Lim: You have finally let go

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Letting go is hard. But it all rests on you.

I am as I was—20 years ago. And yet, somehow, changed. The circumstances of my life have not changed. Most of the people around me are the same. My past is as it was—simply growing new chapters with my duration on Earth.

I am the same, yet different.

No one can tell you when it’s going to happen. Or how it’s going to happen. The moment when you decide it’s finally time to let go. Sometimes, the perfect moment just presents itself.

Cancer was the perfect moment for me.

It changed my perspective of everything. Life was too short, I’d always say. So much to do, so little time. But life, I realized, was much shorter than I had imagined. Death was so close; I could smell it.

It was almost as if I heard the sound of the clock ticking and saw the writing on the wall for the very first time: I didn’t have forever. So, what was I waiting for?

And so, I decided not to wait.

I decided to let go of the rage and resentment I had for those who had treated me unfairly, taken advantage of me and betrayed me. I decided to forgive everyone including those from whom I never received an apology. I decided to let go of the need to get even.

Because what for? We are all going to die. And death is the biggest equalizer.

I decided to let go of the need to be perfect. I decided to let go of the need to be first and best. I decided to let go of the need to always be ahead of schedule. I decided to let go of the need to be all things to all people. I decided to let go of the perfect record for attendance, files, to-do-lists.

Because what for? I didn’t need to be perfect. I only needed to be alive, healthy and well to do all the things I wanted to do in my life.

I decided to let go of the idea I had a lifetime to waste ruminating on rage and retribution. Because I didn’t. Why waste one more second on what I had left on anger, bitterness and pain over things I could not change?

And so, I decided not to wait—for overwhelming confidence—to try new things. I decided not to wait—for a crown, a title or a trophy—to be happy. I decided not to wait—for love and approval—to find the courage to live my best life.

I decided not to waste a single moment of my life in cowardice. Instead, I decided to find the courage, at every moment, to speak from my heart, to put my best but flawed foot forward, to be the best of what I could be and to accept the outcome of my best efforts, whatever it may turn out to be.

I decided not to wait—to find the courage to live a life without regret.

One day, you will see things differently. You will remember the pain but it will no longer hurt. One day, you will wake up and realize that the pain of the past has served its purpose.

When the pain is remembered but no longer felt, when the pain has lost its capacity to incapacitate you, that’s when you know, you have finally let go.

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