Let go. What wonderful words. And something that is so very hard for me to do. I cling to things like there is no possibility of ever letting go. The problems of others, bother me as if they were my very own. Letting go requires action on my part and it is so very difficult to do.
Once, many years ago, in my crazy time, I was climbing a cliff for the very first time. Now, you should probably know that the reason I started climbing cliffs is because I was terrified of heights. Somehow, I got in my head that climbing would help me to "let go" of my fear.
The very first cliff I climbed, I got stuck about 3/4 of the way up to the top. I hit a spot where I could not make the reach to go forward and I could not find the hand and footholds to go back. I was on belay, but I did not trust the rope or my partner yet. The fear of heights overcame me and I clung for dear life to the face of that cliff, fingers digging into the rock above and my toes clinging tight to the small ledge.
My friend at the bottom yelled up to me "let go, Patty, just let go!" But I could not do it. So he sat at the bottom and waited for my fingers to give out. When they did, I slammed into the rock, knocking the breath from my body and severely bruising my ribs in the process. My friend slowly lowered me to the ground and helped me pick myself up. I was unable to climb again for two more weeks because of all the contusions on my ribs and side. But as soon as I was able, I went back up and tried again.
I have never forgotten that painful lesson on letting go. It is so much easier on me when I make the choice to let go, rather than wait for my limbs and heart to give out in the process. When you climb, knowing when to let go is just as important as knowing when to hang on. You have to trust that your climbing buddy has your back. That they are paying attention and will minimize any damage by catching you with the rope when you fall. Because fall, you will. As surely as day turns into night, you will have falls and injuries.
It is an amazing feeling of accomplishment when you climb. When you struggle to overcome a fear and succeed in spite of it. It is wonderful to sit at the top of a difficult climb and admire the view.
Climbing isn't only about going up, it is also on how to take the safest route back down.
Sometimes, you just have to breathe, trust and let go.