I cannot move forward into the future, if I won’t let go of the past and the things tethering me to the past. Memories, grudges, hopes, fears, insecurities and UN-forgiveness, will keep me tied like a boat to a mooring, if I allow it. I must agree to untie or I’ll never be free to sail anywhere other than where I’ve already been.
If I really want to sail into the sunsets, explore UN-chartered territory, taste freedom and experience life-then I need to pull up my anchor and cut my line.
One simple example in my life are shoes.
My adult years- shoes part 1: shoes are a problem of sorts, in my life. They are one example of an anchor and a line which tethers me to going nowhere. I am fixated on purchasing shoes, sneakers, and footwear. I am persistently in search of the perfect shoe-comfortable and fashionable. There are thousands to choose from, but the issue is that I cannot find them because of my feet, not the shoes. I have a large bunion on each foot, which causes me tremendous pain. Every shoe puts pressure on the bunion and makes it tight and sore. As long as I hold onto the belief that it’s possible to find a shoe that works, than I will never, move ahead and choose the surgery. What will I do, hold on or let go? I want to be comfortable, but, have been unwilling to cut the line. So I continue to buy shoes, wear them a few times and give them away.
My childhood years– shoes part 2: my children’s shoes are also slightly problematic. For some strange reason I do not want to part with my kids old shoes. The ones that have outlived their purpose, and take up space. While it’s easy to hand my own- 100 dollar shoes off- after only a handful of wears, I won’t get rid of old, worn, too-small shoes that belonged to my kids. presently, we are trying to clear out a room in our house so we can demo and rebuild it, something I have been looking forward to and dreaming about for 10 years! What-you may ask, remains to be cleared out? A few odds and ends, and not 1, not 2, but 3 PILES of my children’s outgrown shoes! I have walked by and looked longingly-affectionately, at those shoes, dozens of times, and I simply can’t part! What is the difficulty in doing something totally normal? Why can’t I let go of childhood?
So here is my resolve: I cannot move forward with things I want, when I am unwilling to release the things I have known. My past stuff takes up space, time and resources. My past has the ability to clutter my life, tie me to stationary and keep me from moving on. This is about control. I’m afraid that if I let go, I let go of control. I have to give up trying to control what I can’t and start controlling what I can. I’m exhausting myself trying to sail forth while still attached to the shores of “what if”. I must choose. I can’t control finding the perfect shoe because I haven’t dealt with the feet. I’m trying and putting myself in debt doing so. I can’t control the kids growing up no matter how many little shoes I hold onto. I’m the one who has to grow up, let go and move on, otherwise I will end up alone and in pain. I will die trying to control what I have no power over.
It’s all a big illusion that we create, yes we. We all do it to some extent. Somehow we think holding on will increase our chances of changing the past, or preventing the future. Sometimes we are afraid to move ahead. Like me, I want the benefits of the surgery, but I’m scared to go through the recovery, which I hear can be painful. But, the only way we can reap the fruits of the future is to move into it, by letting go of what we couldn’t or can’t change and making the choices that lead to change. i want my children to grow up, but i fear them not needing me. Can I be brave enough to schedule the surgery and suffer through weeks of recovery? Can I be strong enough to release my children from their innocent childhoods and trust them to become the man and woman God designed and intended them to be?
I don’t know – I hope I can – I pray I can. God has instilled in mankind the desire to go, but the natural inclination to stay, so that we will seek his help. I am no stranger to that desire, but I cannot have it both ways. I can’t change and stay the same. I can’t let go of my own childhood while still using it as an excuse. So what will I do today, what choice will I make that will help me move forward? I will get rid of some shoes, because I’m ready to sail on.
But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3: 13-14