What is life if not a see-saw ride between letting go and holding on. Be it old toys, a tattered pair of jeans or a love affair gone wrong, letting go is not easy. We let go and then run back again and grab it, whatever we can – pieces, fragments, shreds. They fill us for a while, give us a happy high. Soon the pieces start hurting us, the rough edges scratch our soul, the uneven chunks weigh heavily and drag us down and we hit the low. Like a heavy child on a see-saw, we know not how to raise ourselves.
Reluctantly, we let go of the pieces again from our pockets and our purse, from the little nooks and corners of our hearts. The empty lightness lifts us up. Elated we breathe in fresh air, joy and happiness. Some we retain some pass through our hollow shell. Eventually, we fill in the emptiness with new love, new interests and stories. Some cling to us while some slither away, making us go through the difficult and painful process of letting go yet again.
“Let go, for only then can you move on,” we hear so often. It’s not as simple as it sounds. No matter how hard we try some fragments stick on to the edges of our desire, they lay hidden in the nooks and corners of our dreams, in the lazy folds of our memories. We weep at firsts, then sigh hopelessly, eventually the memories sometimes stir and bring smiles to our lips. We look back longingly, indulgently as we move on and embrace the new.
Our first love, our first kiss, our first heartbreak. We were ecstatically floating in happy clouds till the rumbling thunder of the broken heart threw us on the hard ground. It hurt so much, the unbearable pain, the endless tears and then the unending numbness. We struggled to let go, yet we held on and it hurt more. Our heart so shattered, as if it will never mend.
But one day, unwittingly, we are whole again. Some fragments still cling to us, they adorn us, make our lives richer. We relish the memory of the first kiss, of our loves lost, of dreams that we dropped carelessly as we strode along. The pain has somehow eased, the numbness is forgotten, all that remains are the alluring fragments of the past that make our present richer and inspire us to pursue the future. We become a stunning vase of cracked glass that holds fragrant flowers. The flowers dry, we change them for fresh ones but the fragrance remains with us forever. As Rumi once said, “Life is a balance between holding on and letting go.”