If you were standing at the edge of a cliff, or on the top of a building, and in-between your thumb and finger you pinched an object. Your phone, a rock, a feather even. If you dangled that object over the cliff’s edge, and let it fall from your grasp … you wouldn’t be able to grab it again, right? It would fall, following the rules of gravity and unless you attempted to follow it down to the ground far below, you would be rid of it.
Or what if you were holding something that was burning your hand. It hurts and it’s stinging and it’s going to leave an awful scar. You wouldn’t wrap your hand tighter around it, burning each of your fingers and screaming while doing so. You’d most likely not even think, just throw it as far as you could. But you wouldn’t then jump off the cliff, falling and tumbling down, desperately clawing after it in order to get it back.
If you saw someone crying in pain and then chasing after the thing that caused the tears … you’d call them crazy.
So why do we do it? Why do I do it? What’s so hard about letting go of something that hurts you or is simply weighing you down?
A few words that were spoken years ago, an instant in which you had something precious stolen from you. Why do we hold onto them?
“I don’t hold a grudge. I cradle it. I coddle it. I feed it fine cuts of meat and send it to the best schools. I nurture my grudges.”
– Six of Crows
One of my downfalls is that I feel too much. I get attached far too quickly, and though it doesn’t always look like it, I let people in far too easily.
I can’t just casually enjoy something, I have to full on obsess over it or not really be interested.
So when I get hurt, or something or someone doesn’t turn out how I thought it would, I feel it. I honestly don’t think I can say I’ve ever fully gotten over things like that, because there are songs that come on or scents that drift by or instances that remind me of something that happened years ago and it takes my breath away for a few seconds.
I wish I didn’t feel like this. It’s exhausting to constantly be talking a situation over and over and over with yourself that you can’t change. It’s frustrating to finally forgive someone and then the next day wake up and have to do it all over again because YOUR DREAMS decided to go and make you angry again.
I told someone that I had talked to myself about this one situation over and over, time and time again, and that was why I was able to talk about it aloud the way I had.
“Don’t.” Was their response.
It sounds silly. That one word as simple as “don’t” would make me rethink the way I’ve been handling things, or stop turning my brain into static when it doesn’t know how to process. But it did.
I sat there and my mind was spinning. It felt like a weight had lifted off my shoulders for a moment. I had talked these things to death, written them to death, thinking that “just one more try” would do it. One more letter I’ll never send, maybe if I just go over it one more time….
And years later I was sitting there still hoping that “one more time” would fix it all.
Spoiler: It doesn’t.
I’ve figured out something about this whole “letting go” thing that I feel like people don’t really talk about enough. Letting go isn’t the whole picture. It’s something you can post quotes about, something you can talk about all you want, something you can actually let go of all you want.
But letting go is only the first step. It’s pointless if you just leave it at that. It’s telling yourself to move every finger, to let it go. And then, to keep your eyes on the horizon as you pull your arm back, force your feet to turn from the edge and walk back. It’s not jumping after it.
It’s not throwing away your stained, too small, torn shirt in the trash just to pull it out again seconds later to make sure the stain and holes are still there.
It’s letting it go
Leaving it there
& Never going back
That’s where the hard part is I think. At least for me. Not going back.