A good friend once told me, “Put it in a balloon and let it go”. She continued… “The balloon may float to the ceiling, the strings are there for you to grab… but for now, just let it go”. In the midst of my broken marriage, this was the best advice anyone could have given me. Prior to ‘letting go’, a dark cloud followed my every move. It leaked melancholy over our relationship and consequently, made things look bleaker than ever. My husband and I walked around with this heaviness in our hearts. Like a mouse chasing an endless maze, we could no longer see a way out. We were lost, confused and travelling down the same tracks we’d travelled before. There’s only so many times you can go over the same old territory. At some point, you need to find your way out and never look back. But how do we get out of this soul-destroying maze?
The answer is really quite easy…You just need to ask yourself; how did I get into the maze in the first place? For me, it was a case of finding it difficult to let things go. During the bleak time in my marriage, mistakes were made on both sides. My husband was able to accept my faults, however, I couldn’t let go of those balloons. And so, the same broken record played on, and we kept on dancing our repetitive dance. We would talk about forgiveness. We drew lines in the sand. Only months, weeks, days down the line…the cork would go POP, and I would explode once again. Suddenly, that same tiresome tune began to play and we’d find ourselves dancing over the same tiresome terrain. But how long can we endure the same broken record? Surely there will come a time when the record becomes so exhausted, it gives up.
Some of us find it easy to let go of our balloons, others will be pulling the strings, too afraid to let them go. There are those types which I call the ‘whistling kettles’. Like a kettle, their problems boil up inside. To begin with, they can keep their bubbles under control. However, as time goes on, they start to boil up inside until the almighty whistle blows! As one can image, it’s not healthy to let things fester inside. It’s inevitable that at, some point, you’re going to boil over! And yet, so many of us fall into this category. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to deal with the problem before it escalates. If you can feel yourself slipping things under that rug…STOP! You have two choices; you can deal with the issue there and then, or you can collect up all of the negative energy, blow it into a balloon and let it go. As my friend wisely explained, you can pull the string down at another time, but for the sake of your sanity…just let it go!
There are also those types which I call the ‘bee-infested bonnet-wearers’. I hold my hands up, for I fall into this category of the ‘unforgiving’. For those of us who walk around with bees in our bonnet, we all know, the constant buzzing is enough to drive us insane…and yet we continue to wear our bonnets with pride. Whether it is hurt, anger or disappointment we are wearing on our hearts, there needs to come a time when we have to swallow our pride and let go of those negative feelings. Nothing good comes from lugging around a big rucksack of negativity…you can either; take a break from the bag you have been carrying for so long, or you can start rummaging – throwing out all of yesterday’s’ hurt – and find forgiveness. Once you have established a mutual forgiveness, it’s time to leave the empty bag and move on. Who needs an empty bag anyway?
Once you learn the art of letting-go, whether it’s sweeping under that rug or abandoning a rucksack on the side of the road…you will fall into the category I call the ‘balloon letter goers’. What a truly amazing place this is! One day, when I was feeling particularly angry and hurt, rather than doing something destructive, I reflected back on what my friend had told me. Later that day I bought a pack of balloons, I was debating whether to go for a pack of ten or twenty– I decided twenty would be adequate. I blew all my negativity into these balloons, sealed them closed and scribbled issues I needed to ‘let go’ over them. So there I was, surrounded by a bunch of colourful balloons, looking as though I had just raided a children’s birthday party. If anyone saw me, they’d think I had lost it!
Craziness aside, I wanted to pop all these balloons with a knife. For these balloons had caused me so much hurt. I wanted to destroy them all. Or did I? The truth was, I didn’t want to let them go. I wanted to surround myself with these balloons and wallow in hurt, anger and tears. However, I had come to the point in my life, when I knew very well that I couldn’t keep going on this way. Enough was enough. I tied strings onto those balloons, kicked open the back door and I let every one of those balloons go. I watched them disappear into the sky until they got sucked up into oblivion. It was at this point when I felt a weight had been lifted. I was free.
I’m not suggesting you go out and purchase 100 balloons. By all means, do this, if this is what you want to do! Alternatively, you can visualise blowing all of your pent up negativity or hurt into imaginary balloons and letting them go. You may decide to ‘let go’ in other ways – be it screaming your lungs out on top of a hill or burning the contents of your husband’s wardrobe on the bonfire (Um, that was just a joke – don’t do that!). Whatever you choose, the fact that you’re taking those steps in letting go, will enable you to move on with your life. It’s a truly beautiful thing when you wake up without that heaviness in your heart.
One of my favourite films to watch with my children is Disney Pixar’s ‘UP’. The bitter old man – who had sadly lost his wife – spent years in the same old house, looking at the same old walls. The world was moving on, but he stayed stagnant. One day he attached thousands of colourful balloons onto his house, and he floated into the sky. Unknown to himself, he was ‘letting go’. If he had stayed in the same place, dwelling over the negatives and unable to move forwards, he wouldn’t have experienced the happiness he gained later in the film!
It’s time to take off our bee-infested bonnets, it’s time to stop dancing that same old repetitive dance…
…It’s time to ‘let go’.
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com