On July tenth I hit a wall. The ick that had been piling up for quite some time had reached critical mass; I wasn’t sure how to overcome the thick feelings of sadness, guilt, regret, remorse, and loss that swirled around inside like dead leaves caught in a windstorm . . . and all I wanted was to let it go and find a sense of peace. So I called for reinforcements, the one person who understands energy more than anyone else I know. He agreed to help facilitate a cleansing ritual – a burning bowl ceremony – that entailed writing down all of the things I wanted to let go: failed relationships, broken friendships, dreams from the past that would never come to be, painful memories that clung to my heart like vines . . .
So I found a pen and wrote, on slip after slip of paper, making a little folded pile of heartache on my kitchen counter. And that night, surrounded by close friends, with the help of a pretty sizable bottle of wine, I said goodbye to my past. I was finally tired of being imprisoned by the burden of situations I couldn’t change. In a fire pit on my back patio, I burned one tiny folded slip of paper at a time and bid farewell to the weights I had been carrying around with me for the past decade. And as I watched them burn, I made an agreement with myself to not look back.
The next day, on the morning of my thirty-fifth birthday, I woke up and and was surprised to find that my heart felt lighter; my perspective had shifted ever-so-slightly away from the past, and I felt freer. My life looked a lot simpler than it had in a very long time. And this is what I decided:
If you want to do something, do it.
If you have something to say, say it.
If you miss someone, tell them.
If you messed up, admit it.
If you’re sorry, make it right.
If you love someone, don’t let them go.
If it feels wrong, it probably is.
If it feels right, keep on keeping on.
If you’re lost, ask for direction.
If you’re hurting, don’t be afraid to lean on those who love you.
If you’re happy, embrace it.
If you feel broken, explore it.
If you decide to let it go, don’t look back.
If you want to change your life, change it.