A Tight Grip
My daughter often becomes attached to inanimate objects. I think it goes hand and hand with her autism. She was completely obsessed with the Jessie doll from Toy Story and absolutely had to have it with her at all times. I can not tell you how many times we had to completely stop the world when she would lose Jessie’s hat.
Her first obsession that we can remember was with a spoons. She held that thing for four days straight. She held it during bath time, dinner time and bed time. When she woke up in the mornings it would still be in her hands.
We tried to talk her in to letting it go but she was not having it. It became a distraction and a handicap for her. She couldn’t take her focus off of it. When she would try to do something that required both hands she simply couldn’t do it. Instead of putting down the spoon and accomplishing what needed to get done, she would just not do it.
She would rather keep her grip on the spoon and miss out on climbing the monkey bars or swinging the softball bat. The spoon was what brought her the most comfort and was also her biggest downfall.
I bent down to her level and looked her in the eyes. I softly told her that she needed to let this go so that she could be free to do the things in her life that required more of her than just one hand. I let her know that it was okay to really love this spoon but she needed to put it away. She could put it somewhere that she could get to it easily and could hold it when she thought she needed to but she was going to need to detach herself from it.
She finally let it go.
My Own Weight
I think that we tend to do the same with our hurts.
I’m a victim of suicide. If you haven’t experienced it then I don’t think that you can fully understand what it does to someone. It’s not for a lack of compassion but simply because it is a hurt and loss that is so bizarre and enormous that you can’t fully wrap your mind around it unless you have experienced it.
My fathers suicide is my spoon. I have become attached to it. I hold it for days at a time refusing to put it down. When I am in a position that requires me to let go of it, I can’t.
I’m also a professional at hiding the fact that I have my fist tightly gripped around it. You can’t see me in my car or hear the song that is blasting on my radio. “There Will Be A Day” by Jeremy Camp is so loud in my car that I have no idea of what is going on outside of my little world. My grip tightens.
There is a pair of huge decorative boots outside one of our malls. They’ve been there all of my life. My brother and I always called them “dad’s boots” when we were growing up. I can’t look at them anymore. My oldest daughter says “look, there’s your dad’s boots” every time we pass them and it makes me mad at her. Obviously it’s not her fault, she is just trying to be fun and sweet so I don’t tell her how it cuts me like a knife. They will be decorating them in white lights next month for the holidays. That’s always been one of my favorite things about the holidays. This year I won’t even be able to drive by them.
My friends try to talk me in to letting it go. My sister worries that it has becomes an obsession. My mom worries that it will be a weight around my ankles for the rest of my life. My husband worries that it’s a pain that I will never recover from.
They are all right.
Why am I handicapping myself? Why am I holding on to something that is only causing me hurt?
One morning before my walk, my husband asked me if I thought about carrying weights with me while I walked. I reminded him that it was hard enough for me to go on the walk in the first place so why would I make it harder by weighing myself down.
Isn’t that what I’m doing everyday?
I wonder if people can see my leg dragging behind me with the weight of suicide or if I’m so good at pretending that they don’t even notice.
I don’t have to let it weigh me down. I don’t have to let it control my emotions. I don’t have to let it cage me. I don’t have to let it bring me to tears because of a song.
It’s my choice. It’s time to put down the weights. I may be too weak to carry them but my heavenly Father is strong. He will carry them for me.
Are you dragging your leg behind you with the weight of hurt. Do you cringe when a certain song comes on the radio but you can’t force yourself to change it? Do you have to look away when you pass a reminder?
You don’t have to.
Hand your weights to your heavenly Father. Free yourself.
He has knelt down to your level. He is looking in to your eyes. He is telling you to let go of the things that are keeping you from the good things that require all of you.
Let go of the spoon.
Merciful Father thank you for carrying our weight for us so that we can have both hands free. Help us to let go of the of the hurts that are dragging us down. When we consume ourselves in the pain gently kneel down to our level, look us in the eye and remind us that we have beauty all around us but in order to see it we are going to need to let go of the spoon. In Jesus name, amen”.
Those boots outside our mall that remind me of my father are ironically named “The Giant Justin’s”. My daughter who is autistic and taught me the lesson of letting go is also Justin. She is my new “Giant Justin’s”.