Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Open Your Hands . . .

A friend of mine unfriended me on Facebook sometime in the last couple of days.  It's not someone I am particularly close to any longer, but it was someone I have known for more than 35 years.  I guess this person didn't appreciate my positive focus and ability to disagree clearly but respectfully.

Truth be told, this person has always been an Eeyore kind of a person - a glass half empty kind of a person - a stick in the mud kind of a person - and a person who needs to be right at all costs.  So, really, no great loss.  I mean, who needs that, right?  Right?  And yet . . .

Did they not know that they could remain friends with me but "unfollow" me if they didn't want to read what I have to to say and share?  Did they know that my feelings would be hurt?  Did they care?  Or did they just say "cram it clownie" and walk away.  I'll probably never know, and really, it's that not knowing that's the hardest part.

Ah, closure.  Or in this case, no closure.  Yeah, not having that makes it kinda hard to let go of stuff.  And yet, we have to let go of stuff in order to be able to move forward - and there's the rub.  It's a life lesson that has presented itself to me over and over again, I mean, I've certainly written about this more than once here.  Here is what it boils down to:  I can sit and stew in my righteous anger and let everything else pass me by, or I can let go and keep moving forward.

Yeah - I can only stew for so long. So, I learned how to do it - I don't always do it brilliantly, and it's often a little messy. I don't always do it immediately, and sometimes (OK, a lot of times) I have to do it more than once (hey, practice makes perfect ;-) ).  But I learned how to keep moving forward.

I bet you want to know how.  :-)

I will tell you!

Many years ago at Fourth Presbyterian Church, where I used to sing in the Evening Choir, I heard a sermon.  There are a lot of ministers at that church because it's a really large congregation.  One was a woman.  Her name was Linda Loving (and isn't that just the best name ever for a minister?!  :-) ). The upshot of what she said, lo these many years ago, was that in order to move forward, we had to stop clutching at and holding on to the past - we had to open our hands and release what we were holding on to, so that our hands would be open and free to catch all the good stuff that was coming to us.  It was so powerful and so important for me at that time in my life that I have never, ever forgotten it.

Do this:  hold your hands out in front of you, palms up, and make tight fists.  Look at them.  Then release and open your hands.  Look at them again.  Really look at them.  I'm telling you - it's powerful.

When I pop up in my own mind's eye in a baseball hat and a mitt, I know there's something I need to release.  I'm wearing one of my baseball hats, and I have a catcher's mitt on, and there is amazing and wonderful stuff falling like snow from the sky.  Like little post-it notes fluttering down from on high.  But they aren't sticking to me, and I can't catch them because my hands are not open - they are filled with the past. All I have to do is open my mitt to release what I've been holding on to . . .

It's not always as easy, but it's always profound, and there is always a great sense of relief.  And along with the relief comes a feeling of joy, because now my hands are open and I'm free to decide which of those amazing things floating down from the sky to catch first.

Holding on to pain/grudges/anger/fear/loss/betrayal/control . . .  Wishing the other person would get their comeuppance . . . These things don't serve me, and even though I sometimes fantasize about said comeuppance (who doesn't?) or the perfect retort hours after the fact (why on earth am I so fricking slow on the uptake?!), I feel my feelings.  And when I've wallowed long enough, I put my baseball hat on . . . and open my hands. 

2 comments:

candy said...

Bravo! I enjoyed reading this post.

Linda said...

That really is a powerful concept. You shared it with me years ago and I think of it a lot.

I had a similar experience with a de-friending recently. I think you can guess who it was. And like you I feel hurt by it, but I know there is nothing I can do about it. I hope he learns how to open his hands, too.