Letting Go

Two weeks ago, a large, heavy ceramic pot broke into a dozen pieces. I decided to glue it back together. It was time-consuming, requiring a lot of patience—which I sometimes don’t have—as I clamped individual pieces together, waiting for them to dry before adding the next part of the puzzle. Eventually, (with almost an entire bottle of monster glue), it was whole again, but nothing like Kintsugi①.  I could have replaced the pot.  

There was that decision, “do I fix it or get rid of it?” 

Humans often have a fear of letting go, believing that releasing something—even if it’s causing pain, isn’t working, or is inconsistent with core beliefs—equals failure. Disengaging does not need to be viewed as a defeat. It’s often a sign of growth and spiritual awareness.

On Saturday, sitting outside, I heard something crash to the ground. I looked in that direction and saw that a beautiful bird-feeder, a gift from my daughter (that, of course, I had just thoroughly cleaned and refilled), was no longer hanging from its hook. What was there was smashed wood, a broken cable, and birdseed scattered everywhere. Ironically, my first thought was, “the squirrels will be happy.” I started to pick up the shattered wreckage but got emotional, so I walked away, wondering if it was an omen or a metaphor for something else, a sardonic message, saying, “pay attention, at any moment, things could fall apart.”

Again, a decision, “do I fix it or get rid of it?” 

Clinging to what doesn’t serve the highest part of you, instead of letting go of it, minimizes your value. Being untrue to yourself injures your spirit. “Letting go,” literally or figuratively, isn’t surrender, it’s freedom.

For most people, COVID-19 has created significant lifestyle shifts. Loss, sadness, fear, financial challenges, and loneliness are just some symptoms of this disease. For many, however, the pandemic has also created a different sense of awareness of what’s most important.

Questions like, “how would you spend your time if you had only one month to live?” aren’t new. But, how often do you remember to reprioritize your priorities? Some circumstances or relationships can’t be changed. But outside of them, ask, “what am I preserving that takes away from—rather than adds to—my life?” As we move forward, adapting to a new “normal,” that’s a question that truly matters.

Barricading yourself from reality only causes pain. Sometimes we’re torn from the safety of what we’ve assumed will always exist. But by believing in your value, letting go of fear, and finding strength in weakness, you move forward into your highest self. That is what you deserve (really). 

Holding onto what’s worth repairing or nurturing, and emancipating what’s run its course (or run you down), creates self-honesty on a spirit level. Acknowledging grief that accompanies letting go allows the spirit to hear what you’ve silenced. 

God has given you the ability to decide what to repair and what to set free. Your heart and spirit are just waiting to be heard. 

ps. I glued the bird feeder back together.

① Kintsugi (金継ぎ) is a Japanese art, repairing broken pottery, by mending the brokenness with a metallic medium.

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2 thoughts on “Letting Go

  1. Awesome words to remind us life is fragile like things.. Do we hold on to it or let it go? Hopefully we can find the strength to hold on. MBG


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