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Let Go

Let Go
Dr. Nanette Bowles 

Dr. Nanette Bowles

Have you ever watched a child fight to stay awake when their body is trying to fall asleep?  You watch as their eyes slowly start to close then they repeatedly force them open again.  They rub their face, whine in frustration and get angry when their body is stronger than their will.  As adults, we know they need to sleep and will feel better when they do.  They need to Let Go.

 

Recently a dear elderly friend of mine suffered from a severe stroke.  They did not expect her to live beyond the first 24 hours.  There was nothing that could be done for her…the damage was too extensive.  She had always been a fighter so it should not have surprised us that she fought to stay alive another 3 days.  Though she was completely unresponsive, we stayed by her side and tried to assure her that it was ok to Let Go.

I know people who were “wronged” decades ago and still hold onto their anger.  They replay the perceived injustice over and over in their minds and build up thick walls of bitterness around their hearts.  Their pessimism strains relationships as optimistic friends grow weary of blowing sunshine their way.  Often they don’t realize how tightly they are holding onto toxins, destroying relationships and how much they need to Let Go.

So, how do we Let Go?

The first step to emotionally letting go is to stop talking about it.  It is good to process your feelings with someone who can help you gain a healthier perspective.  But, complaining about something over and over will just imprint it deeper and deeper in your mind and heart.  It’s also likely that those you are repeating this to don’t want to hear about it over and over.  Does this mean that you will quickly forget about it?  Unfortunately, No…But, it is a good start.

Second, practice the Serenity Prayer, “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”  You are not going to change another person…it’s hard enough to change ourselves.  We can, however, change how we respond to them.  Mother Teresa said, “Holding onto unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die.” So, let go…life is really too short to hold onto grudges.

Third, practice kindness.  There is nothing that gets you outside of yourself and your misery like helping someone else.  If you don’t know where to start, here’s a website that may: http://www.volunteermatch.org/.  Even if you do not formally volunteer, there are people all around us that need a smile, someone to open the door for them, or a word of encouragement.

So, trust that ok to fall asleep, it’s ok to pass on to the next life, it’s ok to forgive and it’s ok to Let Go.