"Clear and firm boundaries and doing your own work!"This is what I answered when a…
Though I’ve practiced letting go, it’s still not always easy for me to do. I have let go of several homes and moved into new homes. I’ve let go of a marriage and two other long-term relationships. I’ve been letting go of my son (though he lives at home at the age of 17, he’s pretty independent). I have let go of my dream of having another child. I have let go of some friendships that no longer suited me. And I have let go of holding onto my youth.
What have you let go of in your life?
What was difficult and easy about doing so?
For me, the most significant letting go that I’m doing now has to do with my father, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Over the past four years, I’ve witnessed the disease change my father. His ability to move about and to manage everyday tasks at home has deteriorated. He has lost much of his short-term memory. His life increasingly consists of being indoors and his thoughts now often revolve around old times. He and I have been talking a lot about his childhood and adolescence—and the weather. He doesn’t remember that I got married last summer or what I do for a living. I’m happy, though, that he still remembers and recognizes me and my son.
For decades, I witnessed my father busy himself with physical projects and work a lot with his hands. Now he spends much of his time sitting in front of the TV. My father has become softer with alongside his illness. He doesn’t seem angry or frustrated in the way some Alzheimer’s patients can be. I feel tender and loving towards him. I have already talked to him about everything that had been troubling me from our past and I feel we’re now complete with each other. I believe I am ready to let go of him when he dies. And I hope he will not die soon and that we’ll still have more time together.
Have you let go of a loved one?
How was that for you?
Letting go of the lake and summer life
Another surprisingly difficult letting go occurred for me in early September. I had trouble letting go of the days in the countryside, of the lake and of life in the nature. Of summer life, focused on being outdoors. Of a life where the days were filled with reading, relaxing outside, cooking, sauna, walking in the woods and spending time with my spouse. Part of the summer was also devoted to work, particularly the retreats that I led at the cabins with my husband. That, too, was wonderful. I didn’t have to travel. The people came to us.
This was our fourth year of retreats at our lovely and scenic lake in Orivesi. In early September, we took down our new yurt and packed it away for the winter. We moved our six-meter long outdoor dining table back inside. We took down the hammocks, turned the compost, emptied the outhouse buckets, emptied the refrigerator and placed the dry food in containers away from mice. We said goodbye to the forest—for now.
This summer I spent more time at the cabins than I had in a long time. I really enjoyed my time there. The weather was so often sunny and warm. I never tired of watching the surface of the lake or listening to the howling of the loons or hearing the little waves rhythmically lap against the shore.
How do you feel about summer ending?
Are you excited about autumn and winter or feeling blue with less daylight and warmth?
I felt nostalgic (or blue) when leaving the lake. Still, autumn holds wonders for me, too. I’m also already looking forward to spending a couple of weeks at the cabins in the winter. And, I’m warming myself by looking ahead to next summer when we plan to host another four retreats at the cabins. We’ll begin in May with the Radical Honesty / Tantra retreat. We did this once before and I really enjoyed it. I particularly enjoy collaborating with other trainers – the tantra part will led by RH trainer candidate Michael Kreuzwieser. Yes, I’m already feeling bubbly (tingling in my belly) while thinking about next summer as last summer continues to leave me.
And right now, in this moment, I’m happy to be in town, at home, sitting here on my couch.