40. Let It Be

After so many years of trying to be better than I am, stronger than I am, I have finally learned to let myself cycle through the emotions that come, including the ones I don’t want, the ones that hurt, the ones that are unworthy of the person I want to be that I know is the greater truth of me.

In the decades of my life, sorrow, rightful resentment, anger, even hate, have taken hold of me more times that I dare to say, and cramming them down into the dark bottom of my mind did not extinguish the feelings. Instead, it gave them the perfect environment to wretchedly quirm and fester there. That did not feel good, and did not heal them.

After a lifetime of doing battle with unwanted and unworthy emotions, I have come to the acceptance of the reality of the human state: I am imperfect, and big parts of me are wasted on battling the truth that I am only a traveler here. I am unwise but teachable, and we have all come here to learn. I am abundantly flawed with attributes I wish I didn’t have, which provide me with learning opportunities to become less of what I don’t want to be, and more of what I know I can become.

The truest and best parts of me have never been sullied or changed by the upstart flashes of the worst parts of me. When I remind myself of this, it sets my feet on solid ground, and I can accept that in this moment’s storm of ugly emotions, I am not stuck and God has not abandoned me, I can and will ride it out, and I will return again to the essence of me that is really who and what I want to be.

If I must rage for a while, I let myself. I give myself a private rant or a private “pity-party,” whichever I need, set a specific time limit (10 minutes, 24 hours… as appropriate.) And then when it’s done, I forgive myself for it, and I re-set, re-boot, and start over.

Knowing that I will be stronger and kinder the next time, I begin again every time I need to, but I make myself do it without holding onto any residue of shame or guilt. Forgiveness releases me and everyone else involed from the trap of whatever it was. The ugliness has vented itself and dissolved into the nothingness from which it came. It was a temporary flash of something that is not true of who and what I truly am at the depth of me, that the world may not see.

Each time I surrender to my sorrow, my rage, my resentment, my self-pity, I may dissolve in tears for a while. I let myself. When my little drama of spirit, my dark night or dark moment of the soul has expressed itself and passed on, I comfort myself. I forgive myself and release all feelings of shame or weakness for these eruptions, the kind that I used to judge and punish myself for.

In my secret heart I accept, forgive, and pledge to love this part of me, even with its imperfections, just as I would forgive and love the little child within me who never really meant any harm, but just didn’t know any better, and has not learned everything yet.

With every honest acceptance, repentance, and forgiveness I give myself, it gets easier to love the person I honestly am, and the miracle of this is that I am enabled, almost effortlessly, to be kinder, more respectful, and more forgiving to almost every other soul-expression and mortal being that I meet in the journey of my days.

This does feel good. It does feel happy and stress-free, the polar opposite from those other suppressed emotions I squashed down inside myself before. Now when those feelings come, I know how to handle them and they do not handle me. I acknowledge their realness and validity, and I accept that this is expressing in me, and I forgive myself for feeling what I feel.

I go to a private place where I can let the feelings come, I let them come, and then I let them go. They cannot stay, as long as I don’t give hidden harbor to them. I have learned now, that I can purge them. For a little while, with a reasonable time limit, I can let myself rage, I can let myself cry, and when that’s done, I get up feeling a lot lighter, and surprisingly clean and refreshed. When I go on about the business of my life, sure enough, I do better.

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