to let go of a pain inflicted to us . . . to let go of a precious thing we treasured so much . . . and even on letting go a job for the sake of a relationship”.
Now, Sarah is back with me but not alone…with her whole family: her loving husband and two lovely kids. When I let go of her…I reap three other more faithful friends………………..