Letting Go

Rebekah - Jacksonville, North Carolina
Entered on January 14, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

In my sixteen years I have learned many things. The most important life lesson has been, by far, the act of letting go. Henry Ellis puts life into this perspective; “The art of living lies within the fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” I will admit that I have not completely mastered the concept, but through trials and experience, I will one day be able to let go. This I believe.

There are two parts when letting go: to forgive and to forget. Trying to let go of an issue that has not been forgiven is like expecting clean hands after throwing a ball of mud. You must truly forgive to move on. Forgiveness is the dry sand added to that ball of mud that makes it not sticky anymore. Once your ball of mud is dry and forgiven, then you can throw it away. Next, the final part of letting go is to forget. This part is when you actually throw the ball away, into a lake, behind your shoulder, or to a place where it is no longer visible. Forgetting requires no longer surrounding yourself with the issue. It requires isolating the problem, and leaving it isolated.

I have personally struggled with letting go, mostly in the form of confrontation with my father. Anything offensive my father said to me I would hold onto, no matter the sincerity of the apology. I did not want to soften my cold heart, and I refused to respect him. Our relationship became almost nonexistent and most contact ended in a clash. Finally, one day, I wanted it to end. My father described our situation as this; a nasty bowl of soup. Any chef, in any eating place, from the diner down the street to a five star restaurant, would throw it away immediately. But for some reason I wanted to keep it. It was up to me to throw the soup away and make a new one. Initially, I wanted to save the soup somehow. Finally I realized I could only add so many ingredients, and reheat it so many times. I let go of the hurt and mangled relationship and have been building a strong new one ever since.

I believe that with time and experience letting go will become easier. I believe no matter the physical, mental, or emotional trial or failure, letting go leads to progression. Forgive others for wrong-doings, and then forget; forgive yourself for failing, and then forget; and mostly remember let go completely of the bad soup and make a new delicious one, and throw the dry mud ball as far away as possible and leave it there to go make a new clean one.