Letting go - now that's a toughie
I think you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have at least a few great memories – good memories of people, places and events. They get filed in our memory banks to be recalled and savored. In recalling them, they often get us through tough times. Those memories are eagerly retained for they are of people, places and events that were part of the good times in our lives.
But there are other people, places and events that come into our lives that we wish we could simply dispense with, toss them into the waste basket of our minds, never to be thought of again. If only we could simply hit a delete key and have them gone. Unfortunately, for whatever the reason, they stay with us. They are the things we can’t let go, even though we know we should. Sometimes letting go is one of life’s most difficult challenges.
For a senior it might be when they are told they must give up driving their car. They are asked to give up something they probably have been doing for fifty years or more. It is the activity that gives them the freedom to go where they want when they want. To give up driving is to become dependent on others, something they have never done since they were small children. It is being told that they no longer are competent, that they have lost some of their skills, that they are “old”. Ask that of someone younger and they will say you are crazy, yet we expect the very senior among us to accept a hard, bitter truth. Letting go of a freedom is very hard to do.
Often one of the most difficult things to do is let go of a relationship, especially a marriage that you don’t want to end. How does one take a solemn vow then toss it out the window? How does one react when told they are no longer wanted? How does one give up when one is struggling to make things better? How does one forget all the good times that were and hope can somehow they be regained? And when one is faced with that inevitability, how should one react? Some sink into depression. Some react with bitterness, anger and rage. Some become mired in sadness. The song says, ‘…breaking up is so hard to do.” How true. Letting go is so hard to do.
Then there is the loss of a loved one. Death is so final and permanent. How does one accept that the person loved will no longer be part of their life? How does one reconcile the fact that the loved one is gone forever when the one remaining had no choice in the matter? Life can be so unfair. Life can be so tough for letting go is so hard to do.
There are so many situations that we experience that run contrary to our own desires. Asking someone to let go when it is a choice they don’t want is one of the things in life that is so unfair, yet is something we all face at one time or another. When you fail to let go, it ends up being toxic which can take you in a downward spiral. Somehow, we each must find a way to rise above it, take the person, place or event as another learning experience and move on with our life. Oh, if only letting go were as easy as holding on to all those good memories.
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