Lay It Down

The Take Away From Yesterday ~ Lay. It. Down.

Toward the end of my friend’s funeral service, his brother (Chad) got up to speak for a second time and this was the moment of the day. The first time he spoke of brotherly love, his tremendous loss and moments passed. His second time to the podium, he explained that things weren’t always perfect, but he was happy that they came together, putting differences aside, in what turned out to be the very last time they were to see each other. These words were about love.

Life isn’t perfect because people aren’t perfect. We all have our degrees of messy. This is the delicate thread that binds us. Each of our lives have unfolded with imperfections, missteps and heartache. These moments soften our souls and toughen our spirits. Without them the lessons wouldn’t run so deep and life’s other moments wouldn’t be as sweet.

Chad was urging us to put the petty stuff aside, ‘Just lay it down’. For me, I understood and felt what he was saying completely. I’m familiar with being at odds with someone. Thankfully, I’ve also experienced the coming back together. There’s nothing as loud as an absence in one’s life. When reconnection happens, we often regret the time lost and moments missed.

The term ‘lay it down’ resonated with me and intrigued me. I asked Chad about this term and he explained that he has asked people in his life to ‘lay down their swords’ and come together for the greater good. Pause the disagreement. In other works, set differences aside for what really matters. A little deeper take on this; Set the ego aside and move forward.

In yoga we use the term, ‘let it go’. One of my favorite quotes, ‘Let go or be dragged’. Forgiveness is a huge factor. Lay it down, let it go, forgive and forgo the fight. Another ‘ah-ha’ quote, ‘Holding back forgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.’

I’ve been a stubborn grudge-holder and I’ve held back forgiveness. In my rearview view, what a waste of time this turned out to be. Laying it down is a poignant posturing. Lay down the sword, stop the fight and get on with life.

Time is marching on and tomorrow is not promised. Holding out forgiveness lessens our chances of being at peace. It just may leave us in pieces and steal the happy from today. Laying it down, builds a sturdy foundation and opens space for living.

Last night, we celebrated the life of someone special. Sprinkled in between our reminiscences, we shared our life’s highs and lows. I spoke to three classmates who have lost children. Many of us have lost parents, siblings and other friends. This is a wake-up call for the living. There’s nothing quite like a loss, to remind us of what we still have.

So, make the dates with old friends. I did. Say yes to invites, to both the old and the new. Connect, connect and connect some more. We’re gifted this one life. We write our stories (this is in permanent marker, no eraser) and we build tomorrow’s foundation by what we decide to lay down today.   

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