Have you ever held onto something for fear of losing it, not realizing that you were already losing because you won’t just…let…go?
The oxymoron of it all can be mind-boggling, but let’s get serious for a moment because this is serious stuff. Holding onto whatever is pulling you down, constantly stressing you out, not uplifting you, or adding to your life, is point blank, taking away from your life. The fact is, misery doesn’t discriminate and comes in many forms. Misery can show up as so-called friends, a bad relationship, a soul-sucking job, toxic family members, bad health, or self-sabotaging habits. This list can go on and on, but I’m sure you get the concept of where I’m going with this. I only speak from experience and trust me, just like you, I’m still a work in progress. However, I can honestly say I no longer hold on for dear life to stuff that is slowly killing me (not literally but yeh, literally, in a slow, unnoticeable kind of way).
Why do we, as human beings do this? It’s crazy the way our minds can play tricks on us creating an illusion of feelings or pictures that replay in our minds that letting go of what’s hurting you somehow equates to losing. This, of course, couldn’t be further from the truth.
I remember being in a bad marriage and holding on for “my kids sake” or “because it was the right thing to do” or for the worst reason of all: I worried about what other people would think and say or how they would view me. The truth is, I made up all of these non-existent scenarios of how much worse off I would be if I walked away and about all the stress and trouble it would bring into my life if I left. Back then, I couldn’t see that my way of thinking was warped because I was already stressed and operating in fear.
First of all, people had already formed their views or opinions and I was already in “trouble”; my marriage was on the rocks. I knew I wasn’t happy and I knew my children could feel the tension between me and my then husband – but I was afraid to let go. I had started drinking to numb the pain (clearly a sign that it was time to let go). I would breathe a sigh of relief when my husband and I would be doing our own thing (another clear sign) because I knew if only for a short period of time, my kids wouldn’t be in the midst of the tension that was constantly in the atmosphere when we were around one another. My drinking habit became worse; to the point that I couldn’t wait to pour a drink during any free time that I could squeeze out of my very busy days which included caring for my kids, taking classes, and working a
One Sunday morning I woke up after many days of feeling empty, hopeless, sad, and angry, got dressed and then poured myself a drink and started driving (yes chile, on the day the Lord had made). As I drove and sipped, I thought about how much of a mess my life was. I prayed for what seemed to be the thousandth time for God to send me some answers.
After about 30 minutes, I was starting feeling tipsy and since I was close to my youngest sister’s house, I decided it was best I make a pit stop because I knew I had no business driving. When I arrived, it was around 9 am, maybe closer to 10. I honestly can’t tell you, seeing as though I was in “escape from the pain” mode. She opened the door, looked at me, and [without judgment] invited me in. After she asked if I had been drinking and I responded with a shameful “Yes”, I proceeded to go on and on talking to her about how bad my marriage had become. I shared with her how my husband and I couldn’t communicate, how I felt alone, how we couldn’t agree on anything and how I didn’t want my kids to be in a toxic environment. The bottom line was I was miserable – but in my mind I felt I had to keep fighting for my marriage.
The next moment changed my life, literally, my life took a turn: my sister grabbed my face with both hands, looked me dead in my eyes, and said “It’s okay to leave now”.
Now that was a new revelation. I had never thought it was okay to leave. I thought to do so, would make me a failure. I thought I would surely ruin my kids lives. I thought I would ruin my own life if I left. I was scared. I had never been a single parent before. I was raised by a single parent and that was the one road I knew I didn’t want to take.
Now remember, shortly before arriving at my sister’s house, I had prayed to God for answers. Well, I knew I had received my answer. I didn’t like it, but I knew it was the answer to my prayers. It took a few more years of going through counseling and giving all that I could give without any improvements before I made the final decision to leave.
Sometimes, we hold on to something or someone that God never ”blessed” us with in the first place. Sometimes we are holding onto a person or a situation that we chose, not one God chose for us.
Are you holding onto something in your life that you know good and well is not adding to your life, uplifting you, moving you forward, and pushing you to be a better you? If so, I’m going to say the words that I finally said to myself as I looked in the mirror and saw a woman that no longer resembled me. She was sad, emotionally broken, mentally drained, spiritually weak but she was me. One day, I said “You will be okay and God will take care of you and those kids”. I looked in the mirror and said “It’s okay to let go”.
Once I let go, I didn’t look back. Almost 9 years later and I’m still standing stronger than ever. I am still a single mother raising two wonderful young men. My “letting go” was the best thing I could have done for me and my kids because now their father and I can talk without all the tension in the air. Now, it is all about raising our kids to become respectful, productive, loving, God-fearing men.
My message to anyone reading this or if you know someone that is holding onto anything or anyone that is not adding to your life and making you become a better version of yourself, I say the same words to you that I said to myself so many years ago: It is okay to let go.
Let go and let God.