Let it go. Move on. Get over it. These statements are woven into our culture to the point of them feeling exhaustive. How many of us can just let something go when its impact has so greatly affected our lives? The story of our life has so many of these moments, or series of moments that has created the tapestry of our realty. Some of these life altering experiences are not so easily flung into the wind, never to affect us again.
In fact, they can color our decisions, construct the world we live in and how we operate in it. Our badge of life lessons is something we wear, sometimes with immense pride, and sometimes as armor. How can we indefinitely detect which ones are best left behind? There are so many layers to our individual perceptions and experiences, that letting go is done as such. How can we move through something in such a way, that we do not avoid the nuances that can help us grow and shift? Simply put, how can we sit with these things and invite ourselves to shift our perspective around them? How can we let them stay, live with them fully and not allow them to inadvertently hold us in the past?
This is a good question with many answers. This is up to us to unfold our hearts and dare to sit in the uncomfortable spaces long enough to expand into new territory. The concept I want to invite into our minds and hearts for the month of August is this: “Letting it stay instead of letting it go.” Letting it stay if we need it to, even if that’s for the rest of our lives. Being with whatever it is, through all the layers without the impulse to bypass the wisdom that’s held at its core.
Grief has no linear path and loss can be felt in the most unlikely of moments. There is no recipe for healing and there doesn’t have to be shame in not wanting to let go. I want to be able to dance in each moment of loss and pain, oscillating between sadness and joy. Wouldn’t it be beautiful to allow both to inhabit our bodies and hearts, and not want to numb or run from it? In truth, this is already a part of our human nature. We have the privilege of experiencing both; extreme opposite feelings arising within us at the same time.
Maybe it’s as simple as reframing the way you relate to your defining moments without labeling them. Allow them to be a part of the tapestry of who you are. Initiate a celebration of pain and joy, inviting them to cohabitate the spaces of your heart in a collaboration that looks a lot like wholeness.