Carlman: Weeding and relishing the gift of letting go
By Susan Frick Carlman firstname.lastname@example.org December 6, 2012 10:54PM
Susan_Carlman_01 Jonathan Miano / Staff Photographer Sun Publications 2009-02-09
Updated: January 8, 2013 6:09AM
With any luck, the lists are getting shorter.
You may have in hand, right about now, some holiday lists: rundowns of things to accomplish, gifts to track down, people to whom it’s time you reached out.
These are good things of which to keep track. These waning weeks on the calendar are when we give things like our time, focus and energy — in addition to, of course, some nice things tied in ribbons and bows, and maybe some tasty stuff to eat — as a means of letting people know they’re special to us.
I would submit that you might want to tuck into your gift satchel a little something for yourself as well: let go.
Really. It’s a freeing thing, the process of clearing out the psychic detritus that can cloud the outlook and darken the disposition. There is abundant value in releasing these emotional toxins that, sometimes in ways we don’t really detect from one moment to the next, have a way of firmly limiting our capacity for joy. They’re still there, and letting go of this stuff is an enormous gift you can give to yourself — and by extension, to those who love you and want you to be happy.
Oh, of course, you can. Cancer survivors speak of digging deep in their hearts to find compassion and forgiveness, sometimes giving the action some of the credit for the miracle after they have managed to find their way back to wellness. They set those stale tiffs and snubs and resentments free. They let them go.
Seniors relate how they’ve found peace and contentment, day in and day out, that doesn’t entail the world travel they’d once envisioned when they expected to spend their retirement perched on a far larger financial cushion. They let that go, and put new dreams in its place.
Life is ridiculously short, folks. You’ve heard that from people far wiser than me. Perhaps you’ve lived it, in the aches and pains that set in when we’re still thinking we’re relatively young, darn it, or seen it expressed in funerals of those who truly were far too young to be gone already. Regardless, it’s way too short for my liking, and perhaps yours, too.
So let’s let go. Let’s turn loose the moldy old regrets and grudges that over time turn into low-grade poisons. We don’t need them anymore, maybe never did.
If I may borrow a gardener’s analogy, we can look at it in the same way we approach weeding. After all, the act of editing out unwelcome and invasive growth, the underbrush that can choke out new bloom, isn’t the exclusive province of the gardener.
Each of us has at least a few weeds that hinder our enjoyment of life’s gardens, the fulfillment we try to cultivate by living the way we should, the blessings we hope to nourish with love and kindness and intelligent thought.
So yes, pull on the gardening gloves — and let go.
And then you can tell yourself this: Thanks. It’s just what I wanted.