Some readers have asked what is the process of letting go and what have I been letting go of?stress.
First the process of letting go has been painful and hard. There has been much emotional work. There has also been a lot of prayer and meditation, much truth seeking. There has been talking to friends and professionals, and listening to the voice of God when things are quiet and still.
But I have been told that time is the number one things that helps is time. And until then you just have to get through it. Face the pain of the loss of letting go, and eventually, with time, you will heal.
And what about when faced when letting go of multiple things at one time? Well, that makes it even harder, but you still just have to reach deep down inside and make it through. It is going to be very hard, which is why many don’t do it. Many hide, run and do anything but face their pain of letting go. That only makes you bitter and angry.
I made up my mind I would not be like that. I will not let life and the bad things that happen make me less than, make me weak, make me angry or bitter, make me anything but a finer human being. But that is hard too. because at the end of the day, we are all human, we all have faults and we all struggle to be a better person than we were the day before.
The list of what I have had to let go:
My parents: The hardest things in the world. They are gone now. This process is ongoing, and I have been told, that you never really get over the loss of your parents. They are your first loves, they taught you most of who you are and how to be. They are your first taste of the world and know you and your stories more than anyone I will forever miss them. But there is comfort in knowing that they are together. They send my signs and I look for them everywhere.
You have to let go of so much, because they are everything in your past. And you have to figure out who you are without ever speaking to them or seeing them again. Family traditions, conversations, history that is gone never to be done again. You must be content with the memories. And that is all.
The relationship and the man: In addition to that, you must let go of and mourn the loss of the life that you thought you would have. For me, that was marrying the man that I loved more than anything in the world. It was having children and a large family between the two of us. It was laughter and happiness, and each other always. He was home. He was my roots, my emergency contact, the was the one whom I could depend. He was my secret keeper, my confidant, my love. We were my future. And I finally found the person I could trust, let all my walls down with. That will not be my life. At least not with him.
But he wasn’t who I thought he was. He is a bitter angry man who uses prostitutes, strippers and goes to orgies. Who was I in love with? I don’t know, but I have to let him go. Because it was not real…and I wonder was everything he ever said to me a lie? At what point did he stop telling the truth? Or did he ever tell the’ truth at all? I don’t know. I have to let that go too.
The Expectations: You have to let go of the expectations of the old life. For me, that means the expectations of life with my parents – they will not be at my wedding, they will not ever meet my children. I will never have a phone conversation or a cup of coffee with them again. All those has to be let go. That also means the expectations of the man and the relationship. There will not be a reconciliation. There will not be a conversation of closure and settlement even. I tried that and it was just too angry. So I have to let that go. But that is so hard, because i like things ending nice and neat. This was ugly and messy. And there is nothing I can do about it, because it is not my mess. And no matter how much I want a conversation and to hug it out, it will not happen.
The Pain: There is pain in grief. And when you loose something that you loved, whether it is a family member, a friend, a lover, a job…whatever, if you loved it, were attached to it or cared for it, you must mourn the loss. And that means facing being in pain. That means dealing with your feelings….then taking a deep breath and letting it go. I am still working on this.
The Anger: This is a part of grief, a stage. And for a long time I was angry at my mother’s doctor, because he missed so much and my mothered suffered a great deal. And I was angry at my sister for not being there. And I was angry at the fact that she suffered. I was just angry but I didn’t really understand or know. And it came out toward my now ex. And my Dad as I struggled not to drown under the pressure of all the new responsibility I faced. Anger at the ex for not being there. Anger at my sister for not being there. Anger at the fact that I had to face and do more than I possible could. I had to deal with that anger, face it and let it go. I did that with time, counseling, prayer and meditation.
The Guilt: Oh, this one will really get you if you are not careful. I felt guilt from the anger. Guilt from not being able to handle everything with Dad myself. Guilt for having to deal with so much. Guilt that it spilled over into the relationship. Guilt because the relationship failed, and I thought is was because of my mother dying and Dad having to move in. Guilt because I could not save my mother or keep her from suffering. Guilt for feeling overwhelmed. Guilt for resenting everything I had to do for dad and the toll it took on me. You have to let all of that go or it will make you angry and bitter and depressed.
The Obligation: I had to let that go as well. I served my time and served it well. I also had to let go of the obligation to the ex. he was great with my father, but especially toward the end, horrible to me. Disrespectful and hurtful, so angry. But I took it because I thought I was obligated to him, because he took care of my father, especially the last month were were together. thought I had to take whatever he dished out because I owed him. No. I owe myself enough respect to expect to be treated with respect. While I am and will forever be thankful for what he did for my father, I will never owe him for it. I will never owe my parents. I have served my time and now I take care of myself.
My old self and life: When you have life changing events, you have to let go of the old person that you used to be. Because you cannot move forward until you do You will never be able to go back, you ,will never be the same and you will never have the life that you used to have. And that is not always a bad thing, and it is not always a good thing. But the forward movement you have after you let go can be a wonderful thing if you let it.
There is more, smaller things that have had to be let go, but that is the big stuff. And some of it I am still working on, because letting go is a process, especially when it is compounded by many.
And I am still searching for what fills the spaces in between after letting go. Stay tuned…