One of my favorite apparatus in the childhood playground is the swing. The wind in my face, the thrill and danger of pushing higher and higher, the relief when I let go, the confidence of knowing exactly when it was safe to jump off. And the final landing in the soft sand. Thump. The solid ground beneath my feet.
Will it surprise you to know that some perfectly healthy looking children never get the hang of the swing? It takes coordination, strength, confidence and trust. It takes knowing when to hang on and push, and when to just relax and let go. Not all my children learned how to master the swing. Some of them Never even liked it, it was too risky, too dangerous. They hung on for dear life, never letting go, so never enjoying the surge of reward as the enjoyed the freedom of the upswing.
There is a time to hang on, and a time to let go. I realized last week I’m ready to let go of some things, let go of my death grip of some people. In its simplest form, forgiveness, is letting go.
We seem to be back on the “project” list of our ward council (our congregation’s leadership). There was a time our family really needed this service. But we weren’t able to adequately express our specific needs, and they weren’t able to perceive accurately what we needed. In this frustrating exchange of both parties hitting and missing (mostly missing) the mark of our aim, both parties suffered casualties. I’ve been informed that we hurt them, just as they hurt us. I’m sorry for that. While I am not excusing it, it must be noted that our only intent was a desperate, frantic grasp for help, ANY help, yes we were so wounded, so entrenched in immediate danger and catastrophe, that we were not capable of communicating with and guiding our rescuers. Their life line missed its mark, and we had to reach for the life line sent us from other, unexpected and non-traditional sources–the lifeline from strangers, not of our faith, not of our close family.
I will be eternally grateful for our lifeline. I’m getting better, I’m on my way. Maybe not completely on safe ground yet, but also not drowning. I want to thank all those who sent out lifelines, both the ones that reached us and the ones that missed us. Intent matters. Even though many of the missed attempts were quite painful, intent matters, at least it matters to me. And I’m ready and willing to let go of the resentment and pain. Go in peace, thank you for trying. The time is now passed. I forgive you, please forgive me, and let me go. I don’t need saving any more, I’m finding my way, and it’s working for me. I’m sorry it isn’t your way. Please rejoice with me that I’m finding my way.
Re-establishing trust is a different matter. It takes work and time. Time that I no longer have at my disposal. I don’t have time or energy for meeting, for long visits, for explaining what I’ve been trying to explain repeatedly the last three years. I don’t have the reserves, or the desire for assuaging any feeling of guilt our old support system may have. That’s not my sandwich, not my responsibility, not my problem. I empathize, truly, but I can not help. They will have to come to terms with their own feelings of guilt and failure in the same manner that I have. They messed up, whether they know it or not (please understand “they” are by no means “all” since there are many who were there for us, or at the very least kindly and mercifully just stayed out of the way of the rescue effort), but others stepped in. Let us all learn our lessons and move on, let go.
I don’t want and no longer need interviews and approval from my Bishopric, visiting teachers, home teachers, visits from the missionaries, callings, or offers for help outside of my needs list. I know when and what to hang on to, and I know when to let go. I am a master of the swing! I know how high to go, and when to jump. I know what feels good, and what doesn’t. I no longer need anyone to push me, to catch me or to coach me. I even know when I enjoy a friend swinging with me and when I enjoy being alone. I know how to recognize when there are other next to me who need help learning to swing. I’m good at helping and teaching. I like teaching. I like helping others. I also like helping myself. Please please please, LET ME GO FREE!!