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Angie opened the directory, searched for the person’s name and dialed his number. He wasn’t there. She looked at her small booklet and tried to concentrate on her “to-do-list”. She even convinced herself that she can start with an ultra easy task just to keep herself busy until lunch time. The person she needed to call was a young man she met in the elevator this morning on her way to the office, and she needed to call him to provide him with certain information related to her work.

Anyway, she will need to contact him again during the day and make sure to deliver the information… Hey Angie, why don’t you add this task to your to-do-list and move on to something else? I am sure you will have fewer burdens to carry if you do that, and I am also sure that you will be able to concentrate on other tasks.

Speaking of letting go, Angie read the following on Paulo Coehlo’s blog and felt that it was written just for her:

“One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through.
Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters – whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.

Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents’ house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden? You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened.

You can tell yourself you won’t take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister.
Everyone is finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.”

Angie took a deep breath and thought to herself, “ I have been trying to standstill for a long time now, trying to convince myself that I need to understand what is happening and why it is happening before taking any other step. I can’t remember when I stood still and started observing things, people and time passing. I wanted so much to grasp why certain things that I used to consider so real, so important and so solid have turned into dust and into illusions in a matter of seconds. But I see now that it doesn’t really matter. Would it change much to understand why, where, how, who and when things started to change? Would I feel better if I knew what is happening?” She took a deep breath and continued reading.

“Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away.”

Yes, but sometimes, we don’t want to let them “really” go away, Angie yelled. “It is true that the past has passed and the only thing we have is this present moment and that we should learn not to cling to anything and to remain open to all possibilities. But it isn’t easy to let go, I wish it was easy to let go of things that we really care about and of things we really enjoy doing. Why can’t they stay forever? Why things in life can’t be like photos? Why a photo can freeze fleeting moments while we can’t freeze anything even the happiest moments in our lives? Why everything pass? Can’t it stay for longer?”

“That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home.

Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts – and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.
Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them.

Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood.

Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.

Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the “ideal moment.”

Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back.
Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person – nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need.”

Angie took another deep breath and repeated to herself “there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person – nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need.” She said: “Yes, but once you learn something, do you think it is easy to unlearn it? Once you get used to something, do you think it is feasible to forget it, to delete it, to sweep it under the carpet? Do you think that once you learn to breathe properly from your nostrils and through your abdomen, you can still go back to breathing from your mouth? How sad it is to acknowledge that nothing or nobody is irreplaceable! How sad it is to think that we can try to do a great work only to find out that somebody tomorrow or in a week or in a month from now, will do it even better! How depressing it is to think that we are important only to find out that in a few weeks, months, years, we existed, we were, we did… What is real? What is unreal? Is there a status quo? Is there an unchangeable place where we can go, where we can hide, where we can live? Is there a forever somewhere? Is there a lost island were time doesn’t seem to exist? Is there a place (real or unreal) where dreams can exist and can last forever? Is there a cloud somewhere where we can stay as long as we want?”  Angie took another deep breath and thanked God that she wouldn’t have to formulate those questions to anyone but herself. She even wondered if one day she would find someone who can actually answer those questions. She looked at her watch and prayed for a sign, for a change, for a small light of hope… and she continued reading:

“This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.

Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life.

Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust.

Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.”

More questions aroused when she read the last few sentences. She had more questions to ask and hardly any answers: “ How do you know it is time to close a cycle? How do you know that this cycle no longer fits your life? What if it fits it in a different way? What if you decide to let go when it is too soon? What if you let go and you find yourself falling? How do you stop being who you were and change into who you are? Who are you in the first place? Is there a manual to define who you are? Why is it important to know who you are? Why is the person who you used to be is different from the one you are now? Aren’t they the same person with different feelings in different times? How do you change into who you are?

(By Zeina Gabriel)