“Each has to enter the nest made by the other imperfect bird.” – Rumi
I think I’m possibly messed up — you know, in that way that you think you’re thoughts are far more different from the thoughts of those around you so you tell them that you think you’re messed up hoping that the response is a hearty, “Yes! You are messed up — but no more than the rest of us.” And when you hear that… it makes it all okay, because we’re all messed up and we’re all clinging to each other in hopes of something, anything to get us through.
My thoughts, lately, have settled on this concept of “letting go”. When ever I hear people say this, they say it with such nonchalance, with such disregard — with more matter-of-fact to their voice then I think anyone who has actually had to contemplate this concept would ever dream of using. Letting go is never just that.
We travel through this life and we meet people and we experience joy and shame and embarrassment and exuberance — we experience everything that makes our lives worth living. We take these experiences as they come and we sort through the ones that might bear repeating and we toss the ones that were less than appealing. But that’s the experiences — those are easy to let go and process and move away from.
The people who come in to our lives throws this concept of sorting through the good and the bad somewhere out in to the wind on a stormy day. I’ve never been one to hang-on to people. When I knew a relationship had run its course or had run me down — I let go… easily. Then, without hesitation, I would always shut down — completely… no way in, no way out. To me, letting go meant letting go of the actual person — never just letting go of the bad feeling or the wrong encounter or the moment in time that came between us. Letting go was final. Permanent. So, I would shut down… retreat back in to whatever protective shell I had managed to maintain while I was testing the waters of human connection. A delicate balance of standing in the middle of a stampeding herd of oncoming emotions and jumping behind the barrier of a stony heart.
Now, as should be the case as we learn to experience and learn to grow and learn to contribute to those around us, I have been attempting to come to some type of understanding between the need to let go, the need to hang on, and the need to not shut down — the gray area… knowing what to let go of and what to hang on to. Letting go does not have to be all-inclusive. Letting go can be as refreshing as a deep breath after trying to prove you can swim from one end of a pool to the other, underwater. If we let go of the right things… the feelings, the thoughts, the moments that break us, then we learn, we evolve, we continue to assemble the puzzle that is us. Hanging out in the gray area sifting through it all — that’s where the power is… there, in the gray area.
We learn, we evolve, we accept our own short-comings and we hold ourselves up to a mirror to recognize the need for change. Shutting down is easy, complete, absolute — wash your hands and move on. To not shut down is a true sign of growth. So I’m sitting here… letting go of the right things and hanging on to the right things and taking a giant step away from a stony heart — I’m sitting in the middle of the gray area. I’m messed up. I’m letting go, but I’m not shutting down.