On letting go

You don’t get to know ahead of time: when you’ll be asked. If you’ll be ready. What it will look like. How it will feel.

You can try to prepare, anyway you like. Mentally, physically, emotionally.

You can pack bags or unpack baggage. All these things are allowed. You can do therapy or do yoga. You can run and hide, change your identity, sing out a mantra moment by moment. You can say magic words, call on powerful forces, whatever you want.

Nothing is forbidden.

The moment arrives unannounced.

You might not notice what’s happening as it happens. It might seem like another moment, like any other moment, steady and predictable, boring. The mundane in the moment hides it, the fact that whatever is being ripped from you is ripped away as birds keep singing, the sun filters down, or the moon, people breathe and talk and drive cars and do jobs, all as if everything is normal.

Nothing is normal.

Do you notice when it happens? Maybe you do.

Maybe it is what you have always feared, and you are hyper-aware and feel yourself crumbling.

Maybe your senses are on alert and you fight back with everything inside you for one more second, one more moment.

Maybe by the strength of your desire you push back the separation, you hold off Death for ten seconds or twenty. Letting go takes many forms, though. It’s tricky. Death is only one of its many disguises.

Nothing is safe.

Your security, your essence, your relationships, your heartbreaks, your history, your identity, your reality, your structure, your safety, your solidly written future, your independence, your capability, your confidence, your doubt, your faith, your perspective.

None of it is safe from being shaken.

The dominoes are lined up inside of you. You don’t see the connections. You don’t see the shape of the line, how closely these things are stacked. Let go of one and watch as an entire line slowly, unstoppably, topples. Down. Down. Down. Down it goes.

Nothing is lost.

The forms fade.

The confusion we feel, so raw and ready to eat us alive, comes because we mistake the forms for the reality. Forms fall and we watch them and we shake, we quake, we don’t know how to find our way anymore.

The lines change.

The guidelines shift, the unbreakable laws get broken, we find ourselves with the audacity to ask the unaskable questions and then, from somewhere, from nowhere, answers come. The lines were never supposed to last forever. We are creatures more fluid than angular.

We forget, we forget, we forget ourselves.

In our forgetting, we fear. We latch on to whatever surrounds us. We hold on for dear life, for identity, for reassurance that we are real, we are here, we matter.

So we have to let go. To remember, we have to let go. Let it slip away. Let it fall away. Let it rest beside you as you stand up and take one uncertain step forward.

It’s okay if you’re trembling.