Change me, divine beloved, into one who can let go of what wants to go, and receive what wants to come.                              — Tosha Silver

This quote randomly made its way into my orbit this week.  It stuck with me, mainly because it was so well-timed.

Have you ever had something in your brain—a thought, a situation, a person—that grabbed hold of you and wouldn’t let go?

Something has had its grip on me this summer.  The specifics of it don’t really matter in this space, because we all have our stuff.  Whatever the stuff, we have our ways of dealing with it.

Some of us will ignore it.  Some of us will take it out on other people.  Some of us will cover it up with whatever our vice is—food, shopping, alcohol, whatever.

This summer, I chose to sit with my stuff.

I asked it to sit next to me as I befriended it.  I asked it to tell me its story, to show me what it wanted to teach me.

Some days I let it hang with me, even if it felt sad and uncomfortable.  (It often did.)  Others, I felt as if I was ready to set it free.  Enough, I wanted to say. Enough of you.

As I got ready to workout this morning, I felt it gripping onto me.  Today, I decided I needed to send it on its way.  I decided it was time to make room for what is next, for whatever wants to come to me but won’t until I’ve made the space for it.

As I pedaled in my early morning cycling class, I struggled to connect with the class as I normally do. I decided I was going to use the rest of the ride to work out the thing that won’t let me go.

During a sprint, the instructor asked us to envision a rainbow beginning with us and extending to our imaginary finish line.  As she called out each color of the rainbow and what it represented, I chose to make the sprint into a prayer, a call to action for me to set my stuff free.

I honor you and I let you go.

If you decide to make your way back to me, I will welcome you with open arms. But for now I have to let you go.

Thank you for sitting with me.  Now it’s time to let you go.    

After class I felt emotional, yet lighter.  I wish I could say I had fully released all of it—I can’t—but I can say that pieces of it have begun to break away from me.  I can feel the space emptying, maybe little by little, as something is readying itself to be born.  All I can do is wait.

But as I wait, I feel grateful.

Even our difficult stuff, maybe especially the difficult things, have much to teach us about ourselves.  And it opens doors to beautiful things that we’d only recognize after we’d embraced the tough lessons.  Often, our stuff is grace hiding in disguise.