Strong Enough

Strong Enough

Reflections on Shuffle-Play (where I write a reflection each day based on a song from that morning’s run)

We’re always letting go of something.

Life is a constant process of letting go.

Children let go of their youth bit by bit until one day you are teaching them to drive.

Over the course of our days we let go of many relationships, some more easily and graciously than others.

We let go of ideas of who we thought we might become and live into who we are – this can be both humbling and exhilarating.

We let go of pastimes that no longer serve us as we realize life is precious and short and why hold on to doing certain things if it is just because society or tradition expects it of us.

We let go of perfectionism if we realize that our creativity and output can be immensely greater if we don’t treat every word, every creation as if it is precious beyond measure. Let it go and let it affect the world.  Sop revising.

Sometimes I think learning to let go is one of the greatest lessons of life and I wonder why it can be so hard to do.

I used to have a pair of kick-ass black leather boots with equally kick-ass high, chunky heels. I loved those boots – they made every outfit have just the tiniest bit of edge to it. I might be a mild-mannered pastor, but I felt like those boots proved I wasn’t too mild-mannered. I wore them often. The only negative thing was that they absolutely KILLED my feet. They were so painful I wanted to cry – but they looked SO good. I wore them on Sundays at the church where I had three services every Sunday morning. I even wore them on Christmas eve when we had FIVE services…until the Christmases of 2005 and 2006 came along when I was pregnant with my boys and my feet were swollen and didn’t fit in my kick-ass boots. I wore comfortable shoes then, and I realized that the world still went round and round, I still did all the same things, and still had meaningful interactions with other people, I just did it all without wanting to lop off my feet because they were throbbing with pain.

It’s hard to resist having comfortable feet once you allow yourself to be comfortable. When we moved away from Colorado, I left behind almost all my high heels. Letting them go wasn’t hard by the time I did it. I felt like I had evolved. Before, when I would see awesome heels, I thought they looked so good, but now when I see them on anyone I think they look like pain. I remember being so angry that my feel swelled during pregnancy, forcing me into those comfortable shoes – but in the long run, I was grateful.

We don’t always let go because we choose it in the first place. Sometimes it is thrust upon us and then we can look back upon it all and decide the blessings and the sadnesses in it.

While I used to see letting go as a difficult thing that I would not choose, as the years go by, I veer toward it more often. It feels good to make the journey lighter – letting go of possessions, letting go of a fussy hairstyle, letting go of a rigid make-up routine, letting go of always doing some process the same way. In fact, I have found that oftentimes if I am paying attention, my life cries out to me to let go and be willing to be different, affected, less encumbered. These days, when I am feeling particularly tired or stressed, the buzzing in the back of my brain getting louder than usual, I usually pause and ask myself what it is that needs me to loosen my grip upon it. The answer doesn’t come immediately, but if I gently keep asking myself, eventually the answer rises to the top of my thoughts.

Do you need to let go of something or someone? If the time is right for letting go, even if you are afraid, there will be a sense of lightness, freedom, and exhilaration to the thought of it. Listen to your heart and your smarts,  be gentle and brave.

Strong Enough

By Cher

I don’t need your sympathy
There’s nothing you can say or do for me
And I don’t want a miracle
You’ll never change for no one

I hear your reasons why
Where did you sleep last night?
And was she worth it was she worth it?

‘Cause I’m strong enough
To live without you
Strong enough and I quit crying
Long enough now I’m strong enough
To know you gotta go

There’s no more to say
So save your breath
And then walk away
No matter what I hear you say
I’m strong enough to know you gotta go

So you feel misunderstood
Baby, have I got news for you
On being used, I could write the book
You don’t want to hear about it

I’ve been losing sleep
You’ve been going cheap
She ain’t worth half of me it’s true
I’m telling you

Now I’m strong enough to live without you
Strong enough and I quite crying
Long enough now I’m strong enough
To know you’ve gotta go

Come hell or waters high
You’ll never see me cry
This is our last goodbye, it’s true

I’m telling you
That I’m strong enough to live without you
Strong enough and I quite crying
Long enough now I’m strong enough
To know you gotta go

There’s no more to say
So save your breath
And you walk away
No matter what I hear you say
I’m strong enough to know you’ve gotta go





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