Let that sh*t go
When my oldest son was getting married, he and his fiancé planned their wedding in South Carolina- where her family was from of course. So, I traveled down from Minnesota, and we finagled a beautiful beachfront property to stay at—well at least at the time I thought it was a beautiful property. We later found out it had bed bugs, and I was eaten alive.
Honestly, the entire trip I was under duress. The directions I got from the future father in-law were awful, the road signs were marked terribly and I got lost on the way there. Not to mention that my son was getting married, and I didn’t get along particularly well with the in-laws. The mother in law was adamant about me not coming to the wedding. You see, we were considered trailer trash in her eyes. Trailer trash? (Seriously lady, I lived in a townhouse. But I guess that wasn’t good enough.)
Now you see, her family was beautiful. They were an attractive, shiny breed of folk. They had lots of money, they dressed nicely, they appeared to have it all. They were the “the beautiful people.”
And there I was. I’m sure you can imagine the scene. I was extremely overweight at the time, trying to shove myself into a dress that I was heaving out of the top of. I was uncomfortable and I was trying to make a good impression. I was revving up with my guns-a-blazing and ready to take her on if she came at me or my son.
But as I looked at myself in the mirror, my self-confidence was in the toilet.
I didn’t just dislike how I looked in the dress; I didn’t like the power I had given away to this woman. I had lost sight as to what this was all about. What the hell? This is my son’s big day, and I’m not letting anyone ruin it, not even me! I decided I wasn’t going to feed this fire anymore. So, I put my "big-girl panties" on, and I had to shed my feelings.
I let it go, and I turned it over to the universe for healing.
Now, mind you- I felt those negative thoughts slip back into my mind throughout the day, but every time I felt it rise, I told myself, “Hell, NO! I’m not giving my power away. I’m driving this, and this is the happiest day of my son’s life, I’m not missing it for anything!”
So, as the wedding started, people shuffled in, there was mingling. My beautiful daughter-in-law walks up to me. Her face was just beaming with happiness, as she handed me a flower and did the same for her mother. I remember hugging her like it was never going to end, knowing that it was okay. I was so grateful that she was going to be in my son’s life, and so happy that she was a part of mine.
In that moment, I looked at her mother, and knew that was okay too. I didn’t have to prove anything anymore. I had wanted to hate the woman who was sitting across the aisle from me, but I couldn’t. In that moment I saw her for what she was. She was a mother, just like me- trying to do her best.
Our children were happy, and that’s all that really mattered.
After the ceremony, we were all corralled to our special “in-law table.” I’ve always thought that was kind of weird. So one by one, the family began giving their little speeches. I had my opportunity to get on my high horse, but I didn’t. Mind you, I’m a public speaker by trade, and I’m sure it surprised them; but I really just wanted to be there to support my son’s journey, and was grateful to be a part of it.
All of a sudden, the mother-in-law stood up and headed toward the mic. My nemesis was going to make a speech. Miracles of all miracles, she turns to me and in front of everyone she said, “I owe you an apology for the way I have treated you.”
I’m sure my mouth was hanging open in shock as I heard those words fill the room. She continued to say, “You didn’t deserve the judgment I gave you, and I’m so glad you came to the wedding.” She continued on with the rest of her speech, as I will still in shock.
Honestly, I’m surprised I didn’t tip out of my chair and fall on the floor. It’s not like we kissed and hugged and said, “Oh, we’re best friends now,” but I think we both had some closure. And it certainly made our kids feel more comfortable.
I felt like the universe knew that because I had let it go, the big bad-monster in law couldn’t get me anymore. I was free. I was free of that judgement of myself, and of her. She’s learning too. I took accountability for my part in in, I didn’t respond to it; I didn’t feed it. Instead I worked to change how I was feeling around it, to focus on what really mattered to me, and the outcome was amazing. Beyond what I ever imagined possible.
Now, I’m not saying that there isn’t a time for confronting people. I’m all about confronting issues head-on, but I am also a firm believer that we have to first get our emotions in check. We have to figure out why we’re emotional around it, why it bothers us? What are we doing to feed it? Why are we hanging onto it?
Truth is, I was still insecure about having lived in a trailer park years ago, and I found out many years later that she herself had lived in a trailer park many years ago as well. We were mirroring our insecurities to one another. Sometimes I wonder… what would have happened if I had gone into that wedding guns-a-blazing? I probably would have had a very different outcome, I wouldn’t have created that opportunity for myself.
So, what about you?
What are you still holding on to that holds you back?
What will happen if you let go of the conflict, or the grudge?
How will you feel if you take your power back?
How will you feel if you don’t?
It’s your call. You can hold onto the shit, or you can do your best to let it go, and trust that you’re going to find a way to heal it.
If there’s one thing there is “universally true” about all of humanity, is that we do change. There is an ebb and flow to our lives. If we don’t flow with the changes, we’ll find ourselves stuck in a rut!
My hope is that you’ll find a way to let it go- whatever it is and know that the universe always has your back.
Afterwards, celebrate your success with a coffee the size of your head and a marathon of the new Queer Eye Season 3 on Netflix. Or, you know, do whatever brings you some pleasure inside :)
Cheers to letting it go + living it up.
P.S. In case you haven't heard, I'm a huuuuuge fan of the movie, The Greatest Showman Watch this video
OR if Disney is more your thing, listen to Let It Go from Frozen
P.P.S. I also later realized that I was feeling “bugged” about the whole wedding conflict, thus co-creating the bed-bug-fiasco :/ Be careful what you put out there for the universe to fulfill!