Thursday, January 12, 2012

Letting go is tough to do

One of my favorite books—to which I return again and again—got to my bookshelf quite by accident.

I attended the annual conference of a religious journalists’ organization, registered, slapped on my nametag and grabbed the ubiquitous convention tote bag. Later in my hotel room I checked the contents and discovered a free book: How Can I Let Go If I Don’t Know I’m Holding On? by Linda Douty. Interesting title. But life was busy, so it went on my bookshelf. Until I needed it—and it called to me from my shelf one day! (Do you ever have that happen?)

I cannot tell you how many highlighted passages, underscored phrases and notations I’ve added to that book in the years since. It is a wonderfully practical book for letting go: letting go of hurts, of ways of thinking that no longer work, of grief that weighs us down, of roles and so many things.

What holds you back?
Think of what you most long for right now. What would you love to have in your life that isn’t there now? Then think of where you are right now in your life. Is there a gap?

What would it take to have that something for which you yearn—to be at that place you long to be? The chances are really great that one or several obstacles hold you back and keep you where you are. I know that’s often true in my life.

The chances are great, too, that some kind of letting-go process might be needed to move from here to there. Do you have restricting beliefs that hold you back? Or perhaps old hurts and resentments keep you stuck. Sometimes it’s even a person, a relationship you have that isn’t healthy. Maybe you need to let go of the way you act in that relationship—or perhaps you have to let go of the connection entirely.

Think about what letting go you may need to do. Decide what actions you’ll need to help it happen. Remember, it’s a process.

I invite you to share with us what has worked for you in the past. What letting-go experiences have you had, and how have they helped? Or is this a tough one for you?

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