Day 14: Holding On Loosely

A theme that I have recently been thinking about a lot is holding onto something that you love and cherish, but holding it loosely. There is something so vulnerable about being in love with something and having that thing to hold on to. We love so many things in life. People both our significant other and our friends, experiences, hobbies, passions, etc. All of these and more make life worth living.

However, I think a down fall of loving something is our initial reaction to hold onto it as tightly as possible. We have this internal fear, whether we realize it or not, that if we let go for just a second everything that we love will suddenly disappear.

What a terrifying place to love from. Every second is overshadowed by the thought that maybe next time when we reach for that thing it could be gone.

This fear comes from a place when one time, or several times, we lost something we loved. Whether that be a person, a passion, the ability to do something. There has been a moment in all of our lives when we lost something we loved, it is a simple fact of life. People come and go. Passions come and go. Life fluctuates and because of that, things are constantly changing. However, we cling to this idea that we were the reason we lost that love. We fear that we did not hold them tightly enough to keep them and because of that when we find something else to love we grip it with white knuckles.

Let me be the first to tell you from personal experience, things will come and go in your life and it is not your fault. Clinging tightly to the things you love now will not guarantee that they will remain in your life forever. No matter how hard that is to swallow, no amount of white knuckling something will make it stay.

In fact, the tighter you hold onto something the more likely you are to lose it. It’s just like in the song ‘Hold On Loosely’ by 38 Special where they say, “Just hold on loosely, but don’t let go. If you cling too tight babe, you’re gonna loose control. Your baby needs someone to believe in and a whole lot of space to breathe in.”

Holding tightly may seem like the best option, but it is confining and controlling. We need to give the things we love room to breathe and to flourish. We want to hold on because we’re afraid to lose it, however, by doing so we’re constricting that love.

The simple truth is this, that which we love will stay. When we hold onto the love too tightly we risk stifling it and if holding it loosely ends in us losing that love…was it really ours to begin with?

Take a moment to think about what you might be holding onto too tightly. What might you be clinging to that you do not truly love? And what might we be clinging to that does not love us truly in return?

Love is the strongest human emotion. So allow yourself to love, but hold it loosely. Love what you do, but be open and willing to accept change into your life. Love your friends, but know that sometimes we grow out of certain friend groups. Love your significant other, but know that sometimes we’re not meant to be with them. Love fully and vulnerably, but know that clinging to something is never healthy for us or them.

Be delicate with what you love, hold it loosely just like the song says. It is terrifying to overcome that fear that everything will simply vanish, we do not want to see what we love vanish. Currently I am reminding myself of this, when we truly love something and it is meant for us, it will stay. There is no need to hold on tightly, it won’t go anywhere.

Until Next Time,
Lillian Merritt

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