If you keep your hands full of things you want you'll never have a finger to receive what you ne

Letting go of this, and letting go of that. Emotions that justify pride, fantasies that serve ego, amenities for comfort and pandering to the pleasure of the status quo. There's so much to let go of to shake that thing, that pesky thing that on one hand, is carrying a sense of inadequacy, and in the other boasts a cosmetic sense of elevation. I'm writing from America, and that's what we are here. Americans, bred from the early days of grade school gym class to be competitive - winners and losers, in our middle school years to be materialistic - Docs or Skechers, and in our high school years to go into the world as largely unaware adults - amateurs.

We graduate and don't even know how to file our taxes, most likely. If fuel costs exploded we wouldn't know how to provide our own food - most of us. We're taught that we're the greatest place on earth, across the board. Anyone who has grown up here knows that can't be true, across the board at least. Regardless of the knowledge we lack in our life essentials and perspective, we still find these non-substantiating ways to try to lift ourselves among the rubble that is our wadded up and confused social fabric. Largely, we lack the humility it takes to take root and grow. I'm not writing to crucify the communities I've called home as if I've not continuously crucified myself over the years. My process of letting go has been long, and I'm finally at a place in my life to speak about it as so many things I once held close have become memories that are now distant. It's not wrong to be human, it just seems to be foolish to continue denying our nature. Life goes on.

Me? I've let go of the emotions that bubbled and boiled from not having a dad growing up. Being pissed off about not having someone to share with a last name, correct my mistakes and to teach me things. I forgave his absence almost 10 years ago, telling myself that he probably didn't even know about me. When he was found recently, I learned that was exactly true. I still haven't let go of Grandma, after 19 years of her passing, and I don't think I ever will. Like my ex wife always said, "Choose your battles, Matthew." I don't mind carrying the emotion evoked my grandmas shadow, because she continues to inspire me in her absence. Besides, why hold a grudge against death, as it's sure to fall up on you, also? Let that go. With that said, I'm even ready to die. I don't want to die - I really see myself living a full life with an amazing, earth-connected, good-hearted wife, growing food and plants as we grow old. I can say that I've accepted my mortality and made peace with the shadows, and that finally found an era in life that I'm not taking depressive breaks to wish for it. These thoughts will suck the life out of you. Let go of your regrets and the mistakes you've made. Let go of the hurt others may have cause you. Let go of the things that you can't take to you grave and will never accurately define you while you're living. This life we've been living has conditioned us to put faith and value in so many fickle things, leaving us to wonder why we still just want more, and more, and more.

Just a couple weeks ago would have been my Grandma Hattie's birthday, and this past week was the 2 year anniversary of Willy Wonka's death. I continue to carry their lessons, inspirations, and creativity in spirit. So I'll close with a couple little questions. Did you learn what you were suppose to learn from the Chocolate Factory? Have you found the golden ticket?

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