Monday, July 26, 2010

Letting Go

Our trip to Slapout is coming to a close. We will be heading home tomorrow. By the way, I will be sporting the latest, greatest Slapout t-shirt. It says, "Slapout...friendliest intersection on the planet."

It has been an eventful trip filled with all sorts of emotions. I have laughed. I have cried. I have had moments of quiet reflection. We have been up here several times since this journey began. This one has definitely been the most emotional. I think one reason is that it was my first visit back to Cain's Chapel. The other reason is that my divorce will be final Tuesday. This will be my last time in Slapout where I am legally Jason's wife. The next time we come up, I will be divorced from him. The book of that part of my life will finally be finished.

I was privileged to be allowed to go to the movies with the girls and their friends. (For those of you who are parents, you know that we are not often invited to be seen in public after dark with our children.) We went to see Inception. In the movie the main character has to choose between staying permanently in the dream state with his deceased wife or coming back to the real world. He finally realizes that the person that is there with him is not really her. He says to her, "I miss you more than I can bear, but we had our time together, and it was great. But now I must let you go."

Lily and Anna both looked at me to see if I was going to start wiping tears. A few weeks ago I probably would have. But I was okay. I held my own. I could relate to the character. There comes a time when you have to let go. I cannot hold on to something that no longer exists. I have to let it go. I think what makes this so painful is that when you let go, you feel like you are losing a very part of your own being. And, in a sense, you are. But it still has to happen. It is not healthy to hang on to something that no longer exists.

I came across a quote back in the spring about letting go. It was in an online article that suggested that you repeat this over and over until you can say it and mean it.

"I give you permission to leave, to be gone from my life forever. I don't want you to go, but I want you to be happy. If you have to leave, I understand. You have my love and my blessings whatever you do. I let you go."

I have gone through many stages with this quote.

Stage 1: I do not give you permission to leave. You cannot do this, and I am not going to let you. I soon learned that this does not work. You cannot force someone to stay.

Stage 2: I don't want you to be go, but if you are going to, I sure don't want you to be happy! I have hurt, and you need to hurt too. I finally came to realize that this line of thinking does nothing but eat you alive. It is toxic, and it will slowly destroy you.

Stage 3: You have my love and blessings whatever you do. I am finally making it to this point of peace in my heart. Does this mean that I will agree with everything you do? Absolutely not. It just simply says that I love you and want blessings for you.

How and why would we ever want to say that about someone that we are divorced from, especially when we did not want the divorce? Because, at this point, it is no longer about me or him. It is now about our children and making life as somewhat normal for them as it can possibly be. I know that there are people out there that will disagree with me, but at this point, it is what it is. We are very soon to be divorced. I have several options. I can hang on to my marriage in a state of despair. I can let go but be angry or bitter. Finally, I can let go and hope for the best for both of us. We both need to be at our best so that we can be our best for our girls.

God is able to do new things in our lives. But I am convinced of two things. First, He cannot do something new until we let go of the past. Secondly, He cannot do this new work in our lives when our hearts are full of anger and bitterness.

So once again I will say, ""I give you permission to leave, to be gone from my life forever. I don't want you to go, but I want you to be happy. If you have to leave, I understand. You have my love and my blessings whatever you do. I let you go." This time, I ALMOST mean it!

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:18-19 (New International Version)


  1. I will use this in helping others let go of what is no longer real in their lives. Thanks for allowing your pain to flow so that possibly others will benefit. I know Someone else that did that also. Bless you, Amy.

  2. You are in my thoughts tomorrow. Another milestone in your journey. I wish I could be there to wrap my arms around you in love and comfort. Just know that many of us will be there with you in spirit.

  3. You are all in my prayers

  4. I went back and read this again. I didn't realize how familiar the three stages that I listed sounded. They look awfully similar to denial, anger and acceptance. I am missing bargaining and depression, but rest assured, those two were in there. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross sure did peg those stages very accurately!!!

  5. Thank you, Amy for sharing your heart. I, too, am going through "An Unplanned Journey", not with divorce, but with the loss of my grandmother-Faye Vines. She passed away in April and I am still in the healing process. When she got sick, unexpectatly, I remember thinking "I haven't given you permission to get sick. There is still so much that I want to do with you and I want you to see my little grow-up." Then when the doctors called in the family and told us that she would not recover and suggested that we remove the ventalator I thought, "If you go, I know that you will be so happy with Jesus, but I want you to be here and make me happy." As the days and months have passed and I am now in a place where I want Memaw to be happy and have a whole body again. I miss her and I know that she will never come back, but I have faith that I WILL see her again one day. Thank you so much, again, for sharing your heart, and soul, and pain. Though this is my first time reading your blog, you have given me the courage to go on and make a life without my grandmother-my rock!

  6. Mrs. Faye was such a precious lady. She and I always liked to talk about all of our great Walmart finds. We always talked about how you can really get cute clothes there if just take the time to look. Poor Mr. R.B...I think he spent a lot of time sitting on those benches out front.

    She was a sweetheart and I was so sorry to hear about her passing. I loved her too. There is no doubt that she is in a better place, but it sure doesn't make us miss her any less!