Letting Go vs Holding On
Recently I spent time with my eldest daughter, her husband, and in-laws. We had a wonderful time at the beach. When I think of her, I feel a mixture of love, joy, gratitude, and also a little sadness because she has given her heart to her husband - as it should be. She has grown up and created her life the way she wants and has expanded her circle of loving and supportive friends.
I knew I had to let go of each of my children and let them discover themselves and why they were here. As any parent knows, it is a difficult process that began when they were in their teens. I had dreams for them and even though I believed I knew what was best for them, I had to let them make try the things that they felt called to do and also make their own mistakes. I also knew that once I gave them roots, I had to support them to find who they uniquely were, separate from my husband and myself, and do what they were called to do. I prayed a lot that they would be safe and when I say I had to let go, I mean I didn’t push them, or hover but allowed them the space to find themselves.
Saying goodbye to my daughter when we had to head home, always puts a deeper crack in my heart because that bond is always there, that mother love.
My daughter is caring, thoughtful, funny, and creative. As we hugged before I left on the train, I cover my sadness well, I would never put pressure or a guilt trip on her. I let her go to flourish and bring to others the joy she brings to me.
And so I’ve discovered that life to be lived fully is a continuous letting go. Perhaps it’s letting go of one dream for another. Letting go of the physical activities you could once do and can’t now. Letting go of expectations of relationships you thought would work out but didn’t. Letting go of business or career dreams that weren’t meant to be or that you have to move on from.
There’s grief in letting go. It’s like shedding a skin. Letting go means surrendering what you expected for what is. The reality of what is.
We want what we want when we want it. However, not getting what we want isn’t always a bad thing. Not getting what we want hones and refines us, giving us the opportunity to be better people, people of character, wisdom, and depth. Letting go and surrendering is a part of allowing something better into our lives.
Here are some journaling questions and prompts for you to delve into. Take 10 - 20 minutes (or as long as you want) to ponder and write your answers to the questions.
- Make a list of the things you might be struggling to let go of.
- If you could let go of one thing, what might be something better that could replace what you're letting go of? Or what would you like it to be? Don't limit yourself but allow the flow of consciousness through your pen without editing. Be willing to dream and to be surprised. Try not to judge, leaving all negativity aside.
- As you choose that one thing on your list and work on letting it go to your higher power (or God, or whatever you call that higher loving presence) for one to two weeks every day.
- If you have the energy and time, could you let me know how it went for you? Was it a challenge? Were you able to make small steps toward letting go? I'd love your feedback.
EFT-Tapping (Emotional Freedom Techniques) can help you to let go because the opposite of letting go is holding on. We hold on and try to control our lives usually because of fear. EFT can help you to calm fear by releasing the stress response, the fight, flight, freeze response in the body. You might even be angry at God. I totally understand and EFT can help you work that out. Anger and resentment are valid emotions and not necessarily "bad." They point us to an underlying problem and give us an opportunity to heal that root problem. Holding on to those emotions only causes sickness in your body. I don't think any of us want that!
Oftentimes we don’t know the answers but having faith and perseverance to wait for the answers will reap results for you. It takes perseverance and constancy.
This process of never giving up - while letting go - is the mettle you need for a successful, well-lived life. Letting go will open the door for new and greater possibilities around the corner.
Letting go of those things we have no control over (i.e: other people, pandemics, etc) gives you freedom, peace, and dare I say, joy. In letting go and surrendering to God, you are letting God take care of those people and events you don't have control over. God wants to share our burdens and comforts us in our surrender.
Here is a Prayer of Surrender if you'd like some help with letting go:
Reach out to me if you need some support with that and let me know how it goes. My hope is that you would experience the same freedom that I have received in letting go and in surrendering.
Lots of love always,
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