On my way home from preschool drop-off the other day, the George Strait song She Let Herself Go came on the radio. After loudly singing along for a few bars the meaning of that saying started to sink in.
The song is about a woman who, after a breakup, “let herself go.” Though not in the typical sense of the phrase.
She didn’t stop taking care of herself or her appearance.
Instead, she “let herself go” to all the places and did all the things she never did when she was with her partner.
She became more beautiful because she began having a richer, more fulfilling life when she let go of the things holding her back and started being more of herself.
It made me think of the women in my silver-haired ladies Facebook group. We’re a group of women of all ages who are living with our varied shades of naturally gray hair. Some are just thinking about it, some are in the midst of the transition and some have worn a silver crown for years.
Many of these women have friends and family that assume they are “letting themselves go” because they are choosing to stop coloring their hair.
Just like that song, quite the opposite is true.
What seems like a simple choice about their appearance becomes a journey that is about so much more than that.
They let themselves go.
They let go of hiding, let go of being ashamed, let go of what people think, they even let go of their own assumptions and expectations.
Instead these women are becoming, embracing and loving their authentic selves.
When they do that their life opens up in ways they never imagined. They set boundaries, they stand up for themselves, they don’t live for the approval of others, they see their own beauty just as they are.
They feel freedom, liberation and empowerment.
And they become even more beautiful because they’re loving themselves and living life on their terms with their heads held high.
This is just one example. There are so many ways that we grip tightly to what we know, even when it no longer serves us, because it is familiar. We’re afraid.
We’re not sure where we’ll end up when we let go. The uncertainty keeps us holding on.
Poet Safire Rose’s poem below explores how profoundly and simply we can just let go.
It’s when we loosen our grip we discover who we really are – our beauty and our strength – and how much more expansive life can be when we let go.
What are you holding on to? What’s possible if you let yourself go?
SHE LET GO poem by Safire Rose She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go. She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgments. She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head. She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go. She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go. She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go. She let go of all of the memories that held her back. She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right. She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go. She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go. No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go. There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that. In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…