Release

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One of the hardest lessons in life is letting go. Whether it is guilt, anger, love, loss, or betrayal, change is never easy. We fight to hold on and we fight to let go. – Unknown

Release is defined as allowing something to move, act or flow freely. It is also defined as to set something free. By definition, the process of releasing or setting something free should be pretty simple, right? You release the grip you have on the attachment, whether it is a person, place, or thing. You simply let go.

I have spent my whole life trying to let go. Let go of past hurts, my broken heart, the effects of a traumatic childhood, those who abandoned me and left me to defend life on my own. But what I have learned over and over is that “letting go” is a process.

I read in the article, 7 Ways to Let Go, that in order to “let go”, you have to trust the process. For the longest time, trust was not in my vocabulary so I’m not quite sure how I was going to exercise this, but I kept on reading.

So much of letting go is finding the right timing. You let go too prematurely, and your process is going to be harder and more time-consuming than it needs to be. You wait too long and things spoil… the relationship or the project. In Dennis Merritt Jones’ book The Art of Uncertainty, he includes this great quote about timing by Gary Zukav:

Fruit drops from the tree when it is ready. Staying too long, or moving too early, misses the mark. The mark is the appropriateness that causes the fruit to fall when it’s ready…. The process has its own timing, and it creates changes in your life when those changes need to happen.

In the place I am in now, I am dealing with something I should have let go of a long time ago – unforgiveness. I have put this off and put this off for years actually. I kept thinking, I deal with this later. Well, it’s 30 plus years later.

Why is the timing right, you ask? My little childhood baggage, the effects of this unforgiveness, was trying to sabotage my current relationship. I was asking someone to pay for something someone else did to me 30 plus years ago. It was not fair to him.

For some reason, I wanted to hold on to what my dad didn’t do, like not showing up when he said he would, keeping his promises, and honoring his word. I guess holding on to the pain, the resentment, the anger was comforting. It made me feel secure because pain was all I knew.

So in order to “let go”, I wrote my dad a letter. I dug through every painful and not so painful chapter of my life with him. I was completely transparent with my feelings. No stone was left unturned. With each letter I typed, each tear drop that fell, I felt the pain lodged deep into my heart, start to release. And it fell, and it fell, and it fell until there was absolutely nothing left to feel.

Not long ago, I was posed with this question. Nichole, when are you finally going to let it all go? As I choked back the tears, I responded with I don’t know. Because honestly I didn’t.

Life is a process. Forgiveness is a process. It pretty much all comes down to timing. The change that needs to happen indicates when to let go. For me, that was yesterday and so I did.

Knowing what I know now and if asked the question again, I would say when the time is right. Just like the fruit drops when it’s ready, we will let go at exactly the right time and exactly the right place in our life. All we have to do is trust the process.

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To Make You Stronger

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I’ve come to trust not that events will always unfold exactly as I want, but that I will be fine either way. The challenges we face in life are always lessons that serve our soul’s growth. – Marianne Williamson

This little guy is my friend Asher. I spent nearly everyday with him during my last unemployment stint so I grew quite fond of him. 🙂

Asher and meI was dying to use my Christmas Story leg lamp cookie cutter and he was dying to help me bake, well, turn on the mixer that was full of flour. I’m grateful for Bounty the quicker picker upper. 🙂

Christmas Story Cookie Cutter 2After we finished baking (this cookie cutter was an epic fail, I might add), it was time for him to go to bed. Part of getting ready for bed also included taking his medicine. His mom was hesitant in giving it to him because earlier that day he *rejected it all over her. So, I had to be the “bad guy” and help his dad give him the medicine.

I held him tightly while dad worked on getting the medicine down. Of course, Asher cried, he kicked, he did everything in his power to resist the medicine. But we pursued on because we knew he needed his medicine to make him better.

It got me thinking (like I always do) about all the times my Father had to give me medicine in the form of closed doors, terminated relationships, heartache, jobs not received, jobs not renewed, and most importantly humility. As I kicked and screamed, and did everything in my power to resist, He held on. He knew how much stronger I would be for the medicine. I’m sure he felt bad for playing the “bad guy” just like I did with my little friend Asher.

Recently, I was reminded through the actions of another, the woman I use to be. A woman full of anxiety, stress, worry, and a constant need to be in control. At first, I was embarrassed and repulsed because that use to be me. But then I was grateful; grateful for all the *medicine that the Lord administered to me in order to make me free, at ease, and full of peace.

So as I make the journey to close out the year 2012, I am reminded of this…

Do not allow negative experiences to make you bitter. They should make you wiser, and with that wisdom you shall find joy. – Leon Brown

Merry Christmas 🙂

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Set Free

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I love when I find time in my day to read some of my favorite blogs.  They inspire, provoke thoughts, and sometimes uncover wounds I never knew I had.

I was reading Stephanie’s post titled Resting as He Chisels and made me think about sharing something profound I read in The Fitting Room.

While most artists create by adding to something, a sculptor creates by taking away. Michelangelo himself said, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

Now this is a bit off track, but hopefully my two thoughts will merge.

I stumbled across another read titled Grace for the Good Girl:  a peek inside.  The post captured an excerpt from Chapter 1 of her soon to be released book.  This is what caught my attention. 

If my story were a planet, then your rejection of me would be a nuclear holocaust.

That statement alone brought me to a halt.  I can sense the extreme amount of pain she feels by rejection. The act of rejection has been a major source of pain in my life and something I strive to overcome. 

The writer when on further and said “My life tells a small story.  I long to be seen, but feel safe when I’m invisible.”

Oh, how do I relate.

As I continued to read, the tears began to flow.  I knew she was describing me.  It was almost as if her words where a chisel to my heart.  Even though I felt pain from the so-called chiseling, I also felt a release.  Like a long awaiting exhale, I could finally breathe.  The lie I had been living was finally exposed.  Now, I eagerly await her book so I can apply the knowledge and the grace so I too can be set free.