Thursday, May 17, 2012

How do you know when to let go

How do you know it is time to let go? In one sentence:

            When you feel any kind of unpleasantness or discomfort.

You can consider unpleasantness or discomfort a clear sign that it is time to let go.

And I'm no stranger to letting go. Letting go has become a common practice of mine. Probably too much of a common practice that it leaves me unable to get close to others. Letting go has no longer become a problem for me.

But for some letting go is heartbreaking. And in some situations it's completely understandable. Not all things are equal to let go.

By letting go, we actually allow more of the mystery of life to come in for us.-- Leslie K. Lobell, M.A.

Letting go. It's difficult for us in so many ways and on so many levels. Yet life calls us up to do it, over and over again. Letting go is part of our growth process. We cannot move on to the new while continuing to cling to the old. For some we let go for their sake and not for ours. And why doesn't it feel like a learning process?

For some of us, we must let go of a past relationship. Or even a current relationship. Or just lesson the relationship. Maybe the relationship was not meant to be: perhaps it was hurtful to us, or perhaps it was hindering the personal or spiritual growth of one or both.  Perhaps we have no problems leaving the person behind, but we continue to harbor animosity. 

Letting go is the opposite of holding on. Letting go is making yourself open, receptive, free and flexible. That is how it is in a physical sense, and that is also how it is in a psychological sense in, say, personal development, self help and improvement.

"Let go. Why do you cling to pain? There is nothing you can do about the wrongs of yesterday. Why hold onto the very things that keeps you from hope and love?" -- Leo Buscaglia

Letting go is not the same as forgetting. It's not the same as giving up. Letting go sometimes means to stop fighting for what can't be and to do what is best with what is.

One of the biggest obstacles people deal with in life is letting go of the hurt. For many it becomes a full time job. They are so many consumed with what was, what if, why, if only, etc., that not only do they NOT let go of the hurt, they live in it.

It's when you become obsessed with the past that you forfeit living your life today. The plain, hard truth is staring you in the face and there isn't anything you do about it now except to learn from it and move on.

There is a saying: Let Go and Let God. For most, if not all of us, the letting go that we most need to do is a type of surrender. We need to surrender to life, itself. The means that we need to let go of our illusion that we actually can control most aspects of our lives. In many cases, rather than to fight "what is," we to learn to accept and to be at peace. Too many of us are trying to keep a tight grip on things that are out of our control. It's like trying to grip the water flowing in a river. Put your hands into the river. If you try to get the water by grabbing it and clenching your fists, it goes right out of your hands. If you relax and hope, gently cupping your hands, the water flows into your palms. By relaxing, opening, and trusting, we can hold onto more of what is precious to us. By letting go, we actually allow more of the mystery of life to come in for us.

But letting go can, and usually does, mean suffering. A lot of suffering. Let's face it. Sometimes we have to let go to be the bigger person. Sometimes we have to let go for the best of the other.

Letting go can sometimes feel like death. Make us feel weak. Like we're the ones that failed.

But think about it, an irony. Death, the one event that causes the greatest emotional pain, in reality opens a doorway into the great joy of eternity. Spoke of his own death, Jesus used the analogy of a woman in labor of childbirth: she travails until the moment of delivery, when suddenly ecstasy replaces anguish (John 16:21).

Where is God when it hurts?

For a good portion of my life, I shared the perspective of those who rail against God for allowing pain. Suffering pressed in too close. I could find no way to rationalize a world as toxic as this one.

I said letting go became easy for me. Throughout my past so called friends left sooner than they came learning of my bipolar. It's difficult for me to get close to others. Letting go is a part of life.

He transforms pain, using it to teach and strengthen us, if we allow it to turn us toward him. With great restraint, he watches this rebellious planet live on, in mercy allowing the human project to continue in its self guided way.

He lets us cry out, like Job, in loud fits of anger against him, blaming him for a world of spoiled. Be angry. You have that right.

He allies himself with the poor and suffering, founding a kingdom titled in their favor. He stoops to conquer. You took the humble road. Did what's best. You sacrificed. You accept a part of you to die. You have an ally and you will conquer.

He promises supernatural help to nourishes the spirit, even if our physical suffering goes unrelieved. Your suffering will only last a while as it builds strength.

He has joined us. He has hurt and bled and cried and suffered. He has dignified for all time those who suffer, by sharing their pain. He knows.

But what about when we have to let go when we have no choice? A spouse leaves. A child of divorce picks one parent over another? An unexpected death of a loved one?

Yes we will suffer. The time between suffering and thanksgiving is when the devil truly attacks our thoughts. "If God really love you, you wouldn't have to go through this." "You're a good person, why is He putting you through this."

It's a subtle way of saying to us that serving God is useless. But take Job for example, he lost his whole family, his possessions, and his health. Job had to let go. He had no choice. His critics accused him of hypocrisy and deception. I'm sure they didn't realize they were being used by the devil to discourage Job.

But our suffering, is just a powerful reminder that we are walking the same paths as some of God's greatest saints.

Letting go is liberation. Liberation from suffering.

Everywhere a greater joy is preceded by a greater suffering--Saint Augustine

No comments:

Post a Comment


Where my inspiration comes from

A Recycled-Dad with Bipolar & Parkinson's, reflections on fathering and family life and other stuff thrown in'll love my Soap Box Rants

Blog with Integrity\\ Auhor Lupe Picazo

Why I call myself a Recycled Dad

I call myself a Recycled Dad because of the struggles with remarriage and being a step-parent and weekend dad. This is also about my life living with bipolar and how it affects me personally, my family and my job. It also reflects on the grace God has poured out on me throughout recovery from alcohol and an eating disorder. Recycled Dad is about my reflections on the wisdom God teaches daily on fatherhood and being a better husband in spite of being bipolar.

Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome them