I saw the above quote yesterday while helping my daughter and son-in-law move into their new home. We had to pick up some furniture at The Cannery – and I saw this sign sitting on one of the coffee tables inside.
I was talking with an old friend today about the things we go through in life – making us more compassionate to those around us – and was even talking to my friend and pastor, Stephen about his recent back trouble with a herniated disc. It seems as though our experiences in life – even some of the bad or painful ones – have a way of teaching us perspective, empathy and most of all awareness of those around us. Often times ( okay most of the time) we don’t see the benefit to our own lives while these things are happening to us. I know I haven’t. I would rather NOT go through it at all. I would rather hang on to comfort, peace, understanding and validation – you know. The things that make us strong. But it seems that is not in the plan for me. I’ve had the rug pulled out from under me a few times – and rather than hang on to my comfort and things familiar – I found myself having to abandon those simple comforts and exchange them for painful, humiliating times of discomfort. Let’s see…Strong and comfortable – or…Weak and miserable. Hmmm.
So this leads us to the statement in the above quote. Do you agree or disagree? Why? When I read it – it struck a chord with me – it really did. It’s true. We are taught to “hang in there” – “not give up” or “give in” – but I think we may have it wrong. Sometimes you need to let it go – in order to gain perspective and find your inner strength again. Sometimes losing is really winning. Sometimes the things that you think will make you strong – really make you unhealthily dependent on those you shouldn’t be. And sometimes the real test of our faith is to let something go – maybe something that we thought we couldn’t ever live without and gaining something much more in the process. Gaining ourselves back.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
Painful things bring perspective, understanding and clarity.
Real strength comes from letting go
Losing sometimes is really winning
Finding one person who understands your journey makes it all worthwhile
Holding on means dependence on God and God alone
Sharing our discoveries and lessons in life with others to help them is the only way to live
There’s freedom in living an authentic life
So – I guess I’ve learned and I’m still learning to – Let it go
All of it. And I’ve discovered something. It’s okay NOT to be perfect and be far from “arriving”. If people expect this from you – they have probably not been through any pain themselves – or anything that would “rock their world”. This can make them appear judgmental and hard. I don’t believe that Jesus was either of those things – and we should not be either.
I choose to be around people who have been through a little of life – and have gained the knowledge and perspective from a well stumbled journey. Those people who have learned how to really live – after truly letting go. Who are NOT judgmental and critical of others – but who embrace and love.
Let It Go. Do it today.