Real quick before we get into this: I always write the article and then look for a photo to match. I picked this one and then, out of curiosity, I counted up the score and it happens to equal eight and the number 8 is associated with compassion, freedom, and self-reliance. Weird how that worked out. With that in mind …
My first job out of college was in a specialty fitness retail store. High-ticket products, so almost a whole day could pass without seeing one customer. One day, an older gent came in looking to buy a treadmill and some dumbbells. We got to talking and had a great conversation.
Back in those days, we used the old credit card slide machine with carbon paper. I was just about to slide the machine over his card, when his demeanor changed and the conversation shifted. He said this: “I don’t know why I’m doing this. All my friends are dead. My wife passed a few years back. I don’t have anyone. Yet, I’m here buying a treadmill to stay in shape.”
I paused and looked up at him. He made one of those combination faces of “whatever and disgust” and waved his hand affirmatively right to left, gesturing me to run the card. I was young and didn’t know what to say, so I listened. He went on about his life, which was pretty interesting.
Now though, it was a sense of loneliness; emptiness. But, here he was with the desire to stay healthy and continue. I didn’t see him after that, but I hope he went on to make new friends, travel, and live happily.
While science can help us to stay alive longer, it’s feelings and emotions that inspire us to want to.
Not unusual for most people his age, he had regrets, mistakes, loss, sadness, guilt, and anger about the woulda-shoulda-coulda past. But he also had love, adventures, relationships, laughter, and fulfillment and that’s the stuff that leaves a hole in our heart when its gone.
Ugh … it hurts so bad.
When there’s nothing, we need something to hold on to. While it’s good to remember the good things, it can hurt worse than the bad things. It’s healthy, but left unchecked, it can be detrimental. Letting go is not forgetting, it’s moving forward. We’re not dishonoring anyone or anything by continuing our journey.
What we should let go of is our baggage that we tend to cling to. It drags us through life, like a cart full of heavy burdens. We act as if our hands are bound, but they’re not. We’re holding on with white knuckles. Why do we do this? Self-punishment? Flagellation for eternal repentance?
No one wants that. The universe doesn’t want that. Not God, however we see him. I don’t believe that. I can’t believe that. It doesn’t make sense. I believe its our responsibility to our soul to be happy, make others happy, and enjoy “life”, whatever this is and by doing that, it makes the universe a better place for all beings. More light; less darkness.
This human machine we were put in charge of, is complicated and confusing. It’s not easy to be happy; I’m not saying it is. But, we tend to make it even more difficult by holding on to all the shit. Please; with great respect, I know some have experienced great tragedy, pain, and loss that can never be purged, but when there are little beams of light, we should let ourselves enjoy them instead of shutting them out altogether.
Let go; at least a little bit, and trust the universe.
Let go … or be dragged.