Today I got a massage and a message all at the same time. It's been a crazy week complete with 2 kids who got sick and are now better. I'm worn down and worn out. I've discovered a pattern in myself.
The few times in the past few years I have gotten massages, I find myself a complete ball of tension at the beginning. While I'm trying to reconcile something inside myself that tells me I'm lying mostly naked on a table being touched by someone I don't know, I tense up. Instinctively. And it takes some time for me to loosen up a little bit. And if you don't loosen up, it begins to hurt a bit. If you can't release your muscles, and allow some of the tension to drift away, it can get downright painful.
Today in the middle of flinching as I tried to relax at the massage, I was struck by the image of a fire. As the fire burns, the smoke rises to the sky and disappears into the atmosphere. If it were only that simple to let go. I've felt myself getting downright angry and bitter in the past few weeks with my ex-husband. Over what he has done and over things he never did. And try as I might, I am mad. Some days that anger dissipates into tears of frustration. Other days I feel as if I'm biting my tongue clear through to stop myself from saying the things that spring to mind when I'm dealing with him or dealing with my children talking about him. Still other days I wonder what is wrong with me that I can't just "let it go." I tell myself I want to let go of the anger and hurt. But somehow I don't seem able to. No matter how much I try and convince myself, convince God that I don't want to harbor this anger any longer...I still do.
As I lay there, I thought of how I wanted to let those feelings burn off and into the sky. I want to be able to let go. A few words wandered through my mind - surrender, give up, let go, let it be.
Surrender to me is a very different thing than letting go. Surrender makes me think of giving up a part of myself to something/someone else. I surrendered my own wants and needs for those of my ex-husband. I don't want to surrender anything to him ever again. No, surrender is not what I'm thinking of.
Give up holds a relatively negative connotation for me too. Give up seems like quitting or walking away because I just can't cope anymore. While perhaps that is exactly what I need, it is not what I want.
No, the posture really is one of letting go. Similar to the fire, as it lets go of the smoke and releases into the air...I want to let go of this anger and bitterness. I want to release it to God, and allow Her to redeem me of it. I recognize it isn't useful to me anymore, that it is only causing me pain. All of the questions I have will never have all the answers I want...and so really there is no reason to continue the fight. There is no winner. There is no loser. The anger isn't holy, nor is it helpful. And, so as I lay there I began to imagine what would happen if I just let it go? Let it rise up to the sky.
I'm still not entirely sure I can let go. But I feel like I have nothing to lose by trying. My prayer is that Jesus can help me let go. That His love is strong enough to overcome the voices of anger, revenge, hurt, frustration that drown out the part of me that knows it's time to let go. I know it is. Now the questions is whether I can believe that my love is strong enough.