Let It Go

by Marilynn Halas on February 5th, 2015
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summer_in_the_pool__Let me begin by saying this post has nothing to do with the movie Frozen. This is about learning to move forward. I guess for the longest time I thought moving forward was inevitable. Like a fish in a current, I thought life moved us all along no matter what, but now I am learning that may not be the case. Like a shellfish clinging to the coral, it turns out it is not only possible to get stuck, it’s so easy that you might not even realize how stuck you are.

A few years ago my family was less than 24 hours from a cross-country move. We were preparing for our going away party when everything fell spectacularly apart. Within a matter of hours, everything was cancelled and the life we planned to start faded into the ether.

There was shock, sadness, exhaustion and a strange feeling of being disoriented. Here we were in our old home, in our old lives, but we felt like we’d been through a blender. Everything was swirling around us and it was hard to find purchase, something to hold onto until the world stopped shifting under our feet. So I did what moms do, I focused on resettling my family and gratitude. There was so much to be grateful for, we could remain surrounded by friends who felt like family, we loved our schools and we could move on.

That’s what happened. My kids moved on, my husband moved on, but just this morning I discovered I was still stuck. I’m ashamed to say it but it’s true. I was stuck and I didn’t even realize it. I still think about the move that wasn’t. I wonder about the friends we might have made, the life we might have shared. I love the life we have and still I mourn the loss of the dream we might have lived.

Anytime I imagine my life in the future I don’t get too far before I think about the past and I remember how quickly everything can change. I’ve let the loss make me a little afraid to dream. I’ve let it hold me down even as I struggled to move beyond it and I didn’t even know it.

Change is the only constant and life changes whether we like it or not, that much is true, but growth is different. We can be stuck in a loss and even as life moves around us we hold onto what is gone. The trouble is we are so busy holding on we can’t reach for the new that we need so much.

I’ll dream when the kids are older, when my business is better, when I’m sure then I’ll let go and reach and risk again. Surely that’s wise, prudent, and safe; except it’s not. Life requires growth. The universe is constantly expanding. The current will move you, but if you can’t let go, it might pull you apart.

So today, I let go. I realized the debris I held was useless to me now so I let it go. As the waters around me begin to clear I’m so excited to reach out with open arms and swim again. Swim, float, play and trade being stuck for being free.

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