That seems to be the theme of my life lately, letting go. I'm moving, so there is a lot of letting go of "stuff" going on, most of which causes me not a single moment of stress! But it also makes me think about those things that I hang on to and what they mean to me. Like my grandmother's hats. She died 4 years ago, but before she died, she gifted me all of her hats,. Hats from the days when ladies wore them to afternoon tea, to shop, to anything and everything. When I was a little girl, I loved to play dress up with them. Flowery garden party hats, Sunday hats, evening hats, I love them all. And there is no small amount of stress about them being packed up and moved. To me, they are priceless and I would be devastated if anything happened to them. I will never let them go. With them came a bunch of my grandfather's hats. He was a dapper guy and was of the belief that a well-dressed man wore hats. He was a lawyer, right until shortly before he passed, and he was never without his hat when he was dressed for court. I lost him in 1997 and my grandmother in 2008, and I am no closer to letting go of my collection of their things than I am to letting go of my ache of loss that I feel every day for them.
My favorite hat of my grandmother's, clickable in a new window for a larger view.
But letting go happens in other parts of life, and I have been doing a LOT of that, too. In some parts of my life, that has been surprisingly easy. In other parts, it is ridiculously difficult to do. Distrust and hurt and resentment. In my opinion, these three things are thoroughly intertwined. With one comes the other two. To me, they are the hardest things to let go of and set free. You can't just wake up and say "Okay. No matter what you have done to me in the past, I trust you now." At least, I haven't learned how to do that. The little things, sure. But there are things that happen in life that damage the heart and the soul and alter your feelings irrevocably. But is it irrevocable? I don't have the answer to that. Sometimes I think that there is no changing those wounds, but other days I am filled with hope. It is a process, learning to get past the wounds that others have inflicted upon you.
Why is feeling distrustful and resentful and hurt so difficult to get beyond? Sometimes it is the principle of the matter, and knowing that you were wronged for no legitimate reason. Other times, those reasons are continually justified because you are wronged over and over again. But the thing is, holding on to the hurt and the distrust and the resentment? It does nothing to those who wronged you. And it does nothing for you except drain you emotionally, even physically. Those feelings carry over into all parts of your life and into other relationships with friends and family. It is a fabulous idea to just distance yourself from those people, but that is an easy answer. And it is one that isn't always possible. This is something I am struggling a lot with lately. Just as soon as I think I am making a bit of progress, the situation slaps me in the face once again, and I am thrown into a pit of confusion once again. Sorting it out, or at least, figuring out how to deal with it, is important for the sake of my sanity. But it isn't easy. In any way.