“You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.”
– Oscar Wilde
In my last blog I mentioned the WHAT IF’S and I would like to elaborate on that just a little, as from my own experience, these have caused me one or the other sleepless night.
Do you remember when you were a child and the big people around you always knew what was going to happen no matter what stupid idea you had? How it bothered you that they were right at least 95% of the time? Did it stop you from doing it? I can, as always only speak for myself, but it rarely stopped me because there was always this nagging feeling that I could be one of the 5% where they were wong and it would all work out in my favour – man, was I wrong most of the time… And yet it rarely stopped me from trying anyway.
I always had an insatiable curiosity, the need to understand things and to make my own experiences – I was always hungry for life! Don’t get me wrong, I do have my very own WHAT IF’S that haunt me once in a while but most of the time I tried to avoid them and I also tried to give my children the same opportunities. As a mother that loves her children to the moon an back though, it is so much more difficult to let them make their own mistakes. Your natural instinct is to spare them pain and difficulties. But is that the right thing to do?
I did not want to raise my children to be afraid of trying things in life (even the stupid things – as long as they were not too dangerous). I did not want them to look back on the WHAT IF’S in their lives full of regret. Oh, I do tell them what will happen (and guess what, I am usually right…) but I let them try it anyway. I gave them both a picture, very early on, that will most likely never leave them. I gave them the picture of me standing in the side lines with a big first aid kit, ready to help, but only when it really hurts and the injury need attention. After all, we do need to learn from our experiences. I love that they know what they want at a very young age and that they live and don’t just survive.
Unfortunately I am one of those who obviously learn the hard way. I find it difficult to give up on things (or people) I am truly passionate about (loyal to a fault). That has often in my life been cause for pain and sorrow. But when it did work out, it was always worth it and I did not have the nagging WHAT IF’S to deal with.
But how do you know when to let go of something (or someone)? How do you find that right moment to give up and move on?
As always there is no answer to these questions as it depends on the situation, on what is at stake, on what you are willing to possibly sacrifice, how important it is to you and how much you are willing to invest with the risk of losing it all.
But eventually you need to know when to let go. Sometimes it takes long, often even too long. But the good news is that it is never too late. Here is a scene from the film “My Best Friend’s Wedding” that I want to share with you because – at least in some realationships – it is a great answer:
For too long I was chasing after someone that was not chasing after me… I am moving on and leaving those WHAT IF’S behind…