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Before acceptance, or sometimes after if you’re contrary like me, comes the letting go part. I don’t know about you, but I never let go of anything that didn’t have claw marks all over it. It’s not in my nature to give up – I don’t know how to quit. That sounds sort of admirable until you really think about what it means – I find it impossible to retreat, even when I know that’s what would save me. That’s one of the reasons I am so reluctant to enter the fray in the first place – and one of the reasons people sometimes think I’m passive.

Letting go, though, it isn’t about loss or about giving up. It’s about trust and willingness, two sides of the same coin. My head knows the difference, but my heart refuses at times to retreat. I have to force myself to trust in the outcome – even if I think the outcome sucks. I have to be willing to walk through the muck and be completely honest about what I see. If I can’t – or won’t – do that, then the entire exercise is meaningless.

The interesting thing about letting go is the power that it ultimately brings. When I release my hold on people or situations, I get so much in return. Clarity, peace, perspective, compassion, and freedom are just the beginning. The more I let go, the more I am wrapped in the knowledge, the certainty, that life is exactly what it is supposed to be – and that even more amazing gifts are just around the corner. That clarity, that freedom … it is power in its purest form. Power to choose, power to love, power to accept (yes, power to accept. Think about it), power to give.

I’ve forgotten those lessons recently. I got caught up in what I wanted, without much thought for the other people in my life. And that’s always when I am brought up short and am reminded of what I already know – my life is completely my own only when I want to live it completely alone.

Letting go is a part of acceptance. Surrender is a part of letting go. Letting people in is a part of surrender. Life is just a continuous loop.

Pass the Dramamine.

*You’ll notice in my song lyric titles, I’ve moved from Talking Heads to Kenny Loggins. I don’t know what that means.