Monday, April 18, 2011
At church yesterday, the Homily ready made me think. Monsignor Zenz told a story about how he was speaking to an elderly priest the other day and asked him how he was doing and the priest said, " I wake up every day and let go of something else." Monsignor continued to talk about letting go and giving up control. As I usually do, my thoughts drifted off and I began to ponder the words "letting go everyday".
I never thought about it before but everyday of our lives we are letting go of something in order to move forward. When we are born, we let go of the security and warmth of our mother's womb. Throughout a baby's growth, they are continually letting go of something. It may be as simple as a pacifier or bottle or the arms of their parents. They give up the cradling of the bassinet then the security (and confinement) of the crib. On the flip side, they are growing up and learning to do things on their own. They are growing and thriving.
Kids let go of old toys, outgrown clothing and even being home all day with mom or dad to go to school. Every year, they let go of an age, a grade level, friends, teachers and maybe letting go of a school to go to a new one. When they go to college, they let go of the security of home, their bedroom, their hometown in most cases, their highschool friends and more. On the flip side, they are becoming independent and self-sufficient and confident. They are maturing into competent adults.
When we marry, we let go of our parents if we are still dependent on them. We let go of some of our ego-centricity to be part of a team (hopefully) if we have been living on our own. We might let go our home where we were living, let go of some freedoms, some close friendships and some habits. On the flip side, we are hopefully joining with someone who compliments us, someone who completes and someone who we will start a family with. We don't mind giving those things up when we care about that person. It isn't difficult when we "love" someone.
When we become parents, there is gratification in being needed and helping this little person to survive. Though, every day, we have to help them become independent so we have let go of many things along the way. Eventually we give up nursing them, bottle feeding them, changing their diapers, dressing them and being their entertainment. We have to continually teach them how to survive on their own. On the flip side, it is also gratifying to see them growing up and becoming independent little people. It drives us to move forward and help our children grow and thrive.
As we get older, we let go youth, maybe health, our children (hopefully), our homes, our jobs, our minds... all of this seems negative really. It just an observation. It isn't really negative if you look at it as moving forward and growing. It is part of life. It is what we make of it. Are you letting go of things or moving forward and growing? Is your cup 1/2 full or 1/2 empty? Something to think about.