All of life is a game of Catch and Release, isn’t it?
Some things are harder to catch (on to) than others: the ideal spouse, a good job, a sense of self-esteem. For some of us, children. Or maybe faith, inner peace, or acceptance of circumstances. Mick Jagger might add “satisfaction” to the list.
Why is it that it’s often the ugly stuff in our lives that is sticky—easy to catch, hard to let go of? Like grudges, anger, hurt feelings, depression, or—let’s face it—that hideous dresser that’s been in the family for generations that you’ve inherited but aren’t “allowed” to give away. Ok, so maybe that dresser might be easier to get rid of than some of the others.
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I can’t juggle. I’ve tried. I get the idea, but something in the eye-hand coordination and lack of the right motor skills prevents me from managing three beanbags with just two hands. I can’t seem to convince my hands to release one thing in time to catch the next. I can’t seem to convince my head to allow something to be up in the air, out of my control, even for a moment.
It’s a difficult concept. And yet, like I said, “catch and release” is what life is about.
At the beginning of this month, the one thing I wanted to release more than anything else was my anger over losing Alexander. I was very angry, I guess, at God. Mostly at circumstances. It was ugly, consuming, sticky anger. And I couldn’t seem to figure out how to let it go.
I’m still not sure how it happened, but I’m not holding onto it anymore. I think my release of the anger had something to do with catching something better: forgiveness. After going to Reconciliation and confessing how much I wanted to let go of the anger, I found it quietly dissipated. Two weekends later in the middle of a weekend of camping with a bunch of cub scout families, I realized, to my surprise, that I had not been sad about John or Alexander in days. I had thought of them often, but I wasn’t sad or angry.
How about now? What do I want to release? Fear, I guess. Worry. Uncertainty about what comes next.
I suppose that means I need to catch some trust. Or hold onto my faith with both hands instead of just one.
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