sharing this article that I have read back in 2007…


            A friend once asked me, “Why, at an early age, are we taught to do the ‘close-open?’” You know the tradition — when we are coaxed as infants to close and open our hands to the rhythm of our kin’s “close-open, close-open” chanting. I surmised that it had something to do with training our young motor nerves to increase our dexterity, and she laughed. She sagaciously preached that this is done so that when the right time comes, we would know when to hold on or to let go. Of course, the holding on, we easily learn and apply quite effortlessly in our lives. But the letting go is where most of us fail. For, indeed, one of the hardest lessons to learn in life is knowing when to release and let go. Countless hearts have been broken and many lives have been ruined because people didn’t know when and how to let go.


           Often, you find yourself at life’s big crossroads at which you have to make a major choice or decision. You know that you want to move forward, but what you may not realize is that you have one foot on the brakes. It is actually you who prevent the freedom that you pine for from happening and the fresh air you desperately need from blowing your way. In relationships gone sour, if you don’t release someone who wants out, you are actually preventing him from getting to his destiny. The same thing applies to you: By holding on to the past or hanging on to someone, you could be hampering the bright new future that’s been waiting in the wings for you. The energy it takes to hang onto the past or to someone you cannot give up can be terribly draining. It is negative energy — tiring, frustrating, and debilitating — and can hold you back from living a fresh, new, more fulfilling life. It can even get you sick if not dealt with promptly and properly. Whether what is bothering you is the nagging memory of a painful experience, the loss of a loved one through separation or death, the difficult decision of quitting a job, selling an object with high sentimental value, or ending a relationship you have invested so much on, you need to have the ability to weigh things judiciously and decide wisely what you should do.


            When you are in a quandary as to whether to hold on or to let go, analyze the situation you are in very carefully, very subjectively. Use your mind and not your heart to evaluate the pros and cons of either decision. Realize that your feelings and emotions can color your thoughts, and you might end up making the wrong choice. If you still see a glimmer of promise that it (the relationship or the situation you are in) can still work out, then by all means, try your best to make it happen. Sometimes we give up too easily without putting up a fight. There is really no easy way to live life; you have to negotiate the hurdles in order to win the gold. As they say, try and try until you succeed.


           On the other hand, you should be able to put your foot down and say, “Enough is enough!” and disentangle yourself from the web of suffering and indecision before you reach the point of no return. So, how can you tell when it is the time to let go? It’s time to quit when the hurting is too much. When your health (both mental and physical) is at stake. When the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages. When it dawns on you that it is a love that cannot be. When you feel, unneeded, unappreciated, unwanted, unloved. When you start to feel chronically negative and ugly, and in fact are looking ugly. When dark emotions of self-destruction or vengeance start to darken and harden your heart. When you feel horribly bitter about life. And when you feel it is a win-win situation for all, most especially for you, to call it quits.


              Realize the problem, acknowledge it, and face it squarely. Then, deal with it to the best of your ability. If you feel you can’t handle it, get a best friend’s advice or professional help. Gather your self-respect, or whatever is left of it, and fill your heart with courage of a thousand eagles to say goodbye. Yes, break free, release and fly while you still have your wings. Then, release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. Say goodbye only once and blot out all the illusory memories that will tempt you to come running back. For your own sake and for your well-being and sanity, move on, don’t look back, and start a new life. Life is like a flying trapeze: You must have a clean break from one swing to safely and successfully cling on to the new swing. Heal yourself and move on. Cry some, it will do you good. Then put on a smile because time is on your side and time heals everything. Straighten up and face without fear the great big surprise that fate has waiting for you just around the corner

 By Dero Pedero 
Tuesday, November 27, 2007 
Philippine Star