(With apologies to M!)
A little blond boy stood barefoot at the edge of a pier on a lake, and he had something in his hand that he wanted to throw in the water – an orange leaf that he’d found on the path. He put his hand behind his ear and flung the leaf forward. As he threw it, he overbalanced, shouted, and fell face-first into the lake. The water was cold, and he wasn’t yet able to swim, and he thrashed, terrified. His parents had come running when they heard his shout. They fished him out and his mother carried him in her arms back to shore. They dried him off and wrapped him in a blanket. The boy was shaken but he would be all right. Holding him close, his mother whispered: “When you throw something away from you, you’re supposed to let go.”
Holding on too long: I have stories, oh do I. Eleven years in my marriage to Robb, which was about eleven and a half years too long. Nine years in an affair with a married man that, obviously, should never have started at all. The last four and a half years that I was at Reevis.
I believe we have all the time in the world, so in that sense there’s no harm in allowing processes to dilate. With infinity before us, any finite stretch of time will eventually amount to nothing. But somewhere I read that although in infinity time is meaningless, on earth, it is of the essence.
Here, time is everything. If am not doing what I need to do now, I am not doing it at all. It is literally now or never. It’s never until it becomes now.
Letting go is a skill, one of the tools of living as a human. It’s a choice that we can learn to be able to make – a willingness. You can’t put something out of your life, when it’s necessary, if you’re not willing to let it go.
Peter Bigfoot tells a story from the time before he started Reevis. He was backpacking in the Rockies, went for a morning stroll, and ended up climbing Palmyra Peak. Near the beginning of the hike, he says, he’d gone into an old miner’s cave and found a huge nugget, a rock full of gold, the size of a softball. He didn’t have a pack with him, so he tucked it into his shirt. Later, he had to ascend a chimney and then get over a ledge at the top. With the enormous, heavy nugget in his shirt, he couldn’t make it over the ledge. He’d already carried the thing miles, and who knows what it might have been worth in dollars. But he had to toss it away in order to, of course, move on.
There’s a channeling by a medium named Sarah with Native American spirits, where the spirits talk about their location in the spirit world and how much they don’t want to leave:
We would like to tell you … where we are, which is a place so beautiful it recalls the places we were born, and where we grew up, in the Great American Plains, before our world was destroyed. We are so afraid to lose this place. … We live in peace. We do not want to lose this place. We have tried so hard to be safe….
Luke – who is talking to the spirits through Sarah – urges them to learn about the possibilities of other places. He tells them, “You will not lose anything. You will only gain.”
The times when I’ve left relationships have been the hardest times of my life. I’m an inordinately optimistic person, but this doesn’t apply to my relationships – I have huge emotional injuries in this area that make it excruciating to dissolve emotional connections, even when they’re painful or impossible. Before I left Peter, it took years to work through the emotions that kept me there – fears about being on my own, old false beliefs about self-sacrifice being a virtue, and much more.
Currently I’m working to let go of a relationship with someone I met in Thailand a couple of months ago, and this separation is revealing yet more emotions. One is the feeling that losing someone’s love means I must not be good enough – so I’m finally learning that love is gift, that whether I receive it or not has nothing to do with anything I am or do. And there’s the feeling that I can’t create for myself the things that I felt this person could bring into my life, if we’d been partners – so I’m finally working through this belief, learning that I can bring into my own life the things that I want for myself. Then there are painful feelings of abandonment; feelings of being alone, loneliness, not belonging. All these things to explore and discover the truth about.
It’s no wonder breakups are so hard to experience and grieve – they uncover so many emotions that can be so painful, that we don’t want to feel, and so we either hold on and hold on and hold on, or we shut down the experience of those emotions and emerge from the breakup wounded and weighed down. It doesn’t have to happen that way. Instead we can learn, heal, and grow from all these experiences.
I remember first learning to ice skate when I was a kid and how I held onto the wall around the rink for dear life. I was so terrified to let go of it and skate on my own. I thought I just simply couldn’t do it. I was so afraid and uncertain, feeling unable to move without someone holding my hand. I feel just like that eight-year-old sometimes.
It’s like leaping from one tree to the next and having to let go of the last branch and be airborne for a moment before you grab the next one. We have to learn to let go and trust we won’t fall.
There were three things, basically, that allowed me to finally leave Reevis a few years ago, that I’ve learned to do or turn to. One is recognizing the emotions, whatever they might be, that are tying me to the situation, and then untying them one by one. When I left Reevis I had to feel lots of grief over the many losses that leaving entailed. Someone helped by pointing out that I didn’t have to feel all this grief at once; I could start feeling it before I left and finish after. I hadn’t realized that, and it helped. It made the grief seem like something I could get through, that it was finite, although working through it would take time.
There was fear of what people would think – all the people who knew us as a couple and who had, for years, given me so much praise and approval for serving in my role at Reevis. There was fear that Peter might literally die without my help on the farm. And there were many more emotions, all of which bound me to Reevis as long as they were unhealed. From the time I realized that I needed to leave, it took years to work through enough of these emotions and false beliefs to reach the point where I could physically go. I am still working through emotions that remain and keep me connected to Peter emotionally/energetically.
In the past two months, I’ve had to remind myself over and over of the truth that I can create what I want in my life, I don’t need a partner to bring it to me. And then to hear out the child inside who doesn’t believe that, who feels like she will never have the kind of life she wants if there’s not someone, parent-like, to provide it. It’s that child that needs to be heard and then shown the truth, so that that truth can become my belief. When that’s done, that particular false belief won’t keep drawing me into need-based relationships.
The second thing that has helped with letting go is developing a better awareness of what love is – along with faith that doing the loving thing will lead to good. I’ve had to constantly remind myself that, by leaving a relationship, I was doing the loving thing, for both of us and all concerned. And that even if my fears materialized and I never met another partner and never found another home, my life was bound to get better in ways I couldn’t see or imagine at the time. Because that’s how it works.
So, releasing false beliefs, and having faith in love. Those two things depend on knowing something of the truth: about myself and the kind of life I can have, about the way emotions work and the mechanisms of emotional healing, about love and the power of love. Lately I’ve also been grateful to know some truth about the soul mate relationship and about our lives after death and in the spirit world, because they’ve given me a big picture in which I can be certain everything really is OK. Not just will be, but is. It doesn’t always feel that way, but I know it’s true.
And of course the third “thing” is God. I was an atheist until about six years ago and still only have the introductory starter edition of faith, but honestly, I don’t know where I would be without it. Most likely I would still be at Reevis under the thumb of Peter Bigfoot and his not-so-merry band of “archangels.” With no confidence in the value of my own life, total confusion about what love is, no faith in the benefits of taking in truth and acting on it, no idea of the big picture that surrounds our lives and means there really is nothing to fear. (I’m eternally grateful to Jesus and Mary for teaching about God, love, and all these truths that have changed my life so dramatically for the better.)
I am tempted to write “I don’t know how people live without some faith in God,” but actually I do – I remember what it was like; it wasn’t that long ago. It was dark and confusing and terrifying, and I was paralyzed by uncertainty and feelings of worthlessness and futility and that love didn’t work. It’s only because I’ve developed a little faith in God, in love, in truths, that I’ve been able to move on in the ways that I have so far. Faith is a long lever.
A month later Luke spoke to those Native American spirits again, who had moved on from the place they had been so attached to. They said:
Things have improved for us so much, we can barely contain our joy. … It is a good life – it is a good, rich life that we have.
Luke asked them to think back on their old life and describe how they felt about that old life now, from their new perspective. They answered:
It is like living only able to see one or two colors. It is the same, but the meaning is lost in it. The meaning is lost, as to the full scope and possibility of life. We now live in many more dimensions. We are fuller humans, we are fuller souls, we are fuller in love. … Things change as we change, but more than anything it is being able to see a picture that was once flat, through all sides. It is a wholeness. … It is unbelievably beautiful each place we go, with each move of the seasons. The seasons are different. It seems to occur that the seasons change when we change. It is very good. It is a good, long summer, and each land is more beautiful.