In the Gap

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If you cannot fill the gap and emptiness in your heart, don’t be disappointed. If you had already filled it, your life would have meant finished.
― M.F. Moonzajer

My one word resolution for 2014 was release so it should come to any surprise that I find myself having to let go of something again; something I was not quite ready to let go of. It was sudden, it was a shock. It still is a shock to my system.

Letting go did not come easy. It was everything I wanted, everything I dreamed about, hoped for, and waited for. Why would I let it go so easily? So I didn’t. For weeks I fought it. With every ounce of power I had, I did not loosen up on the grip. I reasoned with it. I questioned it. I got flat-out angry with it. I wrestled it down to the ground until there was absolutely nothing left, nothing left to feel. And in that moment, I let go of my grasp and fell letting the air below me break my fall.

After the release, I find myself caught somewhere in the gap, between the two trapeze, wondering where to go next. I don’t like this feeling, this feeling of uncertainty. I have nothing to hold on to and it terrifies me. I’m left with the questions of what now?, what if?, and will my heart completely heal?

This is the part that kills me the most, not knowing. It’s not in my genetic makeup not to know. I am always the one who has the answers, who knows what to say, who knows how to fix. I cannot fix my situation and I feel completely helpless and lost.

Through this process of the gap, I have my ups and downs, my good days and my bad days. There are days I find myself reaching back trying to grab a hold of what once was and then there are days I feel uplifted and hopeful for what lies ahead.

As I sit here in the mess, and begin the healing process, I am reminded that while I’m in a gap, I’m not at a complete stop. I’m somewhat like a comma and something new is in reach. I just have to wait, trust, and believe.

If your future seems uncertain, and you feel stuck inside the gap, may you be reassured that something new is on the horizon, and it will be even better than what you left behind. God said that He would not cause pain without something new to be born (Isaiah 66:9) and now it’s up to us to believe. Keep moving forward. Keep pressing on. Don’t ever give up. Your next place of promise is in reach 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyMhvkC3A84

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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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