~ Letting Go ~

Dear Friends on our Journey ~

I was told recently that I must "let go." Those words made me panic. They were words that I didn't want to hear ... because the times I heard them in the past were times that I thought they meant literally. I had always been under the impression that to "let go" of something or someone meant to give them up completely. And if you care for someone ... and don't want to give them up completely ... then you certainly don't want to let them go.

In my past, I have had to "let go" of some situations in my life. These were situations which were causing me harm ... or keeping me from realizing potential that I had in other areas. They were retarding my growth ... and in order to pursue other things, I had to "let go" of those situations to make room for things which would be good for me .... and make me a better person ... and more productive.

In my past, I have also had to "let go" of certain people in my life. In one case it was a family member and it was a painful experience but one that was necessary. I have always associated "letting go" with abandonment ... or extinction.

Letting go does not mean abandonment or extinction in most cases. There may be some that must come to that ... but what I now know "letting go" to mean is not that at all. There is a book called "Stepping Stones to Recovery" and in this book are the following words which I have printed out ... and which I have made a vow to read each and every day until I almost know it by heart.

When someone tells me again that I must "let go", I'm going to not take them literally. At least until I make very sure that I am not holding on to them in one of the following ways:


~ To let go doesn't mean to stop caring:
it means I can't do it for someone else.

~ To let go is not to cut myself off;
it is the realization that I can't control another.

~ To let go is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences.

~ To let go is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.

~ To let go is not to try to change or blame another;
I can only change myself.

~ To let go is not to care for,
but to care about.

~ To let go is not to fix,
but to be supportive.

~ To let go is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.

~ To let go is not to be in the middle arranging outcomes,
but to allow others to effect their own outcomes.

~ To let go is not to be protective;
it is to permit another to face reality.

~ To let go is not to deny,
but to accept.

~ To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue,
but to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them

~ To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes and to cherish the moment.

~ To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.

~ To let go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.

~ To let go is to fear less
and love more.

(Author Unknown - Credited in 'The Grace Awakening' by Charles R. Swindoll)

Dear God,
I am a person
who finds "letting
go" difficult. Please
help me to learn how
to let go of those I love
gently ... so that I will not
be faced with having to let
them go permanently.

The Recovery Group

Copyright © 1998, The RECOVERY Group