Remember the words of the Englebert Humperdinck classing Release Me?
Please release me, let me go
My mother used to sing these words aloud as I was growing up. I think they were the only words of that song she knew, because I don’t recall any others. And I don’t recall her singing them to my father. They eventually ended up being married for over 60 years, so I am putting her singing down to her liking the song or Englebert Humperdinck or simply the name “Humperdinck”. What’s not to love about that name, after all? Perhaps Englebert had a fondness for pumpernickel. They just don’t pseudonym like they used to. Can you imagine that today he would probably be called Hdink E. Just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?
Today, I want to explore the concept of releasing or letting go. Usually we think of this in the context of negative issues. Regret, anger, frustration, resentment, regret and pain are all obvious candidates. Left bottled inside any one of these can colour our perceptions, drive our behaviours and limit our potential. It really saddens me when people I know limit themselves in this way. Most of us struggle to acquire the “goods”. These are the qualities and characteristics needed to be succesful, whatever the concept of success may mean to us. However, when you see someone who objectively has the goods, but is stuck because they are limited by the negative emotions they harbour, it’s heart breaking. I suppose it means the answers are clear to us, but not to them. Funny how it’s so much easier to solve other people’s problems than our own and funny how so many people mask their inability and unwillingness to solve or deal with their own issues by trying to save others.
Then there’s bitterness. I recently discovered a fantastic quote from Clarissa Pinkola Estes” book Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
There is a time in our lives, usually in mid-life when a woman has to make a decision – possibly the most important psychic decision of her future life – and that is, whether to be bitter or not. Women often come to this in their late thirties or early forties. They are at the point when they are full up to their ears with everything and they’ve “had it” and “the last straw has broken the camel’s back” and they’re “pissed off and pooped out”. Their dreams of their twenties may be lying in a crumple. There may be broken hearts, broken marriages, broken promises.”
This really resonates with me for I felt I had reached this point in my mid forties. Except when I reached it, I didn’t know that feeling this way was common. I spent a couple of years not letting that bitterness
go, carrying resentment and trying to push through. And all this while I was quietly beating myself about feeling the way I felt – after all, I had all the same good people and creature comforts around me, so I must be the problem, right? Then I started to release, firstly by talking to some close friends about what I was feeling, then by reading and researching and then by letting go of the feeling that I was cornered and stuck. Sounds a bit dramatic, I know, but I just couldn’t see my way through to the fix. The way I finally got through the feelings was to release the complexity, by dealing with one thing at a time, rather than solving everything at once, By doing it this way, the road became clearer. Then I released my passion for things that had long laid dormant or had never been explored, for example writing, dancing, bushwalking and blogging. And then most importantly I released myself and hubby from any blame. The situation was no-one’s fault, it just was and it was normal for this stage of life.
And this is why release is also important. It’s important to share these stories so that people who are or will experience these emotions do not feel they are alone. It is one of the worst feelings in the world to think that you are the only one going through something or that you are walking alone.
Finally, release can also encompass the positive. Releasing passion, laughter, generosity, creativity and inclusion are just as important. For everyone around us is our mirror.
It is worth thinking about what feelings and vibes you release.
Now, that’s all behind me and the future is looking bright indeed. What was a curse is now very much a blessing and no marriages or promises were broken in the writing of this chapter of our lives. What’s more, far from being cornered or stuck, I now feel increadibly free. Any pain involved in release has been worth it.
Today I give myself permission to release. Aaaaaaagh!
25 thoughts on “Today I Give Myself Permission to Release #atozchallenge”
This post resonated with me as I’m sure it will for many women (and men, too). I love that quote you included: “There is a time in our lives, usually in mid-life when a woman has to make a decision – possibly the most important psychic decision of her future life – and that is, whether to be bitter or not.” So simple and yet it carries so much truth.
It is indeed powerful and you are right it applies equally to men.
How can you still top your own posts every day? 😉
I feel that even if you want to maintain a status quo you like (or probably: the positive aspects of the status quo you like most) you need to change something or let go of something you considered important.
You have liked my post on time travel movies today (Thanks!) so I cannot resist: If you would be given the chance to travel back in time – would you change a thing?
That’s a tough question. I think instincively I would answer yes, because it would mean I could use the wisdom I have since gained to make a different decusion. Yet on the other hand, if I hand’t made those decisions way back when I wouldn’t have gained the wisdom in the first place. So maybe my answer would be no.
Yes, yes, yes! If that evoked another type of release, it’s your dirty mind. 😉
I reached the bitterness juncture in my early 40s, and chose to release it. Some of my closest friends chose release, too. Those who didn’t are no longer in the “closest friends” category, because we talk, think, act and live so differently. It’s my perspective that the release of bitterness and all its negativity made (more) room for the release of passion and all its positivity.
Fabulous post. 🙂
Yes, I agree with you. Releasing negetivity lets you release all the good stuff. A necessary step. As for the dirty mind, all I’m going to say is I’m having what you’re having 😉
It’s important to let some things go or they’ll eat up your insides. One reason I write is for release and sanity
It’s a great reason to write. Writing is usually cathartic in one sense or another.
This is very good, Judy. It’s hard to release negative feelings. I have a lot of examples between family and friends, but there is one that stands out, and it is my own. My husband was wronged at work, and I had feelings of intense hatred because of it. Hatred was not an emotion I had dealt with before, and it consumed me every waking minute of every day. I shed tears, I talked about it, I talked to myself. I hated feeling like that about another person, but it dogged me. Finally, there was a day of release. Just as fast as it consumed me, it went away. I can see why people hold onto negative emotions for so long, but I can also see why it is important – important to mental health and happiness – to release and let it go.
I’m glad you pushed through it. It’s like that saying “live life on the basis of the apology you never got”, forgiveness is for ourselves, not for the other person. I can see why people hold on to negative emotion as well, it is dangerous though if it becomes a mantle.
Release is like spring cleaning. It’s energizing to start with a clean slate.
Positively your best A-Z post this year!
Boing, boing boing and thank you. I think I’m digging deeper as the Challenge continues.
Your journey of letting go of bitterness, one piece at a time, is moving and inspiring. Bitterness is a good word for it, too. I didn’t realize that’s what it was back when I was hanging on to it (with respect to my childhood, in my case) with all my might. I’m grateful I took the laborious journey out of my self-imposed bitter misery. Thanks for sharing yours.
It is hard work, no doubt about it and usually involves confronting things that are uncomfortable. In most cases though the freedom at the other end is very much worth it. Thank you for the wonderful feedback on the post.
Great post, Judy. Learning to let go is one of the skills that we all struggle to develop in one way or another and it’s probably the most important one we should develop from a young age. Ah well, you know the saying – youth is wasted on the young! 🙂
Youth certainly is, but then again I never appreciated it either when I was young – you know back in the dark ages :). Possibly letting go requires at least a little bit of wisdom, unless you’re one of the rare ones who were born coated in teflon 🙂
Teflon free zone! 🙂
Your posts are therapeutic. You bring insights in such a beautiful way.
I could connect with this so well. Like you, I too thought it was only I who felt that way… AND I beat myself over it too.
Thank you Dagny. It’s nice to know that we have shared a similar point in our journey. May both our futures be brighter as a result 🙂
What a wonderful post! I was once recommended to read Women who run with the wolves and I loved it. I like what you say about also releasing the positive. I’m fairly new as a blogger, but I feel that blogging is also a way to release something positive, and share it with others. Thanks for a great post, I look forward to be following you!
Thanks G, I’ll be popping over to check out your blog. Blogging can be a wonderful way to release the positive. May you touch many with your words.
Judy, well said from Engelbert on down. This also resonated with this guy as well, as there is an invigorating freedom being released or letting yourself be released from the various chains we have worn. When I left a heavily bureaucratic employer sixteen months ago, the freedom from that kind of stress was like a rebirth. I was released from bondage so to speak. You have been ever so illuminating and reflective with your alphabet posts. Keep up the wonderful work. BTG
From an employment prespective I went through much the same thing coming up to two years ago now. The day I walked out the door I was scared as hell, but knew it was the right decision and knew that I would land on my feet again. It was and I have and I am once again inspired by my work. Rather than let the biterness consume me, I moved in a much more positive direction. Thanks for your wonderful feedback as always 🙂
There’s something reassuring about knowing I’m not the only one who’s hitting/has hit this point in my life. YOu’re right, releasing is much better than bottling, especially in cases like this. Something to ponder for the day.
Thanks Allyson, I wish you all the best with your journey. It’s never easy especially when you’re in the thick of it.