Friday, January 17, 2014

Letting Go and All that Other Crap that Goes Along with It

Buddha said it. Great poets and writers have written it. Teachers, therapists have lectured it...
Let it go! Let it go! Let it go! (read to the tune of Let It Snow) Let go of anger. Let go of hostility.
Let go of anything and everything that bogs you down. Let it go; release it like a feather on a warm, mid-day breeze. And in doing so, you will find peace of heart and mind everlasting. Ready?
Let's get started! It's as easy as one, two, three...
Or is it?
Letting go of a hurt, a lie told to you, an action(s) that led to mistrust, sadness or even physical and emotional detriment is easy when you're sitting at the water's edge and pretty monarchs are dancing around your shoulders. Sure!
Good-bye thoughts that bring me down! Good-bye tightness and unforgiving images that create illness in my body! Good-bye all the memories and reminders of what you promised and didn't do or your actions that have left an invisible scar on my skin. Good-bye judgmental thoughts!
BAM! Good-riddens!
Hello forgiveness! Hello moving on! Hello sweet letting go!

But what about when you fall short?
What about when you're not in the "sunny side of life" space at water's edge? What about when you're driving in your car or awake at 3:00 a.m and the little bastard of a memory creeps up from behind, out of nowhere, and fills your head with so much anger that you just want to re-live the unjust over and over again and then punch the person's lights out? Then you work, work, work and you breathe in, breathe out and work some more...

Okay, that would be truly immature, now wouldn't it? To punch someone's lights out? And yet, that feeling heats up like liquid in a pressure cooker and then it bubbles and bubbles up to the top of your throat; the place where all your self-control must take residence...
I know I'm not alone in this.  You just don't talk about it.

So, there's this guy whose quotes speak to the whole healthiness of letting go:

“Renew, release, let go. Yesterday’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back. You can’t “should’ve” done something. You can only DO something. Renew yourself. Release that attachment. Today is a new day!”  

“It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.” 

“You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.” 

Okay, Mr. Steve "Fucking Perfect" Maraboli, aren't you the fortunate one?  I'm always skeptical of these dudes (and women) who publish books and hold expensive clinics and conferences on this subject. Like, what's  happening in their private lives, behind closed doors? 
But that last quote, that last sentence, flickers at me...

Now, isn't that the truth. And perhaps the hardest pill to swallow. Relinquishing control is one thing, but letting go of control that you never had is pretty damn rough for some of us, at least those honest enough to admit it.
Those of us, who from time to time, experience that lack of control, are reminded of that in the middle of the night, at some ungodly hour, and that's what makes it so challenging. I'm referring to personal situations, of course, not huge events like where our tax dollars go, etc. The personal events that hit one's  pissed off, achey, breaky heart even though, it's a simple fact:  You had no control of how the other person treated you or handled a situation that involved you.

And then where do you stand? I mean after all the self-help books have been read. After all the meditation cd's have been purchased and played.  After all your hard-earned money has been spent on workshops, shamans, life coaches, psychologists, day spas, vitamin supplements and green tea cleanses... I mean, where does one turn? What does one do to just let it all go?

I'll tell you. Why not sing a catchy tune of Do Re Mi?  Could anything else be more healing? 

Can you think of a better way to let go of anger, sadness, resentment, regret or just the f@!#king blues than to belt out a verse of Do a deer a female deer...Re a drop of golden sun... Mi a name I call myself...Fa a long, long way to run, especially butt naked!? 
Me either.

I want y'all to try it next time this crap gets in your way. I know I'm going to. In fact, I'm singing it loud and proud as I type this blog this afternoon! It seems to be working, at least in the moment, and HEY!  Isn't the moment all we really have anyway? I mean a massage only lasts for so long, then the neck ache returns, right? Go ahead.  It worked for the von Trapps, now didn't it, and it can work for you and me.

This works too:
Bear and I so beautifully captured by the artistic genius of The Cousin

This aids in the letting go process as well. Joining in a group activity, while retaining your own unique style:

"Screw you guys. I'm doing my own thing!"
I don't know about you, but it takes some work to let go. And then it takes some reserve or back-up for when the little conniving bastards return.  Because unless you're Mr. Rogers or Dora the Explorer,
both perfect in every way, my presumption is that you too have trouble letting go from time to time.

Perhaps that's the weight of being human. 

Today's writing is a bit reckless, kind of all over the map with perhaps a beginning, but certainly without a consistent trek to a well-planned destination. My sincerest apologies for that.
Welcome to my head.
But since it's come to this, I will add even more directionless chaos by closing with a poem that a dear friend sent to me this week. Sometimes, timing is everything and I hope the timing of Mary Oliver's words are perfect for some of you as they are for me.

When loneliness comes stalking, go into the fields, consider
the orderliness of the world. Notice
something you have never noticed before,
like the tambourine sound of the snow-cricket
whose pale green body is no longer than your thumb.
Stare hard at the hummingbird, in the summer rain,
shaking the water-sparks from its wings.
Let grief be your sister, she will whether or no.
Rise up from the stump of sorrow, and be green also,
    like the diligent leaves.
A lifetime isn't long enough for the beauty of this world
and the responsibilities of your life.
Scatter your flowers over the graves, and walk away.
Be good-natured and untidy in your exuberance.
In the glare of your mind, be modest.
And beholden to what is tactile, and thrilling.
~ Mary Oliver ~


  1. Nice work, my pondering friend....filled with many truths and more honesty than most of us will admit to. So I'll do a bit of "Do-Re-Mi's" and chase the blues out of town with my broom. Or sing naked in the shower, perhaps. Let 'em go. Let 'em rip! Get a wiff of nature instead. Green is good and as alive as Mary Oliver's beautiful poem. As are you!!

  2. Val,
    I can not tell how how much I look forward to reading your blogs. They always make me think twice about things....todays blog hit the spot and I will definetely start to dance and sing in the shower. My love goes out to you!!!!! Stacey