Letting go and holding on

As countries continue to go into lockdown and people’s livelihoods are disappearing, it is a season of uncertainty for us all. I was speaking with a friend in the USA this weekend (via Instagram) and he said he was “trying to hold on and let go at the same time”. What wise words for us all to apply to our lives.

Letting go:

All of us will have things that we need to let go of at the moment and some of them are so very, very hard to do. They might be wedding plans, long awaited holidays, jobs and careers, personal dreams, new businesses, studying, fitness plans, financial goals… I honestly can’t name them all. There are so many ‘things’ that COVID-19 has impacted and we have all been impacted in one way or another. So today, why don’t you give yourself permission to mourn the things you need to let go of – mourn the things that can no longer be.

I suggest you allocate 20-30 minutes to write down the dreams/goals/plans in your life that are not longer possible and really be honest with how you feeling. Allow yourself to actually feel disappointed, angry, frustrated, depressed, sad or whatever. After that timing however, let’s do some letting go. If we are going to keep going, it’ll be easier if we aren’t holding onto things that are no longer a reality. The world has changed for the foreseeable future and it’s time for us to be resilient. You can do this; you can rise and rise again. You can let go of those hopes and dream and put others in their place. I will be doing the same. Our new dreams may look very different and not as ‘glamorous’ for a while, but having dreams/plans to look forward to is important for us all. Take a moment… let go with me. It is hard and almost unbelievable, but we are in this together. You are not alone; everyone will be faced with changes. Let them go dear friend. Even if you have tears in your eyes, take a moment to mourn and let them go.

Holding on:

As we are doing our ‘letting go’ now is also a time to ‘hold on’ more than ever before. Hold on to relationships, hold onto hope, hold onto self-compassion and hold on faith or beliefs. Hold on to the idea that you will survive this. Hold on dear heart. I will be honest and say that I have moments during the day when I think ‘Is this really happening?’ I feel sadness as I look at the lives lost, the virus spreading, people without work, nations shutting down – it is the reality of what is happening. But I don’t stay in that place. Instead I hold onto my faith in God and my belief in the extraordinary ingenuity and endurance of the human race.

Today I am holding onto the people I love, messaging them words of hope or sending them funny memes to lighten their day. I am being more intentional about my connections, not necessarily in quantity but in quality. I am also treasuring and being mindful of the the moments I find joy and sharing them with others. Today I am holding onto hope, hope for a cure, hope for a breakthrough and good news. Today I am holding onto self-compassion and realising that sometimes I will feel strong, while other times weak and that is ok. Lastly, I am holding onto my personal faith. Faith in a God who cares for us, who hears us, who has empowered us and loves us without measure.

What are you holding onto today? Just like our letting go exercise, why don’t you write them down and spend some time focusing on the things that are your strength today? When you feel down, remind yourself of what you are holding onto.

As things around the world continue to unfold, we will be letting go and holding on at the same time. Both are equally important particularly in moments of such rapid of change. Take a breath, take a moment, you are doing so well.

Love Jess xxoo

PS – I’ve been spending time on a live dance party on Instagram by DJ dnice (click on his name for link to his profile). Although I know nothing about him, he plays great music and it’s honestly a lot of fun having a virtual party with about 100k people. Things really go off when he does a hat change 🙂

Life’s Intermissions

Intermission (noun). A pause or break. A period during which action temporarily ceases; an interval between periods of action or activity.

Have you ever had a season in your life when you feel like everything is on pause? It might be caused by illness, a career break, a bad decision or a change in social situations, but whatever the reason it can be incredibly frustrating. It can feel like you’re in a holding pattern just waiting for your life to re-start. I know because I have been there a few times myself.

Say it with me “I’m in an intermission.” When those thoughts of uncertainty, and the feelings of being forgotten or left behind come creeping in, just remind yourself that this is only temporary. I know it doesn’t feel like it right now, but it is. Everyone has ‘intermission’ moments in their lives and despite being uncomfortable they aren’t necessarily a bad thing.

For the audience, an intermission builds anticipation for what’s to come in the acts to follow
– Sue Brickey

If you feel you are enduring an intermission in your life, let me encourage you to see it as an opportunity to reflect. For Christians it’s a time to trust and draw closer to God as Psalm 62:5-8 shows us how it’s done. It’s a forced pause for you to take stock of what you want in life and what your values are. It’s an opportunity to change the next scene in your life. If you don’t like what happened in the past, it’s time for change. If the past was great, it’s time for stepping up into something bigger and better or trying something completely different. I know for me, the way I see life’s intermissions has always determined what the next ‘act’ looks like and how well I make it through.

As long as we don’t check-out, things will get moving again eventually and a new act or season will start. This interruption to your life, might just be exactly what you didn’t realise you needed.

“I’m at an intermission in my life. I’m looking forward to what will come next.
I’m just at a pause. So it’s alright, it’s not over yet.”
– Author unknown

Love Jess xxoo

For more encouragement in the struggle read: Gratitude, When Faith and Hope Run out or Ten Times Braver