And then it was time to let go.
It should be the name of a season. Or a day of the week, at the very least. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Then It Was Time To Let Go.
And then it was time to let go, and I felt my arms floating back to the sides of my body like weightless things, and all that I had been clutching fell onto the floor where I watched them fight a little, then give up, as things tend to do.
I’ve been on this mission to get on Oprah. Her Super Soul Sunday show, specifically. At my last retreat, the transformation was so profound, the connection was so deep that I knew Oprah must know of this work. I can’t think of anyone else with the utter scope and reach of Oprah.
I wanted Oprah. I decided it. I intended to make it so.
I told everyone, and a campaign was started, and people were tweeting Oprah and her people, and I could feel the buzz of this is happening in the air, at least through the ether of the internet. And that buzz felt good. It felt like the excitement of your dream hanging between you matter and you don’t matter.
Everyone wants to think they matter.
And don’t they? Doesn’t that guy that hangs out in the parking lot of Whole Foods with the sign that says Anything Helps matter? Even though you can’t look at him anymore because he’s been there for years, and, come on, it’s been years. Why don’t you have a job, Man-In-Whole-Foods-Parking-Lot? But he matters, and we give him food or a couple bucks or maybe not, maybe nothing, because we have been giving him money and food and guilt for what seems to be too long, and he has had that same sign for years, and then it was time to let go.
But he does matter.
He matters. Maybe he had a wife once or a kid and a house with a broken door and a job at this store that sold tiles, but who knows. We’re busy; there’s a line of cars trying to get out of the parking lot, and if everyone stops and rolls down their window to give him their version of anything then everyone will be late, and the traffic will get jammed, but be not mistaken, he matters.
When our dreams hover right there at that spot where they feel as if they could go this way or that, and this way means I’ve made it, I am somebody, and that way means I am invisible, most start pushing for this way. For the I made it. I matter.
I decided to let go of the Oprah thing because I realized that if it was going to happen, I had to let it go. And then it was time to let go. Winter, spring, summer, and then it was time to let go.
I am not sad nor do I feel stupid for asking everyone to help me with this dream, although I had a few seconds of Who Do You Think You Are, You Don’t Matter this morning.
Imagine if we all regretted everything we pursued? We’d be in a lake of regret, swimming in sh*t.
To be unattached, untethered to outcome.
To be swimming in the truth of who you are versus the idea of who you are. What you hear when you swim in the illusion of who you are: You are worth something. You did it! You won! You are the best!
I get attached to things.
I’ve had this sofa for over fifteen years. My mom had it custom made in the mid-nineties, and it got passed on to me. It was my prized possession, and almost everyone I know has slept on it, cried on it, had sex on it.
The thing is, this couch is old now, and the cushions are deflated, and sitting on it is a lumpy experience, which leaves me angry. I wish we had more money. If we had more money, we’d get a new couch. If we had more money, we’d matter.
Money = matter. Money = mattering. In our minds. Deep in the recesses of our cavernous minds, we have created this lie.
So my friend offers me her couch because she is moving. It’s a nice couch, too. After months of planning and going back and forth on if it would be worth it, because to get current couch out, we have to throw it over the balcony due to its size. We agree to take the friend’s sofa, so we hire some guys whom we pay one hundred dollars and two Bud Lights in order to move it (throw it over the balcony) for us.
They put the old sofa in the alley after they strip it of the cover and cushions.
I’ve had anxiety all day.
Did I make a mistake? Was my old couch better? What have I done? Does the new one even look good in our apartment? I’ve fucked up. Again. I want my sofa back.
I went to the alley and three young kids were smoking weed on it. Should I try and bring it back up to the apartment? Have I abandoned my child? This couch was like a child. What have I done?
I sat on the new(er) couch, and I felt my arms floating back to the sides of my body like weightless things, and all the things I had been clutching fell onto the floor where I watched them fight a little, then give up, as things tend to do.
Goodbye old sofa. I’m going to let the guys enjoy smoking weed on you. It’s time. I am not going to try and get you back.
And then it was time to let go.
We matter with our signs asking for anything at all and our pleas to Oprah and our dreams. We matter as we climb the stairs to our apartments and adjust to the shock of a new sofa sitting there and how sitting down on that sofa will feel awkward at first, then comfortable, and then, finally, there’ll come a time when we won’t remember anything else but the way this feels. (Was there ever anything else?)
Our memories are so short-termed like that once we let go.
How do you know when it’s time to let go then? When that particular season is upon us?
You know because your arms get heavy. Something sits in your chest, and you can’t name it, but you find yourself clinging to it as if it is a nameable thing.
All those heavy objects knocking about in your chest.
There’s not much we need to hold onto. It takes ages to realize the sofa is on its last leg. It takes lifetimes to realize that all the accolades and all the signs we carry, that they don’t mean much.
Then it was time to let go.
Jennifer Pastiloff was recently featured on Good Morning America. She is a yoga teacher, writer, and advocate for children with special needs based in L.A. She is also the creator of Manifestation Yoga® and leads retreats and workshops all over the world. Jennifer is currently writing a book and has a popular daily blog called Manifestation Station. Find her on Facebook and Twitter and take one of her yoga classes online at Yogis Anonymous.
Jen will be leading a Manifestation Writing/Yoga retreat Labor Day Weekend, 2013 in Ojai, California as well as a writing/yoga retreat with bestselling author Emily Rapp (whom TIME magazine voted as having one of the best twenty-five blogs of 2012).
*Image by Simplereminders.com.