How Do You Know When To Let Go?

We stood, eyes locked in a tragic gaze, at the mouth of the Metro in Paris.

“How do you know when to let go?” E* asked, his words strewn with sincere confusion and constricted love.

“How ‘bout now?” I said, knowing that it was either now or three clingy, desperate nows from now.  I turned away from this tall, devoted partner, hardening sheerly out of necessity, and climbed back up the steps into the light of Parisian day.  Half way up the steps, I turned back to make sure that he had followed my lead and allowed himself to be swept into a new current, an underground current that would lead him to Pizza, Italy, home to the bay area and then on to an outdoor training adventure.  His eyes, saturated with heavy, clear compassion spoke one final goodbye before he turned his back and disappeared into subterranean darkness.

There I was.  Alone.  On the streets of Paris.  Twenty five years old.  When this reality struck me, I flooded with dread.  It was a stronger concentration of the same feelings that flush me when the sun slips behind a cloud, and the world I see is suddenly ominous and dark.  Tears came fast, but I didn’t succumb to them.  Paris is demands much more restraint.  Instead I wandered into the health food store near the entrance to the Metro station where I killed about a half an hour in a state of less than blissful distraction.

Can you guess the moral of that autobiographical snip of a story?  It’s the letting go piece.  Letting go.  Why is it so hard?  Our illusions of scarcity, I suppose.  Well, I am pretty fucking certain that I am ready to let go of M.  But every time I look in the mirror and face the music (face the music in the mirror, I love that!) I flush with guilt, fear and denial.  Any one of those three feeling experiences on its own is enough to pickle a few livers, but when they join forces in a less than holy cocktail, LOOK OUT!  Guilt, fear, denial.  This is why I keep trying to pretend myself free from my inner knowing.  Sometimes the inner voice seems to be something to fear.

Why is that???

Anne Lamott, the writer, talks about how some writers’ writing process is reminiscent of driving through thick fog.  You can only see a few feet in front of you, but you trust that more road will be revealed if you just keep moving forward.  I would say I write this way for sure… but what I am driving at, is that this is LIFE.  Our limited perceptions can only see so much.  I believe that God can see a whole lot more and that is why trust is essential on this Holy Pilgrimage.

What I am grappling with now, is how to distinguish the voice of God from the voice of the ego.  What is this inner knowing that is compelling me to let go of my relationship with M?  Is it the voice of God, or the voice of my ego?  I could sit and deliberate on this all day long… but… what would that serve?  The bottom line is that it is what I feel, deep down.  And at this stage in my unfolding, this gut feeling is as good as it gets.  So, my question stands~ How do you know when it’s time to let go?  And my answer, too shall stand~

How ‘bout now?

Now can I get some comic relief?  Because I feel so heavy.  Where have my bejeweled wings gotten off to?  Has anybody seen my bejeweled wings?  I should make a MISSING poster and plaster it all about my neighborhood.  REWARD for any information leading to my not so suddenly missing bejeweled wings.  If I had them now, how would I be different?  Would I fly away from the human messes I’ve strewn about this life of mine?  Tempting… but no.  If I found my bejeweled wings, I would use them for only for Holy Missions.  I would use them to bless.  I would know my strength as God’s strength.  I would fly Home, to the unconditionally Loving arms of the Ultimate Dream.  But don’t misunderstand.  Flying home does not mean abandoning ship on this silly, sinking world of illusion.  No, it just means a soft though potent shift in perception… Like a frown that melts into a warm, holy smile.  And suddenly I remember.  I remember that God is always my Guide, and I am That.  I remember that the True me is never threatened, cannot die.  Cannot be broken by tragedy or dreams of fear and separation.

With my wings, I am courageous.  With my wings, I am a divine servant.  With my bejeweled angel wings, I only see as God sees.  When I fly, my wings sprinkle a wake of shimmering treasures upon this world.  Treasures born to elevate, inspire and remind.  I will find my wings.  I will find them, because I have not lost them, only forgotten.  Any second I will remember.  I can feel it.  I can almost hear my wings beating just behind the imaginary veil of darkness in which I have become accustomed to identifying with.  They sound like birds singing in bellish voices.  Or bells singing with birdish voices.  They sound like smoldering flames, like benevolent warmth.  When they beat, tropical breezes, heavily pregnant with floral scents are born to elevate the minds of the masses.  When they beat, you remember your home in Peace.

I say this to soothe all of myself.  I say this because this is the expression of sincere yearning from the heart of a saint in training.  Perhaps a saint is just One who has remembered their wings… Perhaps letting go requires trusting that it is my Destiny to fly.

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