Is she aware of ~ Jennifer

Is she aware of what she is holding on to?


“Is she aware of what she is holding on to?” ~Jennifer


I hold on to too much. There are things both real and imagined, visible and invisible, physical and emotional that I have yet to release. Some are fears. Some are memories of specific events, while others are reminders that I’m afraid to let go of. I have piles of drawings and paintings my daughter has made, each special in its own way. I struggle with which ones to keep and which ones to recycle. It’s irrational of me, but somehow throwing away even the smallest of her offerings feels like I’m throwing away a piece of her and a piece of my heart. These early years with my children are fleeting and I don’t want to forget any of it (except the tantrums and the lack of sleep).

There are videos on my phone that I can’t bear to part with: the first time my daughter walked in the grass, my son chuckling wildly from tickles, my husband spontaneously dancing in the living room to Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On.” I’ve gotten pretty good at donating gifts that don’t bring me joy, trusting that they will light up someone else’s world somehow.  I held on to the Santa Claus nightshirt I gave my mom, though…the one that says “Believe” on it. I couldn’t put that one in the donation bin back when we sorted through her belongings. It reminds me of her youthful sense of wonder. And in a bag on the closet shelf sits the beautiful stuffed unicorn she bought for me when I was in second grade. I named it Uranus. (I giggle now, but I was seven years old at the time, and intent on giving it a name that started with a “u” like unicorn.) It’s only an inanimate object, yet I haven’t liberated it yet.  Somehow I still equate that unicorn with my childhood innocence.

My husband always gently reminds me that I can let go; that right now is what matters. Intellectually, I know there’s no need to use up space saving material items. I’m gripping the past so tightly that the present could slip away. I’ve been wasting my energy.  I know I don’t want to keep anything that is holding me back or robbing anyone of happiness, so I’m sorting through what is true and what is only fear.  I’m working to release ideas I have of myself, like the ones that say my nose is too big and my shoulders are too broad. I’m trying to gently embrace reality rather than hold on to the fantasy of what once was or what might have been. My desire is simple yet challenging:  I want to cradle the exquisiteness of today in my hands, and then lovingly set it free.


Are you holding on to too much also?  What do you want to let go of?  If you’re ready to give voice to it, please leave me a comment below.  There is such healing in sharing…



Filed under Is she aware of, Jennifer

10 Responses to Is she aware of ~ Jennifer

  1. Oh, I know this too well.
    I hope that you find healing as you sift through all the things.

  2. I have everything that my daughter and son ever created in school or at home, as well as videos and photos that they send me now.
    And they are now almost 28 and 27 respectively.
    I could never ever part with even one little thing.
    Beautiful post.

    • Dear Lisa,

      Thank you so much for your understanding comment. I love how you cherish everything your children ever made for you, and I certainly understand the inability to part with it all. One of my issues is that my daughter makes about ten things a day for me! Sometimes it’s a drawing on the back of a used post-it note. Other times it’s five paintings, or even a basket filled with things she has found around the house. And then there are the giant block sculptures she makes. We display them up on the kitchen counter for a while, but there comes a time we have to put the blocks back. There wouldn’t be any more to play with if we didn’t! (And I might not ever see the kitchen counter again!) So, with things like, I always take a picture, but eventually let the physical object go. I’m slowly learning to find my way…

      Thank you again for taking the time to comment. I do appreciate it (and I apologize profusely for my delay in responding)

  3. I feel your heart in this, jennifer. it’s a delicate balance, I think, the holding and the letting go…a bit of a dance.

    I do think it’s fine (and good) to hold on to some material items…the ones that bring an instant smile to your face or perhaps bring a intake of breath…the ones that hold joy for you. it’s not easy to sift through things but, if you listen, you’ll know.

    I see you cradling the exquisiteness of today. yes, I do… x

    • Dearest M,

      Just reading that you see me cradling the exquisiteness of today, oh that brings a smile to my face as well as one to my heart. I am eternally grateful for your friendship and all that you share from your sweet and tender heart. I am sure the world is a better place with you and your loving energy in it. Thank you for being there…and here…always.


  4. Pam

    I want to cradle the exquisiteness of today in my hands, and then lovingly set it free.
    Beautiful words and they mean so much to me. Thank you for sharing.

    • Oh Pam,

      I’m so honored that my words reached you. Thank you for taking the time to leave me a note. That means so very much to me! I wish you an exquisite day each and every day… and then the ability to let it go with love.


  5. Your thoughts, insights and words always touch me, Jennifer. I too am always working on letting go and finding just the right way to navigate the tiny scared things, placing it all properly in life. My mother is a bit of a hoarder and so I have spent a lot of time restling with saving vs. letting go of material items myself because of this. My mind also sifts through way to many memories of specific situations that should long be forgotten and more. Letting go is a perpetual theme for me as well and so I completely understand these questions that arise and the energy it takes to move through it all with grace and mindfulness. Always, thank you for your authentic, brave and thoughtful sharing here. I am grateful
    for it all, as well as the communities you helped create, and your presence. xo

    • Sweet Alisha,

      Every word you wrote here touched me deeply. Since the moment I read your comment, I’ve been thinking/hoping/planning to find a quiet time to sit down and write you a proper response. When something means a lot to me, I want to respond with depth and meaning…not just a cursory reply. And so, here I am, way too many days later, stealing a few moments when I should be in the shower to send you this note. You are such a kindred spirit, Alisha. I’ve thought that since the first time I saw your posts on Instagram. I love the way *you* show up so authentically. I admire how you are navigating this challenging, adorable, and often confusing path of womanhood. I understand the struggles with letting go…and the energy it takes. Thank you for witnessing my experience, and for sharing yours, too. I truly believe there are so many more women out there who need to know that we all grapple with questions and challenges and days that make us want to shut down. Even if we live geographically dispersed, there is still a virtual net of hugs here at Si3. Thank you for being one of the kind souls who is part of it.

      Xoxo (and apologies again for the delay…another issue I have to let go of)

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