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The Art of Letting Go

Here we are, another year has come to an end, and I am forever grateful to write down one more in the books. This year, as I reflect on my life and where I am at, I find that I am getting ready to start a whole new chapter. It is not a new concept for me, I have known it was coming for some time, but the awareness and magnitude is really hitting me now, as I sit by the window, tea in hand, enjoying this quiet moment of reflection.

I have found myself out of sorts this past month, not quite myself. I am short of patience, overwhelmed, exhausted, and quite frankly, just have too much on my plate. I have recently purchased a home with two additional lots, that I have been working hard at updating, most of which I have done on my own. I have spent many hours cleaning and painting, trying to make this house into a home. It has been oddly satisfying to see the fruition of all my labor come to bare, and I am acutely aware that move in day is nearing. Some days when I finish working, I sit for a moment and really try to take in everything this home means to me. For the first time in my life, I own something that belongs to no one else. I am solely responsible for all that takes place on this land. Is it everything I ever dreamed of? Yes and no. However, it is a home that has been well cared for before me and a home I look forward to making memories in, so in a way, it really is everything I have ever wanted. And I did it all on my own. How amazing to be responsible for making my own dreams come true. I am truly blessed.

Still, there is this lingering and unsettling feeling that is hanging over me and seems to be threaded through every emotion I am having. It took me awhile, but I recognize it now. It is the moment when one dream is ending so another can begin. As this awareness washes over me, I realize that I have reached the moment where I am finally okay letting go. The magnitude of this moment is that it no longer has the power to hold me back. A feeling of peace overcomes me as I am accepting and realizing that It is time to follow a new dream on a very new path. This feeling I now recognize is my old friend grief. I see now that I am sad for all that I have lost and sorrowful for all that will never be. I am learning to find peace in the sadness so that I can heal once and for all by letting go.

My whole life, all I have ever wanted was a family. I wanted to find my prince charming, have the dog and the fence, and the home. I wanted lots of kids running around. I know in this day and age it almost seems blasphemous to say, but all I have ever dreamed of my whole life was being a stay-at-home mom. That's it. I would have given anything to have that be my life. I wanted to be married to a wonderful man who doted on me and celebrate our 75th wedding anniversary surrounded by hoards of great grandchildren and children who still loved to visit mom. It seems so simple really, not much at all, and at the same time - everything. For some reason, this is not my fate. I am not one of the chosen ones who gets to have a life surrounded by laughter of my family and friends. Really, now that I reflect on it, I can see very clearly now that my life has led me here, so far from that childhood dream, through a series of choices I made while not really knowing my own truth and value. I am sad for that young girl and woman who just couldn't quite find her way. I send her so much love in this moment and I am hugging her very tightly so she will know it's going to be okay.

This past decade of my life has been so hard! I have struggled deeply, trying to find my way back to the girl who believed she deserved so much. To reignite the fire that isolation and a lonely marriage have extinguished. I now know that I deserved so much more, and I will never settle for being someone's last priority again. I look forward to continuing to improve and grow, expand, and learn to fly. I am so amazing, and I have so much to offer!

This last decade has been a hell of a ride, and I am definitely grieving for all that could have been and the many lost possibilities and dreams that are no more. However, I am also CELEBRATING, REJOICING, and HEALING so that I can LET GO and really be PRESENT for whatever is coming next. What an exciting time to be me!! As I reflect on the memories of the last decade, instead of focusing on the pain, today I choose to focus on all that I have overcome. I am sad yes, but I am also RELIEVED, THANKFUL, and at PEACE that I have reached the place in my heart where I can welcome change and the process of letting go by releasing all the unnecessary baggage I have been carrying for way too long. And it feels so good! It feels like... hope, joy, and love for all that was, but especially for all that will be.

I think 2022 is going to have the theme of letting go, and I am okay with that. Letting go is often seen as a negative thing, but really, it can be something very positive and freeing. It means there will be more room for new adventures, new experiences, new choices, and new opportunities. I am walking into this new year with my head held high, for I have learned how worthy I am and that validation comes from within, not without. I truly am stronger than I think.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me through this journey, and to those who are wishing me a life rich with success. May God bless you all.

The Flying Trapeze - An excerpt from Warriors of the Heart by Danaan Perry

Sometimes, I feel that my life is a series of trapeze swings. I'm either hanging on to a trapeze bar swinging along or, for a few moments, I'm hurdling across space between the trapeze bars.

Mostly, I spend my time hanging on for dear life to the trapeze bar of the moment. It carries me along a certain steady rate of swing and I have the feeling that I'm in control. I know most of the right questions, and even some of the right answers. But once in a while, as I'm merrily, or not so merrily, swinging along, I look ahead of me into the distance, and what do I see?

I see another trapeze bar looking at me. It's empty. And I know, in that place in me that knows, that this new bar has my name on it. It is my next step, my growth, my aliveness coming to get me. In my heart of hearts I know that for me to grow, I must release my grip on the present well-known bar to move to the new one.

Each time it happens, I hope—no, I pray—that I won't have to grab the new one. But in my knowing place, I know that I must totally release my grasp on my old bar, and for some moments in time I must hurtle across space before I can grab the new bar. Each time I do this I am filled with terror. It doesn't matter that in all my previous hurdles I have always made it.

Each time I am afraid I will miss, that I will be crushed on unseen rocks in the bottomless basin between the bars.

But I do it anyway. I must.

Perhaps this is the essence of what the mystics call faith. No guarantees, no net, no insurance, but we do it anyway because hanging on to that old bar is no longer an option. And so, for what seems to be an eternity but actually lasts a microsecond. I soar across the dark void called "the past is over, the future is not yet here." It's called a transition. I have come to believe that it is the only place that real change occurs.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the transition zone is the only real thing, and the bars are the illusions we dream up to not notice the void. Yes, with all the fear that can accompany transitions, they are still the most vibrant, growth-filled, passionate moments in our lives.

And so transformation of fear may have nothing to do with making fear go away, but rather with giving ourselves permission to "hang out" in the transition zone -- between the trapeze bars -- allowing ourselves to dwell in the only place where change really happens.

It can be terrifying. It can also be enlightening.

Hurdling through the void, we just may learn to fly.


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