Letting Go

Something happened last week that took me totally by surprise.

I’d been feeling really irritated and frustrated for several days, and I thought it was because I hadn’t meditated for two days in a row. I didn’t know what else it could be. So I began my practice again, and began to feel more peace, but there was still an “underground” irritation lurking below the surface.

I pretended it wasn’t there because I didn’t know why it was there. And thought it would just gradually go away.

Until I walked in to pick up some posters I had printed at the local copy shop.

Something snapped in me when I heard they didn’t have the order as I had asked (for the second time). I exploded. I was mean. It was like Medusa was let loose in the store and I became one of those customers that everyone else in the room looks at with astonishment.

Was this happening? It was. And it was real. My mouth just kept going. One thing after the next, and it was as if I was watching it all on a movie screen. My frustration and impatience was leading the conversation.

I walked out stunned. Did that really happen?

I felt like crying, but I didn’t.

Then I felt remorse – that poor woman who I took it out on…

I apologized to her after it sunk in what happened. I could have beaten myself up about it, but I didn’t. I knew something deeper was going on, I just didn’t know what.

Until 4am the next morning.

I woke up and tears started to come – uncontrollable tears.

I was losing something that I love more than anything in the world – my cat Dave. He’s dying (he has kidney disease). It was the first time I felt it in my heart – and the first time I allowed myself to feel the pain of it.

I’d been holding back. I’d been believing if I could just feed him the right food, give him the right amount of love and affection, tell him how great he is, that he’d just keep living. But it didn’t work. He’s still not eating much, and his energy is waning.

He’s dying. At 4am my heart felt like it was broken into a thousand pieces. I was opening to what is, and what is to come (having been through this with my dog Jake 4 years ago). I was surrendering to life, and accepting that I’m not in control. I was letting my heart finally feel the pain of loss. And it hurt. The deep kind of hurt that feels like it’s going to last forever.

And then it subsided for a bit, and then came back, and subsided, and returned.

I cried (actually sobbed) several more times that day. A release, an acknowledgement, a letting go. I accepted, I grieved. He is a being that has been with me through all the ups and downs of the last 12 years. A furry little being that taught me how to open my heart.

By the evening, the tears felt they were done. That night I went to bed actually feeling very at peace. The feeling of frustration and irritation was totally gone.

This is what it means to let life live through you. To not push away what you are feeling, but let it come. It won’t last forever.

I still love him. I still give him gobs of affection every day, this time with a knowing that I’m not in control and it will be his time to move on when he’s ready to.

And I freely let the tears come when they want to come.

The frustration and impatience? It was a symptom of something greater. When you are impatient or frustrated, ask yourself, “What am I holding on to that I don’t want to let go of?” Is it an identity of who you think you are, but you’re not? Is it a person? Is it a place? Is it a job?

May you find the peace within you. Feel. Be with it all. It’s all part of the human experience.

Categories: Heart Centered Living

About the Author: Angela Patnode

My passion, my calling, is for you to be totally you. Through private coaching, in-depth retreats, and online group coaching programs, I help you tap into your intuition and clarify your desires and vision, I guide you to take active steps toward making your desires a reality.

6 comments to “Letting Go

  1. Robbie Gammack

    Angela: Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Tom and I have been going through this with our precious dog. The lessons that animals teach us about ourselves are so profound, if we just let them in. People keep asking us why we don’t put our dog down. It isn’t time. He is going through his dying process as he is. We are managing his pain. He is still eating and loving us. For us the lessons are letting go, grieving when needed and being totally connected to him. Patience and love are required of us. How grateful we are to him for allowing us to be part of his process. I wish this for all creatures of this world.

    1. Angela Patnode

      Thank you for your wonderful reflections Robbie. My heart goes out to you and Tom. It’s so hard to watch our little buddies dying. My heart breaks, releases, and then heals, breaks, releases, then heals. Over and over. I’m celebrating with you the love and connection that we share with our animals and what they have taught us!

  2. Patrice

    Thank you Angela, for always being REAL, not just by modeling it for us here in your blog, but in all the other ways that you are the rest of the time too. Thank you for taking the time to be vulnerable. Love to you and to Dave throughout this process of living and dying.

  3. angela patnode

    You are so welcome Patrice. And thank you for your kind words. It means so much to hear from you!

  4. Robin


    Thank you for sharing your deepest feelings on this life passage for both you and Dave. Having lost our sweep pup, Kaley, last summer, I can relate to what you’re feeling. Our pets are indeed family and losing them in any way just plain hurts. Though it’s deeply painful to go through their last days with them, it’s healing for both us and them to fully experience this transition. My heart goes out to you, Angela, as Dave prepares to leave when he’s ready. Feel his love for you as he undoubtedly feels yours for him.
    Many hugs,

    1. Angela Patnode

      Thanks so much Robin! I greatly appreciate your words and heart. I love him more than ever – from a place of essence and truth. What a gift to have in my life. Lots of love to you, Angela

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