letting go of the old

saying hello to a new friend

This past September, we decided not to host the family Christmas Eve party any longer. Even though it was a relief, I wondered if I would regret this decision….wondered what the holidays would feel like this year. Would there be an emptiness?

Several days ago, a friend gave me the gift of 3 magnificent old wooden statues of the Buddha. As Jack and I were walking through our tiny home, looking and feeling for the perfect spot for each one, we both noticed that there were several extra-large chairs that we didn’t use.

It dawned on me that we had these chairs to accommodate the large group that came for the Christmas Eve party and that the rest of the year, only the cats sat in them. As we moved them out to make room for the statues, I could feel that  the letting go of the party needed to happen to make room for this gift.

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us“. Joseph Campbell

18 thoughts on “letting go of the old

  1. So many things you’ve written this week have resonated with me. I’ve recently let go of a lot of external commitments, and now I’m trying to clear my mind and my home of accumulated “stuff,” and let go of things I always thought I would get around to, but haven’t. Thanks for your quiet thoughts, I find them such a useful way to start the work day!

  2. Hi Mary…

    I love this picture of your kitty getting to know Buddha and Buddha getting to know your kitty! This picture indeed speaks a thousand words.

    As I purge, rearrange, and let go of things in my own life, it is amazing what then happens. First, the freedom of new space is exciting. All new possibilities. And making room for new things, new friends, can totally change our landscape, our view, our perspective, our mood, our energy and sometimes even our direction. Funny how we know when the moment is right to let go and ready ourselves for what’s around the next bend…life’s anticipation…love it!

      • No Jill, they didn’t but they voted to let us sit on one small corner of the couch and on one of the harder chairs… if we were really good!

    • And my second thought is that the cat is looking at the Buddha and thinking, “How am I supposed to sleep on that?”

  3. Last night I read a short, newly discovered play by Eugene O’Neill called “Exorcism”. It’s about a young man who fails at committing suicide and comes to see that he has the option of starting life over by leaving his old life behind and going out into the world to “see what is waiting” for him.

  4. Campbell’s quote had to have inspired John Lennon’s “life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans” – or words to that effect. Just like many card games, if you never discard one of your cards for a new one, you’ll never know what might be waiting for you, – that wild card is still on my mind today! Have a wild happy weekend everyone. Kitty just looks stunned to see the intruder that swallowed up her chair! How dare he? 🙂

    • Woops, in re-reading Campbell’s quote – Lennon’s has nothing to do with his message, but for whatever reason it popped into my head.

  5. The Buddha’s mudras (hand positions) indicate he comes with peace and clarity; it so looks like they are communicating!

  6. I absolutely love this photo of Bodhi (?) “listening” to the Buddha. Another frameable one for your cat gallery.

    I have a tendency to cling to the “old” way past its expiration date, change is challenging for me. But I’m, with the help of this “support group,” becoming more willing to take risks and trust the universe. Thank you beyond what words can convey, Mary, for your “pen ministry.”

  7. Change is a challenge for me, too, Sally! As we are preparing to leave our beautiful farm in Kentucky to begin the next chapter in our lives in Georgia, I find myself becoming increasingly wistful about the last 15 years, and wondering if I will ever love another place like I have this one. And just 6 months ago I was going on about finding our dream farm in Georgia!! I definitely need to take a lesson from Joseph Campbell and Mary and learn to leave the past in the past and eagerly anticipate the exciting things the future hold. Thank you Mary and all here for saying what I needed to hear today!

  8. Mary, the quote is wonderful, the thought is more than wonderful but you’ve opened up a subject for which there appears to end (for me, at least and for many folks, I feel). Letting go is to me one of the hardest things of all to do. To turn over our hurts, our pain, our worries to a higher power is a huge relief and I have done in once or twice in my life with considerable success but it doesn’t change or eliminate the fact that I nurture my hurts, my pain, still. It would be better for me not to do this, I know but it’s a constant struggle to ‘let go’. Why, I wonder? What do I get in return for harbouring these depressing and hurtful thoughts in my mind? Why do I give them head space? I do know bette, I tell myself. Yet, I feel it’s a very human thing to do, an error in our loving judgement of ourselves to beat ourselves up with these negative thoughts, our ego takes over. I need to find my own means of release and it is often in my crreative work that I find this release but I have to admit that ‘letting go’ is a constant battle for me when hurtful situations occur in my life. I find that I have every good intention of remembering my past learned experiences but the awful thing is that it keeps popping up and back into my life when I know better. As I say, it’s a constant struggle of my human ego.

    SandyP. in Canada

  9. “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us“. Joseph Campbell

    Simply awesome Mary!!!!!!!! I need to copy and post this somewhere where I can see it on a regular basis…thanks, xoxo Marian

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