When I was little, my most favorite playtime activity was to play on the swings. It was one of those things that I took to really quickly. I learned how to pump my feet and extend my body in a way that made me the highest kid on the swings. I grew quite used to it. Any visit to the playground, I just knew I was getting on that swing to swing my highest. It became my thing; but after a while, playtime on the swings was just, playtime on the swings. Just another day in the park, if you asked me.
One day, as I swung my highest, I thought to myself, what would it be like to let go of the ropes and jump off while in mid-swing. I sat on that idea for a while but not long. I could remember the swing moving fast, back and forth. I thought what if this goes wrong? What if I fall? What if I hurt myself? But being the curious adventurous child I was, my mind didn’t linger on these hesitant thoughts for too long. My eyes landed on a spot on the ground that I would land; in my mind I was going through with it. I was going to let go of the swing ropes. As the swing reached it’s highest peak on the forward swing, I let go. I felt my body leave the seat of the swing and enter the air space in front of me. For a second or two I was, airborne, flying through the air shortly before landing squarely on my feet. I looked back at the empty swing chair that I just jumped from and thought to myself ‘that. was. coooool’.
What does it mean to let go? Is it giving up? Does it mean defeat? Is it losing a piece of who we are? What sort of scariness lies at the other side of life without that which we let go of? Some of us may never know because the fear of letting go is just too painful. So what do we do? We hold on.
We hold on to what’s normal. We hold on to what’s painful. Hold on to what we know because to be without it means to start over or feverishly look for something or someone to replace that which we think we’ve lost. We see it everyday when we face decisions to leave a job, to leave a relationship, to leave a bad diet, or simply leave a old piece of furniture that we can do without out on the curb. Those older aspects of our lives represent the person we were yesterday, not who we are becoming.
That day I let go of the swing ropes, I realized two things; number one, I didn’t die when I landed on the ground and number two, playing on the swings just got that much more fun.
Many, many years later, to me the idea of letting go now means two things:
- that sometimes a part of you does have to die in order to make space for a new you. It’s the natural order of things. Imagine a butterfly was afraid to let go of her cocoon; she would have never become a butterfly. Can you imagine a life without butterflies?
- letting go of something sometimes means breaking the rules or allowing for a detour in plans. That wiggle room gives you that much more freedom and flexibility to be on your own terms at your own pace. Your left-brain might not like that too much. But your right brain will enjoy this newfound radical freedom.
Letting go is your ticket to creating change that is good. It brings with it space for new possibilities and the awareness of an ever changing, ever evolving new you.
What are you holding on to? What would it be like for you to simply let…go…?
With Love & Light,
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