Letting go doesn’t mean loving less

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At times, it feels like our journey through this one life is fraught with trials and setbacks more so than smooth sailing. Times when we could use an encouraging word, a hug or a shoulder on which to cry. A friend of mine is going through such a time and, earlier this week—despite my attempt to practice mindfulness (see ‘A month of mindfulness…’)—I allowed frustration over a situation out of my control to instead control my tongue. Unfortunately, this resulted in words spouted off between us, words that stung, words that could not be retracted. And, ultimately, a falling out. Although I tried to right it, the damage had been done and I realized the only thing I could do was to let go. To give my friend space. It doesn’t mean I love any less; it means I love enough to allow someone else to take my place. To pick up where I left off.

How do you know when it’s time to let go?

Photo courtesy of usamedeniz at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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When life doesn’t make sense

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Making sense

Platitudes like, “You’re never given more than you can handle,” or “There’s a reason for everything,” fall on deaf ears when you’re smack dab in the middle of a crisis. No one ever promised we wouldn’t be required to deal with a tragedy we’re ill-equipped to handle. And right now I cannot think of a single reason why a healthy, vibrant, beloved wife, mother, grandma and friend would be struck down in the prime of her life. I have yet to understand the reasons behind the trials my family has suffered. But I’d like to believe there is a greater purpose in the scheme of things—a method to what seems like madness. Of course, we can let the uncertainties paralyze us from living, or we can rest in the knowledge that if it all made sense, we might miss opportunities to grow and to make a difference in the lives of others. Isn’t that the bottom line in life?

How do you make sense of it all?

Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Throwing in the (proverbial) towel

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Throwing in the towel

[Image credit: FrameAngel]

One of my friends said I don’t go looking for drama; drama shows up at my doorstep.  I used to think my life was boring—monotonous even.  And then a tragedy struck my family nine years ago and nothing has been the same since.  Right now, I could really use some monotony.  However, one positive outcome of all the drama is a far-from-empty story coffer.  Because that’s the stuff books are made of—real life accounts that real people can relate to—trials, unrequited love, pain, sorrow, joy, adventure.  Through the characters in the books we read, we can either share similar experiences, live vicariously or even be thankful our daily lives are less scarred or messy.  And as much as I want to throw in the towel at times and declare, “I quit,” I know that one day my stories will be even more believable.  But until I’m published, I’ll simply grab my towel and keep heading to yoga.

What triggers you to throw in the towel?

Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen

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[Image credit: digitalart]

The true way to soften one’s troubles is to solace those of others.  
~ Francoise D’Aubigne

Some say “misery loves company,” and maybe in a tiny way it’s true.  It’s nice to know we’re not alone, that others share our trials and disappointments.  But what if we could take our troubles and blur their sharp edges under our critical eye, obscuring them beyond our peripheral vision?  I believe that happens when we remove the focus from ourselves and zoom in on comforting our “company” — those around us who suffer with their own hardships and heartaches.  One of my friends shared a little story with me about how if everyone put their own baggage — the stuff that knocks the wind out of us and leaves a permanent crimp in our backs — in the middle of a pile, and then were presented the opportunity to pick up another’s burdens, we would inevitably choose our own each time.  As much as they drag us down, they’re ours and they fit.  But taking time to help someone carry their own load, however, might just make ours feel a whole lot lighter.

Is there someone around you who needs a little extra comfort today?