Let it go


“A trap had been set to stop a monkey from stealing fruit. The monkey reached into the trap to get a piece a fruit and got stuck. All it had to do was drop the fruit and it would be released, but the monkey wouldn’t let it go.”

I have a Rat Terrier mix, not the most beautiful little lady in the world but she makes-up for her homely looks by being very affectionate, needy and extremely energetic. As her breed name implies, the “Rat Terrier was originally bred for ratting and farm work, capable of hunting rodents and vermin above and below ground.” Now I don’t live on a farm and rats are non-existent in my little piece of suburbia, but squirrels and chipmunks that is another story.

I live in an older subdivision filled with old oaks and poplars. In my yard alone I have 12 stately oaks that I love in the spring and summer but cuss about in the fall. These beautiful trees are not only filled with acorns and leaves but with squirrels as well. My Rat Terrier spends all day, everyday, with just four things on her daily to-do list, #1-eat, #2-poop, #3-bug the hell out of her big brother a Rhodesian Ridgeback and #4-kill a chipmunk or a squirrel.

Make no mistake, when she is not begging for someone to rub her tummy this little ugly lady is a cold-blooded killer. Squirrels hate her and chipmunks fear her. She will dig a hole to China to catch a chipmunk and sit under a tree for hours waiting for a squirrel to make a wrong move. She can not, will not, let it go.

We have a massive oak in the middle of our backyard with no other trees within squirrel jumping distance from it. Rat Terrier knows that when one of those grey yard rats goes up that tree their only escape is to come back down. One Saturday she chased a squirrel up the big tree and then spent the next four hours patrolling the bottom like a shark, waiting for it to make a move.

Sadly, or happily depending on your perspective, the day didn’t end well for the squirrel. It attempted a suicide leap from the tree to my tool shed, missed, and the Rat Terrier was there waiting. As she does with all of her trophy’s, she placed the carcass at the backdoor guarding it ferociously from the dumb as a bag of rocks Rhodesian Ridgeback who loves nothing more than rolling on a dead, stinky animal. She just can’t let it go.

I did a little review last night of some of the things I just couldn’t let go of. The list included some stupid stuff I had done in the past, and a few people. Bob Stoops, the former head football coach of the Oklahoma Sooners shared these words of wisdom to his replacement after he lost a big game recently; “Don’t hold on to it and let it beat you again. If you keep hanging on to something, you’ve got an opportunity to keep getting hurt by it.”

Why is it easier to relive our past failures, and let them keep us awake at night or hold grudges against people who probably don’t even know we are pissed at them? Why can’t we forgive ourselves, or forgive other people? I have been guilty of letting my past direct my present and if you think about it that is not a position of strengthen or as Mahatma Gandhi stated “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

There are just some things in our past that we will never correct. My mother’s father died when she was two years old and her mother gave her and her brother to their grandmother to raise. It was not a good situation. But my mother decided many years ago to move beyond it. What good would it do her to harbor ill will against her mother or grandmother? A relationship was and is only possible when both sides agree to be in one. In the end she realized the only person she would ultimately be hurting was herself. My mother is a warrior and continues to be a shinning example of strength for her family today.

What can’t we let shit go? What is holding us back? In three days the calendar will flip to 2018. Rather than pledging to lose ten pounds as your number one goal for the new year move letting go, forgiving yourself, and forgiving others to the top of the list. Start with you because if you can’t love yourself, warts and all it makes it very difficult to receive and appreciate the love of others.

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

About ends and beginnings blog

I am a frustrated writer and poet waiting to be discovered. A stand-up philosopher performing on a street corner near you. A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. A Buddhist with a bumper sticker on my truck to prove it. A collector of quotes. A grower of lettuce. The Patron Saint of earthworms who name their children after me. A cyclist whose big ass strains the seams of his Lycra bibs. I am American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. My goal in life is to leave an imprint on the lives of the people I love not a footprint on the earth. I am a son, a husband, a father composed of 65%-Oxygen, 18%-Carbon, 10%-Hydrogen, 3%-Nitrogen, 3%-Diet Coke and 1%-Oreo.
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17 Responses to Let it go

  1. Nan says:

    Not to take away anything from the point of your post, but I used to have a Rat Terrier mix. Got her from a shelter when she was 5 years old. Loved that dog, but she was an independent as they come! She had a mind of her own and very little coaxing on my part could deter her from what she wanted to do. Based on what you wrote, maybe that independence (stubbornness?) is part of their breed. 🙂

    As to the message you were making about forgiving … always a good thing to do both. Makes for a much healthier “you” and better relationships with those around you. Wise words for a new year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • She, Belle, and her two brothers were abandon and took up with some friends of ours up in the mountains who already had several dogs. I wanted the two brothers who were cute as a button and very lively. But my wife insisted on bringing home this very shy, and homely girl. She is a MESS and the smartest dog I have ever owned and I have had labs and spaniels in the past which are all know for their smarts. I do love her, most days, but she is always turned-on. We aren’t sure she ever sleeps. And although she eats ALL day long she looks like we starve her, lean and mean. She is a piece of work.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think she’s cute, myself. As for hanging on to shit, I believe I am the foremost expert in this discipline, and something I will definitely be working on in the new year, because it does wear a person down.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Same to you, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Most years I end with a Burn List, a.k.a. “Sh@#$ I’m leaving in (the passing year)”. New Year’s Eve, just as the clock is striking midnight and the new year is only seconds old, I put a flame to that list sending it and all that is written upon it up in smoke. I sweep the ashes into the trash and from there, consider those things (behaviors, habits, etc.) non-existent. Your post reminded me of some things I need to add to this year’s list. Thank you as always…Happy New Year.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. smilecalm says:

    a thoughtful retrospection
    of this dilemma
    of seeing ourselves
    as separate from each other & nature!
    we have the potential
    to overcome
    our habit energy.
    happy new year 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. mommywriterstudent says:

    Wonderful post. I will challenge myself to do this!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. William Tell says:

    Lots of comments in a very short time, you jealous-making person, you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. William Tell says:

    Reblogged this on The Homeless Blogger and commented:
    Pertinent issues (1) in the church garden, (2) and elsewhere, and (3) in a forthcoming post about different breeds of dogs, cats, and people.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We humans can be just as dogged as your Rat Terrier. (Her determination is admirable, by the way.) I’ve done a lot of letting go in years past. Still lots more to go.

    Liked by 1 person

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