On Letting Go

Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.

Hermann Hesse

I am persistent. I believe in seeing things through to the very end. I fight for things that I shouldn’t fight for. I hold on, believing it’s strength and begging for it not to be weakness. I refuse to let go until the light dims so dark that there is simply no turning back.

I used to fully believe that this was a strong attribute of mine. It was a redeeming quality amongst the ones that left me shy, timid or ashamed. I believed that it made me a better human. Not better than someone else, but simply better. And because of these beliefs and ideals, I held on to things and ideas and people as if they were trophies that would always remind me of my strength. Unfortunately, these were things and ideas and people that were not meant for me to hold on to. They were supposed to be let go. They were supposed to become a part of someone else’s journey or even completely forgotten long before their time. Eventually they found their purpose in my lifetime, but more often than not, it was long after they were meant to.

Persistence may pay off, but there is always the other side of the coin where the grass isn’t always greener.

And I’ve found that my feet on that brown, dried out grass far more often than I would like to admit.

Last night, Nathan and I talked about the path of our business. It was a hard conversation – one where I admitted to hating aspects of a business that I personally had created. That sat heavy on my shoulders, filling me with more angst and frustration than I had ever felt before. It’s one things to think those words in your head, but the moment that they come out of your mouth and are set in motion in the universe, there is no turning back. It was suddenly more real than it had ever been and it crushed me.

But maybe it wasn’t purely the realization that the business had transformed into something I was, at one point at least, actively avoiding. Maybe – no, definitely – it was the realization that it was more so a reflection of my life in both it’s past and current state. That what happened with the business was merely a consequence of my sequential steps within my lifetime. That it was truly going to happen, for one reason or another, because that’s the path I’ve taken in my life so many times that it feels natural to take a turn to see where it leads and continue following that path even if I no longer agree that the destination is right for me.

I realize now that there is a time and place for holding on. There is strength in those moments and I will shine brightly when I hold on for just another second to see something through.

But on that flip side of the coin, more often there is a time and place for letting go. There is as much strength, if not more, in those devastating moments. I may not shine nearly as bright, or even at all, as I’m setting something free that I’ve clung to so deeply for months if not years, but I know that I’m setting myself up for a bigger, brighter and more defining moment some day in the future.

Here’s to holding on to all of the right things, and letting go of all of the wrong things.

And here’s to the changes that are waiting for me once I embrace the strength of both sides of the coin.