Thursday, May 23, 2013

Letting go

A difficult week.  For many.

Letting go.

In a myriad of ways, places, events; intense letting go.

Watching in real time this week; the storm, the frantic search and rescue, the deep sadness over life lost; children at school and others caught unprepared. 

Devastation.  A nation grieving again.  Hearts broken.
A reminder; the fragility of life.

Watching, as well, this week; the graduating, the marrying. 
A reminder; the brevity of life.

In all; change and letting go. 

Sometimes having to let things be ripped from us in order to let go. 

Especially for the moms.  The dads.  Some things much harder than others.

But a recurring theme.

The familiar blown away.  Scattered.  Whether prepared or not.

What to do, how to embrace the stuff of life?  The smiles that cover the tears, the busyness that distracts the pain; letting go that does not come easy.

By doing it. 
By simply letting go. 
Making it a practice, a discipline, even a celebration in some cases.

Despite making mistakes.  Never too late.

Never too late to give up the past,
to give up the high expectations for others and even for ourselves,
to give up the yearning for what cannot be,
to give up the control of others that only brings harm,
to give up the material things to which we cling. 

Stretching beyond our well-rehearsed comfort, challenging the deepest parts of ourselves; we can become free.

To love, to forgive, to embrace and to accept. With God. By spending time with Him.
To appreciate and respect the inherent beauty and individuality of others.
To offer the gift of freedom; a precious commodity.  Though never easy.

I spent this past week with my favorite person - cleaning out.  It was supposed to be a vacation but many would scoff at the amount of work we accomplished - calling it vacation.  It felt so good, this getting rid of stuff.  A symbolic letting go. 

Arduous but freeing.

Why to keep all the things stuffed in boxes, attics, crawl spaces, drawers and closets.  Overflowing.  Embarrassing.  Under the beds and in our cars and buying more stuff. 

Lessons learned from the Midwest; stuff doesn't matter. 
It hinders.
Getting in the way of the new chapter.
A robber, in fact.

And though we don't have a tan to show for our week, we are rewarded with more space and less clutter and plans to do new things.  We thought we were cleaning out the house but it was our thinking that most benefited.

Reading Bob Goff's book, Love Does, reminding us of the serendipity of life, the whimsy.  I bet Bob's garage didn't look like ours at the beginning of the week.  No one can live fully and purposefully weighed down and encumbered.

We can keep stuff and arrange it and clean it and move it and stash it.

Or we can transform our lives.  Be ready to dance. 

No one cares what we did in high school.  The kids don't want the baby blankets or the coloring books or the old report cards.  Trophies are collecting dust and falling apart.  The office plaques don't really impress and the old phones no longer work.

I want to dance.  To live letting go.
Trusting God.

Embracing the new chapter.