I was once afraid to let go. I was afraid of drifting away on the wind, like Winnie the Pooh.
With no direction, I didn’t know if I’d drift to the closest tree with honey or blow up into the sky and be lost forever. But I let go. When it hurts too much to hold on, you let go.
On the last day of school when I was five, I came out the school door to find my mom. My hands and arms were full with a big poster, sacks with crayons and paper, and stuff. A big gust of wind came and I was afraid I’d be picked up. I was tiny. The wind felt strong, but mom was in front of me and I ran towards her. I knew she would grab me. She was my anchor and probably still is in many ways.
Once, when I was an adult, I was helping my in-laws. They had huge nursery greenhouses full of plants they sold wholesale to florist. The greenhouses had coverings of heavy plastic that they replaced when torn. We were in the middle of prairie land Oklahoma, where the wind really does go sweeping ‘cross the plains. I had an end piece of a 100 foot long piece of plastic sheeting and the wind was showing her might. All of the others were struggling on their hold so I didn’t feel alone. But one thought was there. What if the wind picks me up? Yes that nagging fear has followed me all my life. Well? What if?
What would happen if the waves of the ocean would have lifted me and carried me away. What if the balloons had too much helium and I drifted into the sky? What would it mean? Would I never see land again? All I’ve ever noticed was the fear. The first taste of panic. I’ve never thought of it in practical, light of day terms.
I could lose my footing in the ocean, but I would just as quickly be pushed forwards. The wind may have temporarily lifted me but I would be slammed back down again. It might be painful but I’d probably survive. Truly, I lacked control over life and it was terrifying to me. Still learning this. There is no control. We grab and cling and grasp with all our might, but we can’t hold on forever. Let go. I promise, the wind won’t take you completely away. You will not fly away into the clouds, just moved. When you let go, you learn. You learn what’s important and what is habit. You learn how strong you really are. Life is full of surprises. Some good and some bad. We may not want a change, but they tend to happen anyway. I like this moment. I want it to stay. I even believe I can keep it a little longer sometimes. If I hold my mouth just right and say the right words and think the right thoughts. You know what I mean?
The truth is, the right words are pretty. And being positive is healthier like jogging and eating your vegetables, but not going to keep the bad guys out. We all have a set point. The base of who we are. It’s our foundation, our steady. When I went through my “dark night,” the words came to me, Go back to what you know for sure. I didn’t know exactly what that meant, but I felt inside of me an understanding. I to go to the basis of my beliefs. That took me all the way down past religions and holy days and all the frills of rituals. What do I believe? What do I know for sure? I AM LOVED and I LOVE. At that time I wasn’t sure about marriage, or family, or even God. But I did know love. If I am able to move mountains, but if I have not love, I am nothing.
Love is my anchor. Love is my guide. It helps me decide which way I want to go. If only I stop and check my motives, I can see clearly because of love. The one thing I was so blessed to have in my childhood was love. And it kept me.