Hold on. Hold hands. Hold close. Hold back. Hold tight.
We have a tendency to grasp too tightly.
Especially when something has captured our hearts. Such as when we love someone. Or when we treasure a favourite possession, lifestyle or dream.
Yet, a healthy love can shift into unhealthy worship when we try to hold onto someone or something too tightly. We begin to focus on earthly things and end up prioritizing them, serving them, protecting them, trying to keep them safe.
When we hold on too tightly our love can begin to suffocate and stifle. Not just the objects of our love, but us too.
For something to flourish, it needs ample room to stretch and breathe. Where encouragement and opportunity has freed up the abundant space necessary for trying new things, taking courageous risks, and stepping into novel adventures.
Where we are able to access the fertile soil conducive to us developing, unfurling, transforming. And where there are possibilities for new fruit to be produced.
It is the strangest thing how we all yearn for major milestones, such the first day of school, graduation, leaving home, or getting married. Yet, when we are perched at the thresholds of change, we can hesitate.
We can be tempted to stop. To suddenly grab onto to what is recognizable and comfortable and safe. Reluctant to release the illusions of safety, that clasp us close but which constrict us.
We don’t talk much about how we will cope when these milestones arrive. And because we seldom process them ahead of time, we can really struggle when they arrive. For we often fail to grasp that with every change we are forced to say goodbye to some things, in order to welcome the new things. Change means that we must relinquish at least some of what we have valued.
So while we recognize that each moment of transition is full of possibilities and optimism and joy – we must recognized that they are also full of loss and grief and sorrow. A sense of enthusiasm about what lies ahead, but also deep sorrow for all that must be left behind.
And though we can tend to believe that a circumstance can cause us to feel one emotion or another – we actually can hold onto many diverse feelings at one time. And we can be certain that each transition will especially stir a range of mixed feelings.
By holding life more loosely and preparing ourselves for points of transitions, we will be able to walk into and through these inevitable and unpredictable life stages.
So relax your grip. Open your hands. Start the process of gradually releasing the things and people we cherish. Anticipate that there will be both blessings and losses in each new transition. Prepare to both celebrate and grieve, as you face each new challenge.
Pull things close. Gather them in. Embrace them, and cherish them.
But love with open hands and hearts. Provide the necessary space for the old to be released. And for the new to be embraced.
For an index of all my posts in the series, please click here.
Photo credits: Steven Van Loy, Liv Bruce, Dineslav Roydev, from Unsplash