An older woman stands calm in a breeze against a blue sky

Kiss Today Goodbye: Learning to Let Go

It's that time of year when folks traditionally review the many events that bring meaning to their lives. We especially tend to revisit those occurring throughout this last year. Admittedly, I have been one to be practical about matters of life and death. I constantly hear the words from my dear friend Judith who passed this year from her heroic battle with cancer.

"For everything, there is a beginning and an end, and in the middle, there is life."

I am reminded we all have an ultimate destiny, a period at the end of our sentence. Of course, none of us truly knows when, where, or how that end will be. However, we can undoubtedly be the architect of our time on this earth.

Acknowledge your reality

Sure, I have advanced ovarian cancer. Yet, I find it helpful and essential to acknowledge the suffering and the many losses that come with this diagnosis and its necessary treatment. Many of my teal warriors describe the loss of hair, the loss of appetite, changes in usual patterns of digestion and elimination, and a disturbance in breathing capacity due to pleural effusions, fatigue, and immobility related to neuropathy. I am entirely sure there are more.

However, if there is a choice (and there is), I acknowledge these occurrences, seek solutions where I can, and move on. Staying focused on the failures and the pains, the times we missed getting to the bathroom on time, or the sudden distress at simply not keeping up with the rest of the world serves no lasting purpose.

I, too, recall a sense of evildoing around me. Some admittedly are jealous of the achievements of others. This includes those who have blind-sighted me, although they represented themselves as friends. But, again, there are choices in every occurrence. Despite the tension, I believe these people are here to teach me lessons about life, or perhaps I am here to teach them.

Letting go

Just this morning, I was again reminded that many live a life burdened by time gone by. They may not even realize they are dwelling on unresolved losses. Whether it is the death of a parent or that of a distant figure, the accumulation of this level of sadness never seems to go away.

Instead, it becomes a pattern of living where the focus is on what we don't have rather than the joy of what we have. They leave no room for a better life for themselves. There is never a chance to delight in others or even live vicariously when they cannot do fun things themselves.

Use your time wisely

So I ask you to consider your style of living. Are you more overwhelmed by your own personal sadness? Do you take on troubles around you and, in an exaggerated manner? Are you having difficulty seeing the bright side of life?

It is time to acknowledge a belief shared by many, realizing we all are "perfectly imperfect." The notion of humans being perfect is honestly hard to bear. However, accepting our flaws and those of others allows us to live a gentler and more compassionate existence. It may just be your time to forgive yourself and others while at the same time learning to live your life to the fullest.

Learning to let go and embrace life

Remember, there is a time for everything.

In times before us, women wore black for the remainder of their lives to demonstrate their unending time of mourning. Some contemporary customs prescribe a designated time when observant individuals may dress in dark, modest clothing or avoid social gatherings for 40 days or even a year. This time is to remember the person who has died and memorialize them in tradition. However, even the most severe of these customs support a return to life.

I ask you to learn to let go and embrace whatever life has left to behold.

I offer with love my recognition that life is precious. So, kiss today goodbye. The sweetness and the sorrow. Wish me luck, and the same to you.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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