Thursday, October 3, 2013

Let go—and live free

What one thing have you learned in the past few years that's made a huge difference in your life?

Recently I read this question in a book, and I stopped then and there to reflect upon it. At another time my answer might be quite different. But right now I would have to say that learning about my need to let go and learning how to let go have been crucial in my personal growth and development.

And it all happened, as I have mentioned in previous blogs, because a complimentary book was included in my tote bag at a convention I attended several years ago. The book became a workbook to me—and it's underlined, highlighted and all marked up with margin notes. I refer back to it frequently. It's titled How Can I Let Go If I Don't Know I'm Holding On? by Linda Douty. 

The beauty of Douty's book is that she not only talks about the need to let go, she tells us how to do so! That's often the missing part in books on personal or spiritual growth.

There's so much that needs letting go. Old tapes that play in our heads from messages we received as children—or somewhere along the way, things that weren't even true then, perhaps, but surely aren't now and that hold us back from being who we were created to be. Resentments and grudges. Attachment to outcomes. Defensiveness when we're relating to others. Old, negative stories that just make us spiral downward rather than moving us forward into joy. The desire to control others.

Picture having a ball and chain attached to your leg and trying to move around easily. It's not going to happen. That's how it is when you drag around hurts and old messages, ways of being that aren't helpful. It is so absolutely freeing to let that stuff go. Forgiveness is a way of letting go—and you know how freeing that is. See whether there's something today that needs letting go in your life. Free yourself up—and soar!


  1. Your image of lugging around a ball and chain brings to mind that remarkable scene in the movie, "The Mission," in which the Robert DeNiro character is helped to let go of the gigantic self-imposed load on his back (metaphorically full of guilt over previous sins) ... and the utter joy upon release of that load, when he found acceptance and redemption. Letting go of resentment and guilt is much like that, I think: exhilarating!!!

  2. Thanks for bringing to mind that movie. Oh, yes, I remember that—and think often of that scene. Perfect! Yes, letting go of resentment, guilt, anger, what others have done to us—it's exactly like that: exhilarating and freeing. Even that word "release" sounds wonderful, doesn't it?