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Let go, or be dragged

My friend, Lori and I were walking through a bookstore in Shadyside last week.  On the shelf was a small wooden plaque that read “Let go, or be dragged.” Those few, powerful words jumped off the shelf at me. The words are simple, but the message is profound. It reminded me of times in my life when I did not let go of people, situations, opinions and old habits. Ouch! 

When we cling to our ideas of how life should be and refuse to accept things as they are, we are dragged through life – often times kicking and screaming. Life then becomes a series of struggles. We find ourselves wondering why things are not working out for us and why we are in a “funk”.

At first, it feels like letting go is the most difficult, painful thing to do. Our mind fights it tooth and nail. As Eckhart Tolle says in Practicing the Power of Now, “It is almost as if a limb were being torn off your body.” The truth is that letting go is liberating. We can then allow ourselves to go with the flow of life and see where it takes us. I don’t know about you, but going with the flow sounds a heck of a lot easier than being dragged.

A final lesson from Jake the Wonder Dog


As you know from my previous post, Jake taught me many important lessons throughout his life. When he left this world on May 19 – his 12th birthday – he taught me yet another important lesson. It was a lesson about how to let go gracefully when it is your time. Over the past few months, Jake showed signs of slowing down. When he no longer wanted to climb into the Jeep for a ride, or chase his beloved tennis ball, my heart sank.  I knew he would not be with us much longer. Being intuitive -as all dogs are – he must have sensed it was his time to go. So, what did he do? The day before he died, he took one last walk with his best friends, Jack the Yorkie, Jack’s mom Jen, Shilah the Golden Retriever and her mom, Beth and me. This was our “six pack” for countless walks. He seemed perfectly normal on our walk, giving no clue the next day would be his last. The two of us later went out in the back yard and just hung out in the grass for awhile. I got the impression he was drinking in all the sights and sounds of his favorite space. His behavior was pretty normal the rest of the day. The next afternoon, he walked down the steps, went into this cozy crate where he felt safe, and slept away quietly.  Jake did not make a problem out of it. He just let go peacefully.  My mother said “He went out like a gentleman.” I could not agree more. When it is my time, I hope I have the opportunity to spend a day enjoying my favorite things with my favorite people and that I am able to let go with such grace.