Posts Tagged With: Letting Go

I’m Learning to Let Go

I've Learned to Let Go

I’m learning to let go. It’s hard.  Every time I’ve ever walked away from someone or something, left a relationship, lost a loved one, or watched my children leave to find their own way in this world, it takes a piece of me. What I’m learning I grieve most is not often the familiarity or the presence, but the dreams that were dreamed, the hopes that held deep in my heart, and the love that was attached to that person or thing or place.  I think that’s why when it comes to my children – their growing up and moving on is bitter-sweet, because the hope that’s wrapped up with them is still possible, it’s within their independence and journey in life.  But, losing someone to death, disease, divorce or a break-up leaves a huge hole in my soul.

I’m learning to let go.  It’s complicated.  I don’t like giving up on myself or on people I love and care about.  Often though I fall into an unhealthy situation when my hope and love for them begins to effect and become destructive to me. I hate losing. I’m the biggest optimist in the world, even when my mouth is often filled with Doubt.  I struggle, because my heart, my mind, my experience, my common sense will often scream one thing – yet Optimism and Hope will be in war with those thoughts.  I’m sometimes wrong, and someone or something will surprise me and turn out for the better and Hope will celebrate.  But, the realist inside me – the one who carried the pain, the scars, the doubts, and the cautious pessimism – hates to be right because she understands that when she’s right she damages hope and optimism.  She fears she may one day find they no longer have the strength to rise again as they have so many times before.

I’m learning to let go.  It’s devastating. I’ve searched my whole life to be loved and wanted.  But, those are the two things that have escaped me most.  I’m damaged.  I’m broken.  I’m sometimes still that little girl crying out to God trying to understand why I suffer, why I’m hated and hurt so much from the people who are supposed to love me, why my own parents and children have rejected me.  I let them go, but I always held out hope they would someday choose me.  But, even in that – I’m learning to let go.

I can’t make the world love me. I can’t make someone choose me.  I can only hope and try to remain optimistic.  But, eventually – if that choosing never comes and love never appears – I will walk away because I have chosen me, and I have learned to love myself – and no matter how much Hope wills it – I will only endure for a season.  I have learned to walk way. I have now walked many miles alone. I may always be alone.  But Hope and Optimism keep praying, keep smiling, and keeps trying = and I love them for it.

I am learning let go.  Maybe someday I’ll not have to anymore.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, family, friends, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Musing, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Letting Go

Letting Go

Letting go isn’t as easy as it’s made out to be, or as easy as it sounds.  Hell, it sounds so simple… you know, just open your hand and let it go. Elsa even understood it so much she sang a song about it. Holding on is hard.  Holding on is scary.  Holding on takes so much out of you; it breaks you down and pulls at the very center of who you really are.  The way ‘letting go’ is made to sound so easy is like saying holding on is a bad thing.  But is it, really?  Isn’t holding on what makes a relationship work?  Isn’t holding on what gets you ‘through’ the tough times in life?  Hold on to the promises.  Hold on to the hope.  Hold on to faith.  Hold on to love.  Right?  How come I feel like I’m the only one that ever ‘holds on’ to anything in my life?  I’m sure that probably sounds like such a selfish and self-centered attitude, but I can’t help but feel the lump in my throat when I think about it, and feel the warm tears streak down my cheeks as I think of all those that found it so easy to let go… to let me go.

Yesterday, I was faced with the stark reminder that I’ve once again been left behind, forgotten, that life has moved on without me, that they have ‘let me go’ and are busy with their new life, without me.  Yet, feeling the pain of it made it clear that I’m still holding on.  The tears that flow this morning are tears from facing the reality that they’ve moved on. I suppose it’s time for me to do the same.  It’s time for me to let go of the fairy tale that will never happen, the knight-in-shining armor moment that’s never coming.  He’s got his Cinderella and I’m faced with the reality that I was just another faceless dancer at the ball; all dressed up, but didn’t quite possess the right shoes.  Obviously, that wasn’t my fairy tale.

So, what do I do now?  Let go?  That’s easy to say, easy to think, easy to plan, but… what everyone fails to explain is ‘HOW’.  How do I turn a part of my heart off?  How do I stop dreaming?  How do I stop hurting?  How do I start to breathe again?  I should know how to do this; I’ve done it so many times before.  I should be an expert, or know how to write a how-to book on “letting go” and “starting over”.  Yet, I know as much now as I knew every time before.  I’m lost.  I’m just lost. Nothing’s familiar in my life right now.  For a few seconds in the mornings I forget I’m in a new town and separated from everything I love.  I’m in a new job, and haven’t yet started back writing.  I have everything I own and possess stuffed away in some storage unit, waiting to be reclaimed.  That’s how my life feels: stored away just waiting to be reclaimed.

I have to let go, I have no choice.  Those decisions were made without me.  I may have been the one who moved away, but they left me long before that.  The tears this morning remind me I’m still holding on, but there’s nothing in my hands except broken pieces of myself.  Was it worth it?  Is the pain I feel now worth the joy I felt while falling in love?  Yes.  I loved falling in love.  It was scary, but exciting.  For just a little while, I was the princess at the ball in the beautiful gown, and it was me with whom he was dancing. I felt the magic. The music moved me. Everything about it was beautiful.  He was beautiful.  I don’t know how  long it’ll be before I dare dress up and attend another ball, but before I do I have to somehow “let go” of this particular fairy tale.  Elsa, help me.  My friends, please just hold me close and very tight.  I love you all very much, and it’ll be your love that helps me find my magic again.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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It’s Like Riding a Bike and Other Unforgettable Responses

It’s Like Riding a Bike and Other Unforgettable

There’s just some things in life we never forget how to do, and like that old saying, “it’s as easy as remembering how to ride a bike.”  Well, I had the opportunity to put that theory to the test.  I rode a bike for the first time in nearly two decades, and you know what, it really is something I automatically remembered how to do.  It was like second nature. My feet knew when to peddle, and balancing on two narrow wheels  became natural as the bike became an extension of my body.

I’m not saying riding the bike didn’t come without its complications, because my muscles would protest that sentiment, loudly.  It didn’t take but the first half mile before I started feeling the strain.  By the close of mile two, they burned.  Granted, I wasn’t riding on level asphalt, but some pretty steep hills, yet able to push through and make it back home.  I think riding this bike is going to be great in my quest to stay healthy and fit.  I can’t wait to see the results.

How much do we control our responses?  Do we even control them at all?  I can recognize them if I pay attention, but usually that observation comes after the fact.  It’s not like I’m consciously thinking about how I’m going to respond to life’s situations.  I have some automatic responses I wish I could change.  But I’m finding it’s like pulling your hand out of a fire because it burns.  I’ve seriously been trying these past few years to have a different response to things that hurt me.  My ‘natural’ response is pull away, slam up a wall, turn around, and walk away, sometimes even run and hide.  Instead, as I felt the heat rush over me in the middle of the pain, I stood and faced it, holding onto all hope that it would make a difference.  It didn’t.   Only now I carry burn scars along with all the others.

I saw my family together last week as my ex showed up to help me and my kids move my stuff into my new apartment.  There were moments of playful banter, working together, and laughter between us – familiar like riding a bike; it felt normal and natural.  We moved with a rhythm and worked together to get a difficult job done.  The fantasy was good, but then it was followed by a moment of reality … a moment that hit so hard it took me four days to even acknowledge it existed because my automatic response was to slam down my feelings and escape into work to keep my mind so busy it couldn’t face it.

That moment?  After lugging several heavy boxes, furniture, and equipment up two flights of stairs in the middle of a Georgia July, I was exhausted, hot, sweaty, and every muscle I had cried out in pain.  I just wanted to lie in the floor and let the air-conditioning cool me down.  Instead I had to help unload one more truckload of my son’s things at his dad’s.    I knew my ex, son, and daughter were also tired, you could see the exhaustion on everyone’s face.  There was an awkward moment where we all stood under the carport looking at each other, because this was the moment of truth. We weren’t a family any more.  Slowly, we all turned away from each other.  My son left to return to where he currently lived.  My daughter turned and walked back into her father’s house.  My ex turned and walked toward the path that led to the backyard to put our dog in the fence (well, I should say his dog now), and I got into my car to return to my apartment.

My automatic response was to feel bad and take the blame for breaking up my family.  After all, they’re still together – I’m the one that left.  They have their Thursday evening family dinner with Grandma and Grandpa, they see each other every day, involved in each other’s daily lives, which continue on as usual – just without me.  They didn’t fall apart, so I obviously wasn’t the glue that held everything together.

What was it in that moment that hurt so much it took four days to feel?  I didn’t matter.  I didn’t matter then and I don’t matter now that I’m gone – the family goes on without me or without missing a beat.  Like riding a bike, walking away felt natural, something once you learn how to do you never forget no matter how long it’s been since you last did it.  And the response was usual  – without protest and unwanted – as have every relationship I’ve been in except with my children.  I’ve walked away from just about everyone in my life – parents, siblings, first fiancée, husband, friends, and careers and not once has anyone ever tried to stop me.  Not once has anyone fought for me. I will never stay where I’m not wanted.  I tried to stand in that heat for 20 years, all I got was burned. But today I remind myself – I didn’t break up my family – my ex gave up on me almost from the beginning.  It just took 20 years for me to give up and learn to love myself enough to care about me, what I need, what I want.  Just as my muscles hurt when I returned to riding a bike after 20 years, walking away hurt too.  But, it won’t hurt forever.  Just as my muscles acclimate to its new workout, I too shall acclimate to my new life.  It’s like riding a bike and other unforgettable responses.

I still remember the mission and reason for my walk-a-bout.  Someday someone will love me enough, and I will matter enough, that they’ll stop me, hold me, and never let me go. Until then, I’ll endure the pain of heartache as others come and go in my life, but I’ll enjoy the breeze on my face and revel in the healthy results as I peddle into my new life.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

 

Categories: Blog Post, Inspirational, Musing, Philosophy, Spiritual, Writing | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Good Morning, World – 05/05/2014 – Forgiveness

2014-05-05

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No More Waiting

No More Waiting

 

I feel like I’ve spent most of my life waiting on something to break through, someone else to make a move, somewhere else to be the home I’ve searched for my whole life; waiting to be loved, to be accepted, hell… just to be remembered. Well …no more waiting.

I made a resolution with the New Year to put my grief behind me, put away those broken dreams, let go of the pain of loss and rejection.  I can’t fly with these things tethered to my ankles keeping me grounded.  Waiting has benefited everyone else but me.  Waiting allows my soul to be stripped away piece by piece. I’ve been paralyzed to move forward; because moving risks losing what I’m afraid to lose. I realize, I have nothing left to lose, except me. Moving forward may break my heart, but it saves my soul.

In retrospect, I was waiting for me all along, I just was too focused on others to see that.  I’m a broken soul, shattered into many pieces, and all this waiting was me trying to fill those cracks with something else, someone else, and somewhere else… when really the only thing that could fill them was me.  I just didn’t believe I was enough.

I still have cracks, and some days I can feel the emptiness and sharp edges, and remember those unfulfilled dreams, but I’m not waiting anymore.  I’m enough.  Love me, hate me, want me, or walk away – no more waiting. When  you’ve got nothing to lose,  you’re not afraid to move.

Some of you won’t like the new me, because you’ve fed for so long on pieces of me to fill your own holes.  Some of you have been water to my thirsty soul, and I know with all my heart you are with me – and we’re moving, not waiting.  We will fly together – and if not, I will fly alone, but fly nonetheless.  I cry this morning, not in grief, but freedom. I feel the wind on my face, flowing beneath my wings, and the shackles falling from my ankles.  To those I leave behind… I’m so sorry, but I can’t carry you and I can’t allow you to keep me grounded.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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We’ve All Moved On

We’ve All Moved On

 

Today, the home I worked hard to build stands empty.  Not just physically, but emotionally and mentally too.

The rooms I painted, the halls I decorated, the shrubs I planted, and the place I have called home for over two decades sits bare and abandoned.

Where is my home?  Where do I belong?

Everyone has moved on.  There’s no going back.  A new family will soon fill those rooms, new memories will be made, a new life will be built, in both that house and in the hearts of my family.

Where is my home?  Where do I belong?  

I’m the one that left, and then they soon followed suit.  It was because of me that house stands empty, that family is now scattered, we’ve all moved on.

For what?  I just wanted to be loved, wanted, and desired. I still want.

Where is my home?  Where do I belong?

It was the only home I’ve ever had. I was lost and alone before, lost and alone while there, and I’m still lost and alone.

Where is my home?  Where do I belong?

I can’t seem to find it.

Categories: Blog Post, Inspirational, Musing, Poetry, Spiritual, Writing | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Open Arms

Open Arms

 

I don’t usually use these inspirational pictures for my own blog, choosing to create an original, but this one really captured what I’ve been feeling for the last few days.

There are so many things I wish I could control, because I think I know what’s best for me.  Even if I don’t know what’s best, I know what I want.  But, knowing what I want and obtaining it is two different things.  My biggest problem is that I want too much.  I’ve been caged for so long inside of a self-imposed prison.  Now that I’m free, I find I’m flying around in circles.  I want to see everything.  I want to touch everything. I want to experience everything.  I want to feel everything.  I want to live fully.  I want to love fully.  As the prompt says, “I choose to open my arms to all the good life has in store for me.”

One of the things about being free I didn’t expect to experience in this stage – is having to let go. You can’t hold onto anything with open arms.  I hate letting go, and it doesn’t matter what it happens to be.  I don’t understand sometimes all the rules of this world, because I’ve just broken free from them.  But, not everyone else has reached the same point as me.  Not everyone is ready to fly.

I have so much love, where once I had none.  It’s overwhelming.  I wish I could open everyone’s heart and pour this into them, but I can’t.  I have to fly.  I’ve waited my whole life for this.  I’ve prayed, dreamed, hoped and fought hard to come to this point.  I can’t allow anyone to keep me grounded, not even me.  I just never knew it was going to hurt so much.  I’ve always imagined someone would fly with me.  Maybe someday there will be, but I can’t carry anyone else.  My wings can only lift me.  No one else can carry me either.

I know many of the people in my life, really almost all of them, don’t understand what’s going on inside me.  From all outward appearances I’ve turned my back on everything and everyone, but that’s not how I see it. I used to run and hide from everything …to protect me. I was broken.  I couldn’t accept and give love, I had none.  But I’m not running and hiding now – I’m flying.  I’ve not abandoned my faith, I’ve embraced it.  It is my faith that has brought me to this point.  It’s another stage, another level of intimacy.  It is God’s love for me that has taught me and allowed me to love myself.    My actions don’t fall under the normal rules and expectations, I’ve never been normal.  I can’t live my life trying to please everyone.

I open my arms. I can’t breathe because of the pain of leaving everyone and everything behind.  It’s the worst ache I’ve ever felt, and I’ve known a lot of hurt.  I’m so scared my knees tremble and I shake, but I leap into the air anyway.  Please don’t hate me.  Love me. Be happy for me. Forgive me. When you find your own wings, come find me.  If you don’t, love yourself and be happy.

I stand with my arms open and close my eyes as the first golden rays of the Morning kiss my cheeks and dry my tears.  His lips are warm and gentle.  He whispers to me, and his cool breath drapes over me like morning dew.  His words of love surround me like a whirlwind, moving in, around and about me.  My outstretched arms become a pair of beautiful wings and his love becomes the wind as I rise. I set my face toward the sun and feel the breeze upon my face and the draft beneath me.  I hear the song of the Morning; its melody calls to me; drawing me into its embrace.  I fly. Oh, God, how I fly.  

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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