An experience recently leads me to reflect on the courage required to let go and embrace something new.
I’ll quite terrible at this skill. I stayed in a not-very-happy-but-not-overwhelming-miserable marriage much too long because I was afraid. Afraid to be different than I thought I was. Afraid to admit I was wrong. Afraid to be alone.
If only I had had the courage to welcome something new into my life. Because I’m wildly content with my second husband. And I never would have met him if I hadn’t had the courage to let go at some point.
A letting-go-and-taking-hold midair moment is occurring in the fringe of my existence now, too, and I’m wishing for courage for some people who need to embrace something new.
There’s a great quote I can’t find right now about the moment a trapeze artist lets go of one swing but hasn’t yet grasped the next one (the circus aerialist has mastered this with the greatest of ease). Instead, I’ll share this post from the summer of 2012, when it was a lot warmer in the Midwest than it is now …
A couple of experiences in the last 24 hours remind me of this Buddhist concept:
With every breath, we live; with every exhale, we die.
It was nearly 100 degrees again yesterday, and I spent the evening swimming in Lake Minnetonka with my stepson, my Beloved and a new friend (who had access to a great pontoon boat).
The lake was calm, the water was warm, a loon called while we enjoyed the sunset. It was one of those rare well-lived moments when everything was right with the world.
This new friend’s attitude influenced me, I’m sure of it, because she talked about being a caregiver this spring for a friend of hers who died 8 weeks after being diagnosed with ALS, the horrible disease that slowly (or quickly, I guess) robs one of the ability to move, then speak, then breathe. His sudden demise when he said “I have so much living yet to do” was painful. Now, she was vowing to live in the moment and soak up every joy of summer — on this evening, she was soaking with some friends on her pontoon.