If you’re like the average person, you’ve probably heard the Disney song from Frozen, “Let it Go,” about three million times. You might begin to hate the song, but you’ve got to love its philosophy. It is seriously bursting with some profound wisdom. I think it’s biblical.
The very words “let it go” hold the power of life and death in relationships. They should be a mantra in all marriages.
Three little words. So easy to say, but so hard to do. That stuff we can’t or won’t “let go” can eat through our hearts like battery acid. We’ve all had “let it go’s” that we chose to hang on to. Maybe you’re still holding on to one or two. . . It’s all bad stuff, but some of it’s REALLY, REALLY, REALLY bad stuff. Unfortunately, it’s stuff we have to put away in order to maintain emotionally healthy relationships.
I know; it stinks.
Recently, I was smacked in the face with one of my old “let it go’s.” (I have let it go, but for years I held on to that thing like a vise grip.) I stumbled upon my high school boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend on Facebook. One of my “friends” is “friends” with her. That was high school. So what, right?
We’re all mature adults now. Well, yeah, NOW we’re mature adults but 30 years ago we weren’t. An incident that I’ll refer to hereafter as “THE THING” stirred up bad blood between this girl and me and (as you probably guessed) the BOY was at the center of it.
Again, what’s the big deal? Well, I married the boy AND decided to keep “THE THING.”
But, long before my husband asked me to marry him, he had stuffed “THE THING” into an airtight container (sealed with Gorilla Glue) and shoved it on a shelf way in the very back corner of his mind.
Me, on the other hand, not so much. Even though a lot of time had passed (from wall phones to cell phones) and I did agree to marry him, I swore an oath to hang on to “THE THING.” I fed it, watered it, and nurtured it like it was a fledgling infant. Sure enough, as all things that are well cared for and nurtured do, it grew.
When we got married, I thrust “THE THING,” that I had so carefully coddled all those years, into a prominent place in our lives. If our marriage had been a house, “THE THING” would have sat on the mantle above the fireplace in the family room.
I had brought “THE THING” into my marriage, which was bad enough, but the problems got bigger the longer we were married because I kept accumulating more “THINGS” My husband and I were not the imperfect Christians that we are today when we got married, so we didn’t stand a snowball’s chance…(You get the picture.)
I used “THE THING” against my husband like a medieval torture device.
We disagreed; I’d pull out “THE THING.” He didn’t call me as soon as he landed when he away on a business trip, I’d concoct “THE THING.” I wielded that “THING” like a Sith light saber. Even when I wasn’t talking about “THE THING,” it was there. Growing. Before long, I no longer had a hold on it; it had a hold on me. I had nursed and cared for it for so long that “THE THING” morphed like a dung beetle and took on a life of its own.
It was true: It crept, it crawled, it struck without warning! Nothing could match its menace.
And, it began to talk to me.
“How could you possibly forgive him after what he’s done? Not only has he cursed you with ‘THE THING,’ he leaves his underwear on the floor right beside the hamper. Does he know what the inside of a dishwasher looks like? And, he snores! Unforgivable! ” it hissed.
“THE THING” was the gatekeeper to my mind. No matter what my husband did or didn’t do, it was filtered through the eyes of “THE THING.”
Once I’d re-framed “THE THING” and began looking at it through more mature eyes, I could clearly see all the damage it had caused. I knew I had to get rid of it. But, it wasn’t going to let me go that easily. It hung on.
In all my efforts to use “THE THING” to torture my husband, I was only hurting myself and marriage in the process.
In truth, when I decided to move forward and start my “happily ever after” with my husband, I relinquished any propriety to clench, cradle, or carry “THE THING.”
Letting go of past hurts or forgiveness is crucial to growing relationships.
Wait one cotton-picking minute, you might be saying. I have had “THE THING” for so long, I can’t just let it go. It’s part of who I am. It DEFINES me.
If I can do it, I’ll bet you can, too. No matter the size of your “THING,” you can let it go. If you can’t let it go on your own, get some help. No shame in that.
In Christ, we can do all things. He was crucial to my ability to let “THE THING” go. Still wasn’t easy. Some people come to Christ and drag “their THING” right along with them. We turn our lives over to Christ, but we cling to “THE THING” as if our lives depend upon it. Christ can raise the dead, heal the sick, feed the hungry, but He is incapable of handling our “THING?” Hmmm…
Once I let go of “THE THING,” I could get about the business of building my relationship and caring for others. Let me warn you: Letting go is not a one-time deal. I could get new ”THINGS” everyday, if I choose to do so. But Christ helps me let them go everyday.
Let it go should become part of marriage vows. To have and to hold; to forgive and to let go. So the next time you hear the song “Let It Go,” open your heart and “slam the door.”