Views on pop culture through my eyes

Letting Go of the Past

It is never an easy thing to do. But it is a necessity with life. We may not understand why things have happened to us in our lives: why we lost a job, a relationship didn’t work out, a good friend fades out of your life, a loved one dies suddenly. Life sucks sometimes…but we need to move on. We need to let go to move forward.

For a long time, I had an issue with friends coming into and out of my life. I thought a lot about it all and wondered why things didn’t seem to turn out like I wanted them to. Some background is needed here. Two of the best friends I have had in my life are no longer in my life, one is dead and the other is alive somewhere, just not my friend anymore. My friend, Damon, died of AIDS over 12 years ago. He was one of the first friends I made at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center. We had a lot of laughs and good times, plus many heart to hearts. I miss talking to him…but I am glad that I knew him. The other friend, Joe, was my friend from high school, the first one that I came out to. We were friends through college and beyond, then we just seemed to fall apart. He moved around, his marriage fell apart, and he flaked on me a few times. I even confronted him about it, asking him if he wanted to end the friendship. He said No… well, his actions spoke louder than his words. I haven’t spoken to him in 10 years or more…

I wondered why God would do this to me? Why did my 2 best friends leave me? I heard an explanation about it from Preacher Joel Osteen… he said that people may come into our lives for a season or more… but we should not be upset if the relationship doesn’t continue… it was not meant to be, and we should be happy for the time we had together. Things don’t work when they have to be forced. Be glad you knew them and wish them well. That’s the place I have come to with Joe. I hope he is doing well with his life. I will never forget the times we had together.

Also, I used to get excited when I was making new friends, thinking to myself “Maybe they will be my new best friend.” I would think about all the fun things we would do together and the phone conversations we would have. I wondered why you couldn’t just go up to someone and say “Would you like to be my friend?” For a long time in my life, I was shy and dealt with a lot of issues with that. Why did God make me this way? With time, I have been able to let go of these feelings. I may never be the life of the party, and it may take me longer to make friends… but there is nothing wrong with me. I am a good person and someone who will make a good friend.

Dan with stuffed animalsI mentioned letting go of people. How about letting go of things? I can be a bit of a pack rat. So I have a lot of mementos and such from my childhood, chief among them stuffed animals. Earlier this year, I made the decision to get rid of some of my stuffed animals. We had moved to a new apartment and they were taking up a lot of space. I found an organization called SAFE (Stuffed Animals for Emergencies). They collect used stuffed animals, clean them up (or if they can’t, they will recycle them) and then deliver them to agencies (like police and fire departments) that can use them for children in crisis. So I proceeded to sort and sort till I had 2 trash bags filled with them. I kept the old ones from my childhood, like my Winnie the Pooh I was so excited to receive as a child. I took comfort that the animals I took out once or twice a year at most, would be put to good use, versus sitting in a closet most of the time. I did take a few pictures of the animals to remember them with.

Letting go is not an easy thing. But from letting go, we are allowing ourselves to grow. And opening ourselves up to new and greater life experiences.

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Comments on: "Letting Go of the Past" (6)

  1. I understand where your coming from when it comes to people coming in and out of my life. I knew this guy when I was younger (11 or 13) he has cerebral paulsy and I looked up to him and he came tO visit my family and I and then when he went home his folks told us to stay away from him. He was 25 I think at the time and he let his family run his life. I have come to the realization that if he wanted to be around he would but he doesn’t and I just hope his life gets better for him.
    Now on the other topic of letting of things, I have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and I tend to hoard things and it is very hard to get rid of them. My partner Jaymee was getting sick and tired of some comPuter monitors that I had sitting in the closet and her wanted me to get rid of them it took me getting frustrated with him nagging me for me to get rid of them but I did. No I don’t feel better that they are gone because people have asked if I had any monitors but it did clean up some of the clutter. So I guess it worked out for the best. I am glad that you wrote about these two topics because it gets me to think about what I have in my life and what I can free myself of.
    Your friend and blog buddy,
    ~Zack~

  2. sheronda said:

    I understand of letting go…especially the stuff animals. But, I have 2 dolls that I love and cherish to bits. Love them so much, I even stated to my cousin that when I die, I will have them buried with me! Now, some people may think that is strange, and I am not saying to take your stuff animals and do that (what you are doing with them is a wonderful thing) but, that is what I am doing. My cousin thought I was nuts, until a few years back, my great aunt Anita had an open casket with what in it looking right at us? A Raggedy Annie stuffed doll! I looked at my cousin and I realized that strange it may seem to some people, I wasn’t alone in my thinking. As for the letting go or being let go from people, I used to think that maybe there was something wrong with me. Maybe I was the cause for them to leave me. Maybe. I can sit and think of why this person I was friend’s with is no longer my friend or why this or that family member decided to distanced themselves from me and you know what? I stopped. There are reasons why I LET GO (because the people I let go were not the person they were when I first met them and it was a negative reflection on our friendship) or they let go of me (for whatever reason that may be). But, you have to realize that true friends and friendships lasts a long time. You may not talk every single day. But, as long as you keep with contact with them, hit them up to let them know you still in their thoughts and prayes, then you know you have really nothing to worry about. You move on. We all move on. We travel, we get married, we have kids, we change jobs, religion, career paths….we all grow. But, as long as I do not let go of the fact that I appreciate the person that I am now and let go alll the negativities of my life (people, situations, jobs, low self esteem, ect.), I can sit and look back at all of that and just…smile. Life is good. And I am better for going through the things that I have gone through. I am glad I let go or was let go. But, seriously, my two dolls will be with me when I go!

  3. Habeeb Rasheed said:

    letting go of things may be very sad but there is a good part, the part where you allow more space for another good thing to come into your life. Letting go is hard but I try to focus on what new thing is coming. Recently I let go of a friendship that I had hoped would great synergy it did not. I realize that I had already bent over backward trying to see only the good in this person. He must have mistaken this for me needing him and I did not. Now that I have not contacted or dealt with him for several weeks I feel much better. I had no idea what a drag he really was. I will still look to see only good in people, I am happy that this is my real nature, I wont let go of this.

  4. I loved how honest you are and motivational in the same sense. Its easy to state, embrace the idea, and inform others of letting go but sometimes it’s the hardest thing to do due to fear of the unknown and being alone…….. I do however love what you wrote because it’s what everyone should do but it’s just very hard and 90% of the time impossible… I like to remember all the good times fondly because that’s truly what makes everyone who they are and thank you for the blogs you wrote….

  5. […] Letting Go of the Past — Sure, I can do fun topics. But this one also struck a chord with the community. Everyone can relate to hanging on to things (and people) and that sometimes it is best to just let go. Letting go allows us to grow as individuals. […]

  6. […] outlet for me too. I can write about the concerts still, as well as about marriage equality, letting go of the past and my love for […]

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