Sunday, 4 December 2011

#Reverb11 Prompt: Day 4- Letting Go

Water pattern by doug88888
Water pattern, a photo by doug88888 on Flickr.
Addition through subtraction
What have you let go of this year and how has it affected you?

I caught the tail end of #Reverb10. Last December my posts were heavy in nature, for the year had been defined by heartbreak and loss. I felt wronged in so many ways. The residue of betrayal carried into 2011.

I struggled with intense feelings of sadness, rage, and confusion. Looking back, I realize I was navigating the borders of my mental health. I suspect my inner fragility was only apparent to those closest to me, since I managed to carry on with daily life as normal. I’m grateful for the hand holding and support my girlfriends provided, as I waded through those dark places.

My mind swirled. A repetitive pattern evolved; I sang the same tired song to myself over and over, without any chance for repose. I wished for an ‘off’ switch. Letting go seemed an impossible feat. Pain became my sore companion, following me everywhere like the scent of stale cigarette smoke, but was most noticeable when I crawled into bed alone at night.

There is a proverb I’ve come to love: “No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.”

I posted these words of encouragement where I could read them often. As the days grew brighter, so did my outlook. The wheel turned, bringing new life. In April I visited my friend- a quintessential Demeter and author of West Cork Astrology's Blog- and was cheered the minute I walked into her country kitchen. Her husband sat at the table, bottle feeding a motherless lamb, while their three young sons watched. A creature so vulnerable, yet trusting, despite the unnatural circumstances. Our eyes met and the lamb’s gentleness moved me.

Slowly, I began to notice these moments of tenderness, and my heart gradually thawed. I marveled at my son’s creative offerings, my daughter’s frequent hugs. Their laughter, the light in their eyes, the way they love wholeheartedly and without fear inspired me. Rainbows, daffodils, river walks, Jasmine tea, ecstatic dance, soul music, meditation, massage, bubble baths, carrot cake, colorful frocks, and conversations worked miracles. Old wounds receded with the tides; each day the sea carried them further from me.

How has this affected me? Healing has made my body, mind, and spirit stronger, more resilient. I’m no longer trapped in a cycle of obsessive thoughts. My energy is free for other pursuits, such as writing. Learning to focus on my own needs has helped me rediscover joy. Pleasure, fun, and flirtation are priorities now. Is it a coincidence that as I began to radiate inner happiness, I attracted one of the sweetest men on the planet?

When I let go of bitter feelings, I opened myself up and chose to trust once more. I’ve fallen in love... with my man, but also with myself. There is still work to be done within my family, but relationships are improving. Perhaps 2012 will help us reach a better place.
Big hugs,

*Today’s #Reverb11 prompt was courtesy Geekin’ Hard.


  1. Thank you for this eloquent expression of the journey into vulnerability and resilience. Are you familiar with the work of Dr. Brene Brown? I think you would LOVE her.
    A very wise friend once said to me, "When you can embrace the totality of your inner beauty, your perfect lover will appear." SO GLAD that you are back on the path of receiving good things!

  2. I'm so glad 2011 brought you the peace you needed.

  3. Mary Beth, How intuitive of you! I had a button linking to Dr. Brene Brown's blog until I cleared space for the Reverb image recently. You're right, I love her work and tell everyone about it!! Thanks so much for your comment.

  4. Robin:

    A really wonderful post that expresses what letting go can do for a person. Realizing that you needed to be tender and loving with yourself is such an awesome thing.


  5. Thanks, Paula. Even though self-love is the foundation for every relationship, I was quite old when I discovered that! Letting go is a harder lesson for me, but this particular challenge resurfaces in some form every day. With enough practice I'm hoping it will become easier to do! :)

  6. What a gorgeous, honest, moving post. I felt like I wanted to drink this as an elixir.

    When I first saw the prompt question in your post title, I was getting ready to share my letting go story in the comments section. It took me nearly all year to let go of certain wounds as well. But after reading your post, I realize I don't feel a need to share that. Reading your story of renewal makes me want to just bask in that, as well as my own story of renewal.

    Thank you for the gift of this post. Very, very special. I'm going to bookmark it in my Classic Posts folder.

    ~ Milli

  7. P.S. I can't remember how many months ago it was when I found your blog and I so admired you for being a Zumba instructor. I've been wanting to bring dance back into my life for a long time. I've struggled with dance since I was a little girl and had an invasive thing happen with a dance teacher.

    (She tried to take me too far too fast and it damaged my natural ability to enjoy it - I quit my ballet lessons altogether because she put me in the teenage girls' class when I was only about 10 years old because she wanted to develop my potential - a quitting which I badly regretted later but I all I knew to do then was flee.)

    As one of my renewal celebrations, guess what? I joined a Zumba class! And loved it. I also tried Water Zumba yesterday and plan to take more classes for both. If it hadn't been for seeing your blog all those months ago, the word Zumba might never have popped out at me from the activity schedule.

  8. Thanks so much, Milli! It's lovely to hear from you. I'm really glad you enjoyed this post. Sorry difficult stuff come up for you this year too, but that's wonderful you could let it go. Renewal is such a blessing and almost makes the painful aspects of life feel worthwhile. Here's hoping 2012 will bring more gifts!

  9. That's awesome, Milli! Beware: Zumba is addictive! :)

    I admire the way you help writers work with their fears. I think fear limits artists in all forms, whether writing, dancing, painting, or creating music. Bad experiences with teachers compounds those fears, sometimes with lasting damage. It's a shame that you have regrets about quitting ballet, but I'm glad you are moving again. Dance is so liberating when we're able to let go and be in the moment! I hope you continue to enjoy your classes. xo

  10. *Big happy sigh* You describe cycles here so beautifully ... the destructive cycles of pain, but also the cycles of life that eventually bring spring back to us again. I'm glad you've found yourself surrounded by the love of family, a good partner, and of yourself. :)


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