The world–and our ego–urges us to take control. Sometimes, though, the best thing is to let it go.
Think what life would be like if you let go of those things that worry and, sometimes, obsess you. Really, think about it. See it in your mind. Envision a ‘you’ with less anxiety. Feel the calmness and peace and taste the freedom that such a life would bring.
Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Learning to Let It Go
Letting go is not my strong suit.
I’m more of a planner and a doer than a ‘letting-goer.’ I want to figure things out, get stuff done, and follow through. All of which is fine, in itself.
But, I also want to control things, and when I hold tightly onto something, it’s hard to let it go.
I’ve gotten better. Partly from practice, because I work at it. But also because I’ve seen that letting go actually works. When something is nagging at me, and I let it go–really let it go–the situation generally changes for the better.
I can think more clearly when anxiety and emotions are not running rampant. My perspective changes, and priorities become more apparent. Even if I keep working on the problem, I’m not consumed by it. I can focus on those things I can control and let go of the ones I can’t.
It may take a lot of practice, but we can get better. And we need to realize that when we let something go, it may come right back. So, we let it go again. And again.
Let It Go, Over and Over
Let it go does not mean give up, or stop working, or do less than your best.
But decide to not be obsessed with controlling the outcome, or worrying about the past, or changing someone else, or wishing your circumstances were different.
When you are worried about something that may happen in the future: Let it go.
“There’s a victory in letting go of your expectations.” (Mike White)
When you are obsessed about an event that took place in the past: Let it go.
“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.” (Hermann Hesse)
When you are anxious about what somebody will or will not do: Let it go.
“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.” (Eckhart Tolle)
When you are too concerned about a situation you are in: Let it go.
“There’s an important difference between giving up and letting go.” (Jessica Hatchigan)
When the worry you are carrying keeps you from getting anything done: Let it go.
“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” (Steve Maraboli)
The Final Word
At this point, you may find this ‘letting go’ talk interesting, but you still need some convincing.
There are two extremely successful life improvement systems that have a lot in common on this topic. There must be some things we can learn from them.
Recovery asks us to surrender our will, admit our wrongs, and make amends. We are taught to seek the serenity to accept the things we cannot control, even while we also ask for courage to address the things we can. Recovery instructs us to let it go.
Christianity teaches us to give in to God rather than try to make it on our own merit alone, and to appreciate the blessings we receive through God’s grace. Yes, he wants us to work hard and be a good steward of what we have been given. But, ultimately, God wants us to let it go.
When you let something go, you don’t lessen your faith. You increase it! You make a decision to trust God with the outcome, and recognize that there are many things outside your control.
The final word is, when we let go, God does his best work. And that should be all we need to know.
Question: What is one concern or worry in your life you feel you should let go?
Action: For that concern, commit that you will practice letting it go every time it comes back.