Letting Go Is a Choice

fran - ann arbor, Michigan
Entered on May 13, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
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I believe in letting go. Every day I let go of things I never dreamt I would.

As the mother of a graduating high school senior, I am letting go of the emotional and physical care of my daughter. Many years ago, I let go of managing her intake of junk food and playmates. Today, I have progressed to letting go of knowing the details of her life. Now I only know what she wants to share. I have let go of the expectation that I deserve to have more of her than she is ready to give.

As a middle-aged woman, I have let go of my expectations of my physical appearance. My skin is weathered, my thighs have cellulite, and I have a thickening waistline. I still read fashion magazines and look at the models, but from a place of fascination, not emulation.

As an athlete, I have let go of my focus on performance, and now focus on the pleasure I get out of using my body. I no longer think about the finish line of the racecourse — I feel blessed to be at the start line. I have replaced the notion of being a competitor with that of being a participant.

As one-half of a 23-year-old marriage, I have let go of persuading my husband to see things my way. My way doesn’t seem to matter so much anymore.

As a daughter I have let go of my parents being there for me. Through loss, age and illness I have been forced to replace my need for them with their need for me.

As an individual I have let go of control. A belief I control my individual circumstances has been replaced with a desire to do the best I can when confronted with all the things that are out of control.

As a citizen I have let go of the belief that everything will work out. An underlying fear of what is next for our country overwhelms me at times. The belief that my children will have a safe life no longer seems so certain.

For me, letting go does not mean giving up. Letting go is a choice for me. It means swimming with the current, embracing the changes others resist. By no longer holding on so tightly to my life, my energy is free to open my heart and mind to new people and new ideas, making me a happier person. I believe in letting go.