And then it was time to let go.
It should be the name of a season. Or a day of the week, at the very least. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Then It Was Time To Let Go.
And then it was time to let go and I felt my arms floating back to the sides of my body like weightless things and all that I had been clutching fell onto the floor where I watched them fight a little then give up, as things tend to do.
I’ve been on this mission to get on Oprah. Her SuperSoul Sunday show. At my last retreat, the transformation was so profound, the connection was so deep, I knew: Oprah must know of this work. I couldn’t think of anyone else with the utter scope and reach of Oprah.
I wanted Oprah. I decided it. I made it so.
I told everyone and a campaign was started and people were tweeting Oprah and her people and I could feel the buzz of This is happening in the air, at least through the ether of the internet. And that buzz felt good. It felt like the excitement of your dream hanging between you matter and you don’t matter.
Everyone wants to think they matter.
And don’t they? Doesn’t that guy that hangs out in the parking lot of Whole Foods with the sign that says Anything Helps matter? Even though you can’t look at him anymore because he’s been there for years and come on, it’s been years, why don’t you have a job, Man-In-Whole-Foods-Parking-Lot? But he matters and we give him food or a couple bucks or maybe not, maybe nothing, because we have been giving him money and food and guilt for what seems to be too long and he has had that same sign for years and then it was time to let go.
But he does matter.
He matters. Maybe he had a wife once or a kid and a house with a broken door and a job at this store that sold tiles, but who knows, we’re busy, there’s a line of cars trying to get out of the parking lot and if everyone stops and rolls down their window to give him their version of anything then everyone will be late and the traffic will get jammed but be not mistaken; he matters.
When our dreams hover right there at that spot where they feel as if they could go this way or that, and, this way means: I’ve made it, I am somebody. And that way means: I am invisible, most start pushing for this way. For the I made it. I matter.
I decided to let go of the Oprah thing because I realized that if it was going to happen I had to let it go. And then it was time to let go. Winter, spring, summer and then it was time to let go.
I am not sad nor do I feel stupid for asking everyone to help me with this dream although I had a few seconds of Who Do You Think You Are, You Don’t Matter this morning.
Imagine if we all regretted everything we pursued? We’d be in a lake of regret, swimming in shit.
To be unattached, untethered to outcome. To be swimming in the truth of who you are versus the idea of who you are. What you hear when you swim the illusion of who you are: You are worth something. You did it! You won! You are the best!
I get attached to things.
I’ve had this sofa for over 15 years. My mom had it custom made in the mid 90’s and it got passed on to me. It was my prized possession and almost everyone I know has slept on it, cried on it, had sex on it.
The thing is, this couch is old now and the cushions are deflated and sitting on it is a lumpy experience which leaves me angry. I wish we had more money. If we had more money, we’d get a new couch. If we had more money we’d matter.
Money = matter. Money = mattering. In our minds. Deep in the recesses of our cavernous minds we have created this lie.
So my friend offers me her couch because she is moving. It’s a nice couch too. After months of planning and going back and forth on if it would be worth it because to get out current couch out we have to throw it over the balcony due to its size. We agree to take the friend’s sofa so we hire some guys whom we pay one hundred dollars and two Bud Lights to in order to move it (throw it over balcony) for us.
They put the old sofa in the alley after they strip it of the cover and cushions.
I’ve had anxiety all day.
Did I make a mistake? Was my old couch better? What have I done? Does the new one even look good in our apartment? I’ve fucked up. Again. I want my sofa back.
I went to the alley and three young kids were smoking weed on it. Should I try and bring it back up to the apartment? Have I abandoned my child? This couch was like a child. What have I done?
I sat on the new(er) couch and I felt my arms floating back to the sides of my body like weightless things and all the things I had been clutching fell onto the floor where I watched them fight a little then give up, as things tend to do.
Goodbye old sofa. I’m going to let the guys enjoy smoking weed on you. It’s time. I am not going to try and get you back.
And then it was time to let go.
We matter with our signs asking for anything at all and our pleas to Oprah and our dreams. We matter as we climb the stairs to our apartments and adjust to the shock of a new sofa sitting there and how sitting down on that sofa will feel awkward at first then comfortable and then finally, there’ll come a time when we won’t remember anything else but the way this feels. (Was there ever anything else?)
Our memories are so short-termed like that once we let go.
How do you know when it’s time to let go then? When that particular season is upon us?
You know because your arms get heavy. Something sits in your chest and you can’t name it but you find yourself clinging to it as if it is a nameable thing.
All those heavy objects knocking about in your chest.
There’s not much we need to hold onto. It takes ages to realize the sofa is on its last leg. It takes lifetimes to realize that all the accolades and all the signs we carry, that they don’t mean much.
Then it was time to let go.
I cannot even express you how perfect this post is for me right now…let go..so simple, but not always easy…
Beautiful, and so right. Why is it letting go is so difficult? When we finally do it, everything feels so good.
Oh Jen I so needed this today, well actually maybe all my life, but the lines that made me laugh out loud and struck a chord were – “Imagine if we all regretted everything we pursued? We’d be in a lake of regret, swimming in shit”
Thank you……..tossing and turning all night doubting my decisions led me to your post! Its perfect, the help I prayed for, the answer that I needed! <3 it!
[…] And Then It Was Time To Let Go.. […]
I Pressed this post of yours. Thank you for sharing your journey. I am also on the same path of learning to let go. Namaste’.
YOU do matter! Everything will work out. It’s great you gave it a shot though. Keep your head up. 😉
Letting go of an old couch or jeans that are too tight or a relationship that’s no longer working or a job that isn’t fulfilling… All of these things providing that same, all too familiar feeling of heaviness. Joy, happiness, love, peace… These are not heavy feelings. It’s what we all strive for but getting there can be so tough but only because we make it that way. I continue to remind myself daily to let the balloons float away, allow my attachment to the results to disappear, be present, be authentic, …SURRENDER. Each day becomes less of a battle to cover up who I am out of fear of being discovered and more about welcoming who I REALLY AM. Always inspired by you Jen. XO
Oh, I love this. Just so perfect. I am attached, too, and I struggle every day to let go. In particular I think that almost all of our suffering in life comes from our attachment to how we thought it was going to be. We can’t embrace how it IS until we let go of that. xox
read it pasty! My mum loved it too. I liked the bit about your hands falling to the side and “all the things I had been clutching fell onto the floor where I watched them fight a little then give up” GREAT LINE
So crazy -my theme for class all this week has been letting go -in preparation for the Karma event I am teaching at I chose that in the idea of Karma from the root word Kri ( action ) -the hardest action on our mats and in our lives is surrender , the act of letting go -Thank you for sharing this and all that you share from your heart and soul -much gratitude and love -ella*
Wonderful, honest writing. Thank you for a compassionate “you matter, you are not alone” message
[…] And then it was time to let go…. Where can you let go? What are you holding on to? Where can you trust? Here is essay I was talking about on this topic manifestationyoga.com/2013/06/19/and-then-it-was-time-to-let-go/. […]
Jen, I am now reading the essay and crying huge crocodile tears. Your timing is beautiful and perfect. No more chasing the surgeon five minutes from my front door whose office cannot be bothered to return my calls–even after I spoke to him directly. If they do want me–if I don’t matter they can fuck off! Because I do matter. There is a wonderful, or at least seemingly wonderful, surgeon’s office two hours from me who have been nothing but kind, patient, and understanding who also have treated me like I matter. I have been using “matter” a lot on this journey so I appreciate your use of it. A million ethereal hugs! Thank you so much!
I have been struggling with a decision regarding my career options at the stage of life I am in right now. I finally made it- after letting go of the imagined outcomes. Letting go of what I thought others would think of me. This post makes me feel like Jennifer can read my mind. Exactly.
I read this post for the first time when it first came out. It means something totally different to me now. Now, as i’m sitting on my deck in lime green scrub pants with my journal, time to let go of a relationship. I love this man. He’s good and everything i ever wanted. But he doesn’t love me the way i love him. I could love him forever but i can’t go 100% of the way. So i decided it was time to let go. I knew it when i held him and his love tightly to my chest and became nearly obsessed with talking to him and i felt tied to him, like i was losing myself because i was so focused on losing him. And so i’m letting go. I’m trusting if its meant to be he’ll come to me (and all that crap) but the ball is in his court now and i can’t hit it if its not in my court. I will always love him but i am also learning to love me and that means i can’t stand around with my arms open waiting for him to love me.
And then it was time to let go…
Jennifer, I hope that my sons are like you someday — I hope that they have dreams & do their best to make them happen…and that, if those dreams do not materialize, they allow themselves to feel proud about having taken the risk — and move forward, having learned something from the experience. (I am working toward being this kind of person, too — after far too many years of falling apart when things didn’t work out as I had planned).
Awesome. Once again, your (and our) truth resonates! My intention in my yoga practice last night was letting go. And each day I wake up stronger, moving towards acceptance of the thing we once had hopes for, believing in what we know to be possible but not being attached to what it was SUPPOSED to be. The part about donning your captain’s hat and regenerating. On to what is waiting for us…
[…] As my beloved writer friend, Jen Pastiloff, has eloquently said, “And then it was time to let go.” […]
Thanks for sharing this again. Love it.