Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Art of Letting Go

This album is one of my all time favorite collections to date. It carries the following beautiful, yet heart-breaking songs:

Tattoed On My Mind (D’Sound), Stranded (Jennifer Paige), I’ll Never Get Over You Getting Over Me (Expose), Without Me (Clair Marlo), Separate Lives (Stephen Bishop), The Art of Letting Go (Mikaila), The Day You Went Away (Wendy Matthews), Stay (Lisa Loeb), Out of Reach (Gabrielle), In This Life (Ronan Keating), Until I get Over You (Christina Milan), One Last Cry (Brian McKnight), Insensitive (Jann Arden), You’re In Love (Wilson Philips), Seasons of Loneliness (Boyz II Men), Steep (Lauren Christy).

Let me pitch in my other personal favorites- Half Crazy (Freestyle), In Another Lifetime (Gary Valenciano) and Alone Again, Naturally (Vonda Shepard), that are also related to the above genre, to complete the list.

I play it over and over again like crazy, in full volume. Yeah, that’s the OC (Obsessive Compulsive) side of me taking over my saner and more tamed persona.

Whenever I feel sentimental (like today, the day before that… oh, everyday?) I just listen to these songs and almost instantly, I’m teleported into memory lane. Um, maybe not teleported really (that’s too “Jumper”-ish), but more in the context of being brought back to relive and savor past memories- happy, sweet, bitter, sour, pungent… well, you get the idea.

The Art of Letting Go. Catchy title, huh?

It got me into thinking, how does one let go? How does one move on? How can one tell he/she has really moved on? When does one say, enough! Cut the drama and carry on?

Have you tried asking yourself these questions? Is there still anger welling up inside of you? Do you still feel that familiar knot in your throat which makes you want to cry? Do you weep for no particular reason at all? Is your heart already numb, cold and unaffected?

While people relentlessly search for answers, turning to expensive relationship gurus for advice and comfort, reading a dime a dozen self help books that can only do so much, these questions still remain open-ended without perfect rationalization.

So while we continue to seek for the answers, in the meantime, we can listen to the songs. That’s actually the art in it. These songs make letting go easier or harder depending on how it affects the listeners.

After having gone through a painful stage, who in his/her right mind would want to listen to break up/letting go songs? You may ask. It’s like rubbing salt and squeezing lemon juice over a fresh wound. So indescribably painful.

But it happens all the time.

So why do people go through the unnecessary torture? I believe it's part of the whole emotional healing process. Only when we rid ourselves of emotional baggage that we feel lighter and less burdened. Everyone has to go through the act of unloading hurt, pain, disappointment, and frustration at some point. And what better way to ignite it, than to listen to songs that tell your story like it was tailor-made just for you.

Let yourself wallow in pain. Savor it! Count your teardrops. Cry a river, if you must. Remember, this too, shall pass. Eventually, after going through the denial, anger, bargaining and depression stages, comes acceptance. The sunshine after the rain. The gold pot at the end of the rainbow.

You are free. Free to live your life again to the fullest. Only now, better, wiser, stronger and more resilient.

And when you listen again to the songs, you will appreciate them through the ears of a music enthusiast. They will still touch your feelings; there will still be memories, yes, and a whole lot of it. But this time, without the pain.

That’s when you can say you have finally let go.