Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Finding peace in letting go

There are times when you really want something. You reach for it – pray for it – you imagine it etched in your mind. You did everything you possibly could. But now it is time to stand still. As you listen to your heart you feel frozen. Your mind starts to shutter and shake. It’s almost an impossible feeling – the moment where you wish you’d done more. Only now it is out of your hands. You held it. You nurtured it. You handed it over. And now it is time to let go.

Have you ever had this feeling? You gave something everything you had and now you just need to sit back. You start hoping for the best thing to happen. It’s one of the most challenging feelings we face, but something that we have to go through. We feel it as our children get older, when we pour our heart into work or our hobbies - when we invest in the people we love.

At times it feels quite overwhelming, but here are some things that I’ve realized:

1. Letting go doesn’t mean giving up. It means finding strength in the effort you’ve given. You’ve invested in something – in someone – but it has to come alive on its own. It must be received and encountered. If you keep adding to the weight on your shoulders, it’ll only keep dragging you down. In the end, it’s not about you giving up – but making room to become more enlightened.

2. Letting go is what gives us our balance. You are not meant to make everything happen. Sometimes it’s better to pass the baton. Your leg of the race was run admirably, now it’s time for someone else to take over.

3. Letting go is a test of your patience. Some things take a little more sunshine. What you want may be wonderfully special, but maybe it’s not the right time. Maybe there are other things that you (or they) have to go through. Life has a funny way of getting us ready, but often the agenda’s unclear.

4. Letting go lends a brand new perspective. Sometimes the best way to learn is to listen. Letting go allows us to do this. It’s hard to notice when we hold things too close. Sometimes it can only be clear from a distance.

5. Letting go is about making progress. It’s about stepping out there to explore. It might not be the place that you pictured but the place that allows you to grow.

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