On Letting Go

Brown County State Park | Best Indiana Hiking Trails

Every Fall season the trees serve as a reminder of the beauty that can be found in letting go.

It seems that Fall has come early for me this year, but with each year it seems to become more easy than the last. After you let go of enough people, ideas about yourself and them, or ideas of what life should be, and after you’ve lived through enough seasons to see that only more beautiful things have come to spring to life in their place, you begin to realize that this is a natural and necessary cycle of life.

Only when we let go of the dead [leaves], of the things no longer serving a purpose in our lives, are we able to create the space in our hands and hearts for the things which are meant for us next. While I’ve lived through enough of these cycles to understand that new life will be cultivated from the areas that have recently been pruned, the realization that a chapter has come to an end did not hurt any less when I first discovered it. Change may be the only constant in life, but it never ceases to pack a punch when you least expect it.

Letting go of things, thoughts, and perspectives on life is far easier than letting go of people; especially people who have served to help us to let go of things, thoughts, and perspectives that were keeping us from becoming who we are today. Letting go of such a person can often feel as though we are not acknowledging the profound impact they had on our lives. This feeling has, in the past, kept me hanging on to relationships for far longer than they were meant to be a part of my life.

This cycle is different. I am different. I have found that, while I understand that it is time for my path to change, I still need to find a way to hold space for what was within my heart while creating space for all that is to be. The people that have come in and out of my life in the past that I have had to let go of still have made their mark. Simply because we are no longer in each others’ lives does not reduce the significance of those relationships or the impact that we had on each other.

So, rather than simply walking away with this new cycle of change, I’ve started thinking of it as dancing away. Sometimes only mentally when my thoughts turn to them. Other times I have a #livingroomdanceparty, just me and my pups shaking it off when I’m overwhelmed with the emotion of loss and grief and change. Dancing (figuratively or literally) allows me to not only honor the memories shared with these people, but it also allows me to celebrate all of the amazing things that I know are coming my way.

Leaves do always turn and eventually fall away, but new life does come when we’ve done the work to prepare the space for it.

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Ann Edwards