Mental Health and Healing: The Ritual That's Helped Me 'Let It Go'
I was exhausted by the time I reached the top of the tiny mountain. The steep incline of the trail always took a lot out of me. But I knew this was the place. I knew it had to be done here.
Anything felt possible when I was on that mountain. The world and all its problems were small and almost insignificant from way up here. The sky above seemed endless and the clouds almost close enough to touch.
I walked closer to the edge and found myself a seat on one of the smooth, warm rocks. I pulled a folded up piece of paper out of my pocket.
I was doing it again. Yep, I was about to read another piece of my “seriously awful poetry.” It seemed silly, right? Composing little rhymes to deal with some fairly serious shit? But it worked the last time, so it couldn’t hurt to try again.
I attempted to let it all go without such a dramatic fancy-pants “ceremony,” but that hadn’t worked so well. I needed to do something with it. I needed to somehow make “letting it go” actionable.
Since going straight to the source wasn’t an option, I came here. In simple words and phrases, I’d give my confession to the clouds and trust they’d take it where it needed to go.
I took a deep breath, turned toward the sun, and began …
I’ve thought about this many times,
But shame stood in the way;
And even as I sit here now,
I fear the words that I must say.
Could this be a selfish act,
To wipe the guilt away?
It’s a question I have struggled with,
And I’m still not sure today.
I know that when you hear this,
You’ll try to take the blame;
Right now it’s all behind you,
But I cannot say the same.
So I close my eyes and ask the sky,
Would it do more harm than good?
Would it open up your healed wounds?
I was warned it surely could.
I don’t want to make this harder,
But I just can’t keep it in;
So I send these words into the air,
And ask the clouds to take my sin.
I’m sorry I couldn’t save you,
I only added to your pain;
I’m not asking for forgiveness,
I’m just trying to explain.
They say it’s not my fault, you see,
There was nothing I could do;
I held such little power,
I was just a kid, it’s true.
But it weighs upon my heavy heart,
And still makes me so very sad;
To look into your tired eyes,
And see the journey that you’ve had.
Perhaps I couldn’t change it,
And it would all just end the same;
But I need to set this down today,
This backpack full of shame.
You say that you were “bad”,
And it makes my poor heart ache;
This guilt that you still carry,
These apologies you make.
You are just as God intended,
You’re perfect. You are good.
If I could go back and tell you,
I hope you know I would.
You needed someone on your side,
A friend that would have stayed;
I should have, could have done that,
And not just left you so afraid.
The truth is that you scared me,
You were all that I had feared;
Where did you stop and I begin?
The line between us disappeared.
I escaped and I was grateful,
I wished the same be true for you;
But I was too damn scared to take the risk,
To go back and rescue you.
And when they sent you away that day,
It was just too much to bear;
I couldn’t live not knowing,
So I checked out right then and there. I
I’m sorry I did not visit,
And I’m sorry I didn’t call;
I should have wrote you letters,
To say I loved you through it all.
If I could just keep on pretending,
Imagining none of it was real;
I wouldn’t have to look inside,
I wouldn’t have to feel.
Deep inside, I always knew,
There’d surely come a time;
I’d have to face what I had done,
And admit my selfish crime.
I couldn’t get the words out,
Couldn’t get it to make sense;
My sin was just too shameful,
It was a cowardly defense.
I took myself to trial,
And pleaded guilty from the start;
I knew I should be punished,
I’d let it all fall apart.
I’d fed you to those hungry wolves,
And I could not take it back;
This time I’d make myself the prey,
And endure the harsh attack.
Although I served my sentence,
Gave it all til I had none;
It never seemed like quite enough,
To make up for what I’d done.
Instead of wasting away, I thought,
Trying to even up the score;
Maybe if I took care of me,
I could actually do much more.
If I could make myself much stronger,
I’d have so much love to give;
I’d make this time look different,
If I allowed myself to live.
I know this needs to happen,
It feels good and it feels true;
Please promise you’ll believe me,
This is not me leaving you.
You deserve me at my very best,
Not broken or half dead;
So I’m giving up this heavy load,
And we can forge ahead.
Through thick and thin, I’ve got you,
And I know that you’ve got me;
Let’s write a brand new ending,
And set each other free.
I took another deep breath, closed my eyes and Let. It. Go.
Will this lightness last forever? Hell if I know. But it doesn’t even matter.
Because for now…
In this moment…
I am free.