This is not about the Pandemic (with a capital “p” because it’s been so significant in just about everyone’s life for the last year or so).
I’ve been mired in the past the last few weeks. I’ve dreamed of horses and wished they were still in my life.
It has made me sad and forced me to think about what it takes to move forward and let go of the past.
People are always telling other people to just let go. It’s not that easy.
When my dad died, it was the first major loss in my life. I was a few days shy of 17 years old and it changed my life forever. Sometimes I revisit the day he died. It’s been years now since that has made me cry. But the important thing here is this: I’ve never let it go. I’ve also never let go of the death of my mother.
So does that mean I am stuck in that past? Speaking from the inside of me (after all, I’m not really qualified to speak from the outside of me), I’d have to say that no, I am not stuck in that past even though it might look like it from the outside.
But there have been days recently when I fervently wished I could let go of horses and just move on. Sometimes the pain of giving up being with horses is almost too great to tolerate.
Who knows? Maybe ten years down the road I will look back on this day and the last couple of weeks and realize that I have actually moved forward. Perhaps I will have just put horses beside me instead of behind me and they are moving forward along with me. Slightly out of step, but there nonetheless.
Maybe that’s how it always is. Maybe there is no real letting go. Maybe the true path forward is to carry all the things that have meaning for you right along with you. Maybe the pain of loss is the thing that reminds you that you once had something really good.
And maybe having known something good in the past is the thing that lets us hope for more good in the future.