You’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
Philippians 4:8 The Message
There are many days when I look at the prompts from my writing group and go back to work on my novel. And there are other days when I see them and go dash off the start of a short story that I’ll work on some other day. But then, there are the times when I see a prompt and it won’t leave me alone. Every now and then, it’s downright annoying.
This prompt from my friend Carolyn Studer, was one of those, because “Letting Go” is never an easy thing.
I’ve been an emotional wreck these last few weeks for many reasons, but the biggest is feeling like my new name is Miss Understood.
I was talking with my friend last week, and I was complaining about how hurtful that is. Another acquaintance had written to me ages ago and her words are still smarting because it was about something I could not fix. And I can not fix it because it’s all around being Miss Understood in the first place.
This happens to me often, which is actually amusing because I’ve also been accused of being too blunt and forthright. I’ve had to work on softening my words because they’ve come out like daggers sometimes. It feels like if I don’t explain what I mean, I’m Miss Understood. And if I do, I’m still Miss Judged.
Has that ever happened to you?
I’ve been accused of being angry just because I’m thinking. It turns out, my thinking face isn’t very pleasant to look at, though I’ve not a clue how to change that. Words I can change. The shape of my face? Not so much. And because of these things I cannot change I’ve managed to be in such a quandary.
The things I have the hardest time letting go of, are the things that were never in my sphere of influence in the first place. And I know this.
I know that much of the angst in my life is not because I want to change other people, but because I keep trying to mould myself into the person they seem to think I should be. Even when someone says “I may have misjudged you,” I beat myself up trying to fit into the box they have just told me doesn’t exist.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Letting go can have such negative connotations. Yet, if I release the things that stop me from living my best life, there’s such a lightness of being. It’s not easy–as much as I want to let go of sugar, it still finds a way to work its way into my day. I thrive when I surround myself with people who encourage me to be my best self, but letting go of relationships that are hurtful and unhealthy can involve years of grieving for what could have been.
Perhaps that’s what needs to be released most of all–the would have, should have, could have beens.
My name is Crystal. Today, I’m letting go so my arms can be free to embrace other things.
The Peace Prayer
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.