Just Let It Go…

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This post is allowing you into a very intimate space.  There is always a level of vulnerability when sharing with you all but with this particular post, I feel especially sensitive.  I am intentionally removing a layer and peeling off the mask.  Please forgive me if it is a bit more lengthy than intended.  I really hope it helps someone.

If you have read any of my previous posts, you know my life story [or what I allow you to know] relatively well.  You know that I’ve taken chances, called it quits, had a few victories, endured many losses, felt some pain, and found ways to try to keep it moving — even if it was after being down for a while.  Some call me strong.  There are those who skim through my life’s story and congratulate me for living through [in my twenties] what others [who may be older] have died with.  There are others who don’t even bother skimming through the book but settle for reading over the summary on the back cover so that they can add commentary, both good and bad.  Some assume that my story isn’t believable, not what I make it seem, that surely I am over exaggerating details, responses, or feelings.  That is neither here nor there.  I am going to read to you a chapter from my book — in my words, in my tone, with my expression.

I am not one to hold grudges.  I try to value the words, “I forgive you,”  and if I say it, I do my very best to allow my actions to follow.  This doesn’t mean that I always seek reconciliation, but while governing myself accordingly, I do try to clear the slate even if it’s just to go separate ways.  I don’t hold grudges, I hold emotions.  Often times I find myself still feeling a twinge of pain from a blow I took in the past.  Because I have the proclivity to suppress emotions, I sometimes cry silently for all the words that I can’t express openly.  It isn’t uncommon for me to “put on the face” and be what I don’t have the strength to be for the sake of making others comfortable and happy, in an effort to protect those who have hurt me, or as an attempt to keep people [who may not have my best interest] out of my intimate spaces.  Though I wear the face very well, eventually the mask must come off, the laughter stops, and I am left with unresolved emotions.  I’ll go a step further.  As I said, I value the words, “I forgive you.”  I value those words as much as I value the words, “I love you.”  Because of this, I won’t say it if I don’t mean it.  Yes, Christen Diane — christian, worship leader, friend, daughter, sister, role model — sometimes holds unforgiveness in heart.  Here’s the truth: I’m NOT a perfect person by any stretch of the imagination.  Actually, I can be quite complicated and a bit of a handful.  I am so stubborn and independent, I am opinionated, and when I want to be, I am blunt and outspoken.  I’ll admit that there were times that I have pushed people to react to me, even if unintentionally.  On the contrary, I am a loving, giving, caring individual with the purest intentions and the biggest heart who seeks to always find the good in people.  Still, there are some blows that I have taken that seemed completely unwarranted.  Whether it be because I put my trust in the wrong individual, I “cast my pearls before swine” (allowed someone unworthy to have access to my treasure and virtue), was a casualty of that individual’s hurt (hurt people hurt people), or because God allowed me to endure some attack (another post for another day), IT HURT ME.  I have found that as a defense mechanism, I will stage a “cut off” declaring that I have rid my life of _____________ (insert person’s name).  If possible, I will remove all traces of that individual from my day to day life and only deal with them with a long handled spoon if they must remain in my life.  But if I am candid, though they are no longer “present,” the feelings are ever so accounted for.  Have you ever been so mad with someone for betraying you but you missed them?  Have you ever hated what a person did or was to you but found yourself in a place where you still loved them?  Have you ever written someone off but there was a  replay of the argument or scenario over and over again in your mind?  Have you ever watched the other party move on while you seemed stuck?  That’s where I am.

The last 10 years of my life have been…heavy.  I have loved so deeply that I have floated on cotton candy clouds.  I have been so low and depressed that living literally hurt.  I have experienced laughter that has healed my soul and allowed tears to pour from my broken heart.  The last few years of my life have been the hardest.  It has been some of the most recent experiences that has shown me that I am not as resilient as I once was.  No longer am I the palm tree that bends with the strong wind then stands tall again.  Somehow over time, the bending caused breakage at the point of the pressure.  Through some self-examination, I was able to clearly see that what has been hurting me the most was my inability to let go.  My defense mechanisms gave me a tough exterior of protection but also prevented me from allowing my feelings out…a prison. I fell into a recurring cycle of shutting the expression of my feelings off at the root and making myself “be okay” just to later be submerged in a sea of unresolved feelings.  My emotions began governing my every move and thought.  Even worse, again being candid, as much as I wanted to be free from pain, hurt, grief, etc. these emotions became my friend.  If there was anything I was familiar with, it was my emotions.  These emotions have been more consistent, more loyal, and even more present than some of the best of my friends… I could count on being in my feelings.  Can you imagine that?  Grief and heartbreak being comforting?  In a twisted way, it was for me because when all else failed THOSE feelings (including unforgiveness) were always there for me.  SOOOOOO, I clung to them…I cling to them.  I hold them with regard, I grip on to them tighter.  But look at the picture above… It is completely indicative of my life. The tighter I grip and the longer that I hold on, the more I hurt.

I’ve shared quite a lot about me in the last few paragraphs.  May I include you?  Is there anything that you are holding on to?  Maybe it is discouraging words someone said to you, the pain from a heartbreak, negative thoughts about your future, the memory of your failure, or neglect from someone who was supposed to care for you… I don’t know.  You fill in the blank.  These feelings can be attached to a person, an event, a life happening, maybe even an accident — it wasn’t intended to hurt you but it did.  Regardless, maybe you, like me, have found a level of solace in holding on to your feelings…holding on to the memory of what hurt you.  If that is the case you, like me, will find yourself experiencing so much more pain than necessary.

“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.”

Psalm 147:3 [New Living Translation]

THE MORAL OF THE STORY:

There is healing, REAL healing, available for you, BUT in this case it is conditional.  You MUST be willing to let go of what is hurting you.  I know it’s hard.  I know as much as you want to you may not know how.  I know it seems scary to not carry this feeling any longer.  I know this pain is all you know.  I know, darling… I KNOW!!!!  You can still hear the words in your head, you can still feel the pain of the blow, you still know how you felt when he or she left, you remember the betrayal all too well, you are stuck at the graveside of your loss, it’s still too real.  I KNOW!!!!!  But you can’t heal, you can’t move forward, you can’t LIVE if you don’t let go.  I am 19 days from a birthday.  After going through so many transitions within the last 346 days I have a few left.  I cannot carry into a new year this… This unforgiveness, this unrest, this weight, these unresolved feelings.  I can’t carry these emotions that I have gripped so tightly to and the pain that it is causing me.  So I have to have some really tough conversations and brace myself to accept apologies that I may never receive.  I am going to have to live in the unknown…a life where I don’t have the familiar feelings that I’m used to running to and hiding in.  But as scary as that is, it is necessary for healing.  Maybe the healing won’t be immediate, maybe it will be hidden in a process, and maybe there will have to be some bandaging, but the scripture above says God “heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.”  Imagine that he is in the examination room of your life with gauze, medical tape, antiseptics, and bandages waiting to carefully and properly wrap your hand (heart) that you have cried to him about but he WON’T until you open it up to him.  He’s waiting…  Please, let it go…

This post is inspired by India.Arie’s song “Just Let it Go” off her new album SongVersation: Medicine.  Please read the lyrics below and, if you’d like, listen to the song on Google Play, iTunes, or Youtube. 

With a sincere heart and eyes filled with tears,  I have shared with you.  I hope I helped you in some way.  I love you.

 

You’ve been through so much
So many ups and downs
You’ve given your love
But never liked the way it turned out
You closed off your heart
And you carried the weight
Like a million rocks on your shoulders
But you don’t have to wait for an apology
Or for someone else to make amends
When you can remember
That your healing is in your hands

Just let it go, inch by inch
Just let it go, and do it again
Just let it go, one day you’ll see
Just let it go, you set yourself free

You’ve been used
You’ve been abused
Someone came along
Who didn’t value you
You carried the weight
Of your heart
Like a million rocks on your shoulders
But life isn’t meant to be perfect
And we won’t always win
But can you remember
That your healing is in your hands?

Just let it go, inch by inch
Just let it go, and do it again
Just let it go, one day you’ll see
Just let it go, you set yourself free
Just let it go

Gave it your all
You put your blinders on
When you looked around
All of your friends were gone
You took the fall
And you carried the weight
Like a million rocks on your shoulders

Just let it go, inch by inch
Just let it go, and do it again
Just let it go, one day you’ll see
Just let it go, you’ve set yourself free
Just let it go, and set yourself free
Just let it go, and set yourself free
Just let it go, and set yourself free
Let it go
Just let it go, and set yourself free
Your healing is in your hands
Just let it go, and it’s all just so simple
Your healing is in your hands
Just let it go, and it’s all just so simple
Your healing is in your hands
Just let it go, and it’s all just so simple
Your healing is in your hands
Now set yourself free

 

 

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Armeka says:

    Love this. So many layers of emotion; I’m definitely inspired to let some things go

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