How to Let Go When You Desperately Want to Hold On

 

For the Person Who Needs to Let Go and Trust in God’s Plan for Their Lives

I grasped the phone tightly as I felt its edges dig deep into the palm of my hand. The plastic cover that protected my phone quivered with fear as my fingers strangled the small, square electronic object. I pushed the phone a little harder against my ear as I heard his deep, soft voice smoothly protrude through the speaker.

Every muscle in my body was tense and my heart was racing with fear.

Fear of being abandoned.

Fear of being alone.

Fear of rejection.

And most importantly fear of the unknown.

My voice quivered with the same fear that ran through my veins. With shaky words and tears falling down my cheeks, I tried to convince him to stay. I tried to convince him that things will get better, the fighting will stop, the trust will grow and the love will remain.

I heard the foreign words that were carefully crafted roll off my tongue as I gasped for air in between sentences and sobs. You see, I was never really good with goodbyes or walking away from something or someone I loved. I was raised to never give up, to try harder, to keep pushing until you see the results you so desperately desired. So, when him and I said our final goodbyes and I love you’s, I felt an all consuming fear and pain engulf me.

Somewhere along the lines I associated my fears to this desperate need of trying harder in my relationships- intimate relationships and friendships. I guess I thought if you gave up on the relationship, you were giving up on love, and more importantly the person you loved. So, I held on tighter.

But I didn’t just hold onto the people in my life with a forceful grip, I held onto my insecurities of not feeling enough for someone.

I held onto this need to constantly compare myself to others, allowing feelings of jealousy to bubble up and overflow to those closest to me.

I desperately gripped onto my past relationships that never worked out and the pain they caused.

I clenched onto my fears, my selfish ways, my inability to let go of my pride and admit that I was wrong.

I was constraining the reckless, immature ways of handling situations instead of voicing my thoughts and feelings in a mature matter.

I used a bottle of tequila and nights out with my friends to mask the pain and make excuses for my poor behavior and choices.

I didn’t listen to others. I didn’t change. I just held onto these toxic qualities about myself because it was easier then going through the painful process of confronting each one of these areas.

And guess what?

I held onto all of these toxic qualities until it ruined a relationship that had the potential to be something extraordinary.


Sometimes it takes a person or a situation to shake up our world so drastically in order for us to confront, and let go of all the demons that have been hiding away inside us.


Through these painful situations we learn more about who we are, how we react to problems, how we might treat others when our fears and insecurities are raging in front of us, and most importantly the person we want to become after the pain subsides.

Unfortunately, the sad part about this is these individuals or situations rarely get to stay the same in our lives.

There are times where we must forgo what we thought would happen, or the plans we made for ourselves in order to step into the person and plans God has for us.

At the time of that phone call I felt as if my world was crashing down around me. Nothing was going as I wanted or expected it to go. I remember feeling beaten down and distraught because I was faced with multiple situations that shook me to the core of my being.

In the weeks that preceded the phone call, I was faced with the news that I needed to stay an extra four weeks in my student teaching placement after graduation. I would be allowed to walk in the ceremony and celebrate like any other individual who finally concluded their time at college, but I would have to return the following Monday to my placement school.

Once I made it through the four weeks, I was confronted with another set back. I was required to take an online summer class in order to bring up my GPA to graduate. In addition to all of this, I still needed to take my state level teaching certification tests, which cost lots of money- something I did not have. So, I attempted to look for a job. During this timeframe I felt like a huge failure. I felt as if I just could not get it right with anything, or anyone. I was a mess and took it out on everyone in my way, especially to those closest to me.

So when the phone rang that day, and my boyfriend told me he thought it would be better to focus on ourselves for awhile, it was the cherry on top of my disappointment cake.


What I did not realize at the time was God was calling me out of my toxic, selfish, and fearful ways. He was calling me to let go of my plans, and my expectations in order to turn to him and trust his ways more fully.

You see, I think there are times in our lives where we must lose it all in order to stretch more fully into the person we are meant to become.

We must hit rock bottom and come face to face with pain in order to fully understand, and accept that everything in this place that we are holding onto is keeping us from stepping into the next phase of our lives.

I had to let go of a lot in the weeks that followed the disappointing situations and break up I went through.

First, I had to confront and let go of the pain I felt. I had to accept my current reality for what it was. I had to understand the mistakes I made, not only in my relationship, or friendships, but this also included the mistakes I made along the way in my academic career that put me on the pathway that it did.

I had to let go of my fears of failing, being alone, my expectations of what I thought my future should look like, as well as the fear of facing the real world with not a clue on how to navigate being an adult. I then surrendered myself fully to God. I drew closer to him by praying, reading the bible, listening to music and sermons that encouraged and uplifted me out of the pain I was feeling.

By letting go, and giving my fears, insecurities, doubts, and the unknown future to God, I started feeling better, stronger, and more myself in the weeks that followed.

Now, a couple of months later I look back and I am thankful for all of the challenges, struggles, fears, and people I was holding onto so tightly and desperately. I realized I needed to face myself more fully, in order to realize how important it is to let certain things go.

You see readers, when we surrender our plans, our expectations, and our desperate wants and desires to the God of the universe, he listens, restores our brokenness, and pieces us back together little by little.

I received a second chance at loving the man on the phone. I am able to correct my mistakes and love more fully, whole heartedly and sacrificially the way Jesus wants us to love. I am able to walk boldly and confidently in the present situations I am faced with instead of being filled with fear.

So what are you holding onto?

Are you holding onto fear? Fear of failure? Fear of success? Fear of placing your trust and love in someone?

Are you holding onto past memories that are keeping you from living your life in the present?

Or maybe are you are holding onto high expectations and selfish ways, refusing to listen to others?

Whatever you are holding onto so tightly, so desperately I urge you to let go. This week focus on letting go of everything that is holding you back from becoming everything you are meant to be.

Give it all to the universe or to God, and trust that whatever is meant to happen in your life will in its own timing.

Choose things in your life that bring you happiness. Make choices little by little that point you on the pathway that you feel you are meant to be on.

Let go, and let the creator of the universe do the rest.

Until next time,

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God Bless,
L.Blum

Ready or Not the Real World is Calling: A College Graduate’s Guide to Moving on.

 

ready or not the real world is calling cover


 

I quickly cut my steering wheel to the right and smoothly pulled up the semi steep, black driveway that led to my little college house. My foot pressed down tightly on the brake pedal as I pushed the gear into park; an action I have done over and over since living here. I felt my blue Toyota Rav 4 jolt to a stop as I sat back in my seat admiring the small, cottage, college house.

 
In front of me a singular, white garage door kissed my car ever so slightly. To the left of the garage, a small white deck protruded slightly out a few feet with bright red bricks lining the awkward spaces. On the white siding next to the garage door, the number 112 rested slightly in a fancy font. Above the small deck, large, spacious windows lined the front of the house. Oh, how many times I have looked out those windows into the world outside this small little house, I thought to myself.

 
I clicked the small red button that hooked the seat belt into place and opened my car door. Stepping out of my car I took a long, deep breath, filling my lungs with air, and with an exhale I slammed the car door shut. I have stepped out of my car and walked up to the bright red door of this house so many times before. This time is different though because this time is the last.

 
This is it, I thought to myself, my final goodbye to my college days.

 
I confidently walked up to the red door and stuck my small, silver key into the key hole. With a swift turn of the golden knob I pushed the door open and walked through the doorway.

 

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Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

 
It is so empty…I thought to myself.

 
This once busy house filled with the chatter and hustle of my roommates remained empty, still and quiet. With all the furniture gone, and my roommates officially moved out, this house is nothing but a foundation of walls, floors, and rooms ready to house the next group of individuals.

 
Leaving a place and moving on is never an easy thing to do.

 
Whether it is moving to a new city or town, changing job locations, or graduating from college and moving back home; change is never easy.

But change is necessary for our growth as individuals.

 
If there is anything that I learned in the last six years of college it’s the fact that we are all humans-flawed, and imperfect-living out life to tell our own individual stories through our experiences. We as individuals choose to write our own stories, chapters, and endings.

 

 

ready or not the real world is calling quote 1

 
East Stroudsburg is not just a small little town that houses a “mediocre” sized college. To many, East Stroudsburg is home. I call this place my home because of all the memories and people who reside in it. Without the people, my small little cottage college house would just be a house built on a firm foundation on a certain street, in a certain city. What makes a particular house or place a home is the people. It’s the late nights that my roommates and I stay up and talk about life and all that it has to offer. This place is a home because of the nights we all laughed and cried about the mess our lives hold and the places we will eventually go. It is the late drunk nights where we were all silly messes wondering home from main street speaking in a jumbled language that only we could understand.

 
This place is a home because of the pre-game pep talks our coaches gave us before important games. It’s the stadium being filled with fans painted with our numbers on their chests as my teammates and I ran up and down the field. It’s the cheers, the laughs, the games played, the sweat dripped, the tears cried.

It is friendship.

 

It is figuring out who you are and who you are not.

 

It is a place.

 

It is the people.

 

It is the memories.

 

But most importantly it is a home.

 
Sometimes certain situations or circumstances like moving on from a place we considered home for so long forces us to take a deeper look at our inner selves. We reevaluate and realign how we view our past, our present and our future. We ask ourselves, what do I want for my life and how do I want to live? It is through these trivial circumstances and major life changes where we transform, transcend and even transcribe into the person we are meant to become. We transform the soul into a new masterpiece by stretching beyond familiarity or comfort. We transcend past our old ways of thinking and acting by living unashamed in our present while working hard and moving towards our goals. Finally, we transcribe a theoretical mark or imprint that can be left on the places and people we leave behind.

 

ready or not quote 2
So, readers, regardless of where you are at in life we all must leave something behind in order to grow and mature into who we are meant to become. Maybe that “something” could be old habits or ways of thinking that hold you back from the person you could potentially be. Maybe you are moving on to a new job, leaving behind new friends, or you are like me, forced to grow up and face the real world.

 
Wherever you are at, the real world is calling.

 

You see, the real world to me is a theoretical place I like to call unfamiliarity. It is a place that calls us out of where we feel comfortable, secure, and at home with ourselves.

East Stroudsburg is my home. There will always be a part of me residing in that place, but the real world is calling. I must move on from this place, gather my things, and move back to my parent’s home to start a life that was truly made for me. It may be scary, and heck living with my parents sounds god awful (sorry mom and dad nothing against you I just really like my freedom), but I must transition from this part of my life, leave behind this home, to create a new one.

 
Home can be a place, and it can be the people.

 
But home can also be the memories that come with the people and the places. Home resides in the memories and the person we are at specific moments in time; glimpses of who we were and who we became with certain people in certain places.

 
When we think of moving on in this essence it takes on a whole new meaning. Physically we let go of certain people, places, and things in our life, but home is the memories we make. The person we are. The person we become.

 
Home is evolving and constantly moving.

 
So, moving on should be quite simple. Let yourself go. Move on from each place, each person, because you can always revisit home in your memories. Home will be closer than you think.

 
But for now, the real world is calling.

 
Will you answer?

 

 

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Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

 

God Bless,
L. Blum

Unfinished: When You Feel like You are Not Good Enough.

UNFINISHED_ when you feel like you are not good enough

 

I gazed inquisitively at the waves as they crashed one after another on the solid, sandy shore. In front of the place where I was sitting, two young girls were laughing, screaming and jumping in the water. Their playful screams echoed through the roar of the ocean as  each wave came crashing at their feet. I giggled to myself at their innocence and thought for a second, when did growing up become so hard? 

I observed the two young girls laugh and enjoy life without a care in the world and it brought me back to memories when my sister and I stood in their shoes. I remember sitting on these very beaches in North Carolina at their age, running, jumping, dancing in the sun with my sister. We were so little and so innocent. The world did not touch us with pain, hurt, and the realities of life just yet.

When did growing up become so hard_

I remember pretending we were queens of the ocean, and mermaids who explored the deep sea to find hidden underwater cities. We had ambitions and dreams to be leaders, actors, teachers, and world changers. We pretended to be wonderful beings with a wonderful life, living out our biggest dreams, goals and ambitions. We had the world at our fingertips imagining anything and everything we have ever wanted. That was when life was good, easy. It was innocent, with no hurt, no pain, no people influencing you to be who they want you to be. It just was. And it was good.

When we were all children we played, we explored, we laughed, and we enjoyed life to its fullest. We had a childlike faith that was unshakable. We all believed in ourselves, our abilities, and our aspirations.

When did the world take those beliefs away? When did life become the daily to-do lists, or the anxieties, the worries, or the pressures of measuring up to the world’s standards and the opinions of others? 

I think in some aspect or another everyone has confronted this loss of innocence as we grow up and face the realities, disappointments and pain that life may inflict upon us. We each have these images of the person we want to be in our heads. That “ideal” being and “ideal” life we wish to live. We strive to be that perfect person that is good enough, smart enough, and CAN do everything that our real selves lack. We each strive to become that person, to do what it takes to change ourselves into this perfect version of who we are.

we will never be perfect

The reality is we will never measure up to that “ideal” version of ourselves. We will never be perfect. When we think we finally have one part of ourselves mastered, there will be another area to perfect, to work on, to strive towards, and this is OKAY.

I am not sure what path of life you may be on right now or the struggles you may be facing. Maybe you are struggling to find that perfect, suiting job. You are trying to change yourself to fit into the mold of the career path you chose; attempting to  perfect each quality to match the ideal job resume for the career you have chosen to pursue .

Maybe you are trying to live up to the perfect standards of parenthood, competing with all other parents around you, listening to the type of parent you should be, or what you should not do for your child.

Or maybe, you are listening to the opinions of others way too much, pleasing people rather than honoring yourself or your own choices. Maybe you are listening too much to the voices of those who tell you who you are, who you are not, and who you should be. You try to measure up to their worth, their standard, and come to find you let them down or fail every time you try to mold yourself to their ideals of who you are.

In actuality, we are imperfect beings trying to live in a society that pushes its standards of perfection on each one of us.

The truth is we are all unfinished, and imperfect. 

But let me tell you a little secret, by God’s grace, and perfection, our imperfections are made whole. What this means, is through our creator’s perfect eyes and love for us, he choose to create us as imperfect beings. It is through our imperfections we reflect what it really means to be human, to be flawed, to need a God who is loving and perfect in His entirety and covers our imperfections with His forgiveness, and His love. Thus, we do not have to live up to this standard of perfection we place on ourselves. We do not have to struggle, or try to be this “ideal” “perfect” version of who we want to be. Our worth is not measured on what others think of us, the amount of items we check off on our to-do list, our accomplishments, our failures, our struggles, or even our flaws.

god imperfections

 

Our worth is measured by who we are IN our IMPERFECTIONS. The unfinished versions of ourselves. 

I have this sweatshirt from one of my favorite Christian bloggers, Jordan Dooley, it says “your brokenness is welcome here.” Every time I wear it I remember I do not have to live up to these ideals of perfection. I do not have to continue to expend my energy trying to fix every little thing that is wrong with myself and my life. Instead, I can focus on God’s grace and love that covers my imperfections and my brokenness. I can focus on being the kind of woman God wanted me to be- kind, caring, passionate, loving, happy, excited for life. I can live a life of joy, happiness, and have that child-like faith and innocence like I had when I was younger. Life will still have its struggles, and its pain, but I know I don’t have to try so hard to be perfect, to be accepted, or to be who others want me to be, because I am already accepted, I am already loved, by a God who embraces me for the imperfect mess that I am.

 

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Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
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Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Whether you believe in God or not, trying to live up to the standards of society and the daily stresses of trying to be perfect, or enough for this world can weigh on you.

So instead of trying  to focus on perfecting  every aspect of who you are, or what you want your life to look like, love yourself in your imperfections, and the places where you are at in this moment of time. Go back to that little child inside of you, find him or her, the innocence, the happiness, the childlike faith and focus on living a life that brings out joy, happiness and love. Live in the imperfect moments, and accept the flaws you have, while striving not for perfection of those flaws, but of being a work in progress. Work hard to accomplish your dreams and goals, but know the imperfections and flaws do not define who you are.

You are unfinished and imperfect, a work in progress, and this is okay.

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Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

God bless,

L. Blum