Two wrongs don’t make a right.
Better late than never.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
They are all English proverbs—concrete colloquialisms that have added to the massive tapestry of language.
Their simplicity is steadfast; their impact is lasting. They begin as warnings from our parents—you can’t always get what you want—and evolve into the mantras we repeat in times of need—good things come to those who wait.
Proverbs express facets of common sense, or truths universally acknowledged. Of course, they leave room for interpretation, though they all share the bendable camaraderie of shared experiences. They have each been formed for a purpose: to shed light on an abstract concept in a more familiar way.
Passed down from generation to generation, these quotes evolve with us, and can take on different meaning as we move through life.
When I collected our staff’s favorite quotes, I smiled as I read the one that Matt, one of our Primary Therapists, had submitted.
“Let go or be dragged,” it read. I had the exact quote on a refrigerator magnet at home. It is a Zen proverb, and one of my favorites, too.
Matt, who brings an unfailingly optimistic and passionate spirit to our team, has no idea that I have this quote sitting on my refrigerator. Yet, we have both been drawn to it for a reason.
The concept of letting things go is not unique. If we are living, we are letting things go. It is the only way we can move from one place to the next. It is the only way we can bloom in the gardens in which we are planted (these sayings are contagious, you see).
We carry so much with us, from the day we are born. Our burdens are heavy. Our hearts are heavy. Our lives—and all of the experiences we store underneath our skin—are heavy.
It is this heaviness that makes “letting go” such a delicate process. We adjust to the bulk. We improvise. Our minds become unaccustomed with lightness—freeness—openness. The possibilities that can be created in surrendering the oppressive negativity and taxing anxieties that weigh us down.
Letting things go is never easy, though it is an act of self-care that we must encourage. We owe it to ourselves, to create room for new experiences—new hopes—new loves.
As the saying goes, we must let go—or be dragged. There is always a choice.
On this Friday evening, I look at that magnet on my refrigerator. I don’t know what I will need to let go of next.
But when the time comes, I will open my palms, and I will empty my pockets of rocks.
I will drag my feet and go.
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