Saturday, June 12, 2010

Letting Go and Overcoming

Let's face it, letting go of things is the hardest easy thing there is to do. Yes, I know that is a contradiction of terms, but if you think about it, it makes sense. Just think of a tyme when you were having trouble dealing with a situation that seemed impossible to bear.

Okay, chances are you thought of something that you really didn't want to think about, (sorry), and it's probably not going to make you smile, but your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to think back to when you were going through the depths of despair. Surely if you consider it, at least one person gave you advice. "Get over it!" What's done is done!" "X amount of tyme from now you won't even remember that it happened!" Yes, there are endless pleasantries that are meant to come across as counsel, but, no matter how they are worded, basically fit into the nutshell of "LET IT GO".

The so called advice that people give is usually derived from good intentions, but rarely comes across with a heartfelt purpose. No, what we usually get is a healthy helping of "keep your chin up" with a side order of "it could be worse" followed by a sizable portion of "just try not to think about it" for dessert. So when it comes down to it, our advisers, our listeners, our sounding boards fashion the art of letting go as easy when in reality it is one of the most difficult things a human being has to do.

The spectrum of this reality is vast because it not only deals with difficult situations like the one you just unearthed but also with situations that don't even register on a regular basis. If you think back over the years, how many tymes have you had trouble letting go of something? Whether it was a stuffed animal from your childhood days or an old, threadbare T-shirt that you got at your first concert; there was just something from which you could not fathom being separated.

Perhaps your list is long. If it is, then you are being honest with yourself, because letting go is an underlying theme in every one's life. Wow, that seems depressing, doesn't it? Let me mention that such a statement is not meant to sadden the spirit, but rather to cheer the soul; there is something to be said for knowing that a particular struggle is not just one person's to endure.

The fear of the unknown is one of the most crippling stumbling blocks we have when it comes to walking down a new path. Sure, we dream about doing things or we ponder about what life would be like if we tried something different, but when it comes down to it, we hold on to the dream and live through our inhibitions, getting nowhere, but comforted by our familiar surroundings.

Whether it is letting go of a childhood dream to pursue a new vision or overcoming a rude remark someone said to puncture your spirit, I am almost certain that as of late you've been faced with the challenge of letting something go. So, why is it so hard to do? Why can't Paul let go of his boyhood dream of being a doctor and be happy that he's the number one paramedic in the city? Why can't Megan get over the critical remarks that her teacher made about her term paper and be happy with the fact that she received an A on it? Believe it or not, it's a comfort issue. There is something consoling about holding on to the past, whether it is good or bad, because regardless of its worth, it is recognizable.

Paul lets his dream control him, making him feel like a failure because his life took a different path than the one he laid out for himself. Megan let's the critical remarks on her term paper dictate how she acts in everything she does because she's convinced herself that one person's negative opinion about her abilities is true. They are holding on to things that they should let go, but alas, letting go is not as easy as people tell us it should be.

So, if holding on to things we should let go of is human nature, how do we learn to loosen our grip and take that leap of faith required to walk away? Well, I am reminded of one of my favorite expressions:

"If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plan".

God knows us better than we know ourselves which is why it is His plan we should be seeking and not our own. He has the playbook and without Him we're standing on the open field with no one to protect us from the enemies that are in the process of blitzing us! We might survive the attack, but instead of walking away from it, we'll hold on to our injuries from it, paving the way for it to attack us again. The truth is, life is hard enough to navigate without dragging along a ton of baggage with which to keep up.

So, if you've been faced with what seems like an impossible heartache to bear or a situation that seems unrecoverable, instead of listening to everyone that says "just let it go", stop and consider God's plan and how your current plight relates. If you go after a dream and it doesn't work out, the reality is, if you honestly did your best, that is not the dream that God has for you. If you realize this it will be easier to let it go. If someone says something that compromises the faith you have in your abilities, turn to God and ask Him what He thinks, because His opinion far outweighs anyone else's and it's the most trustworthy one you'll ever get.

The bottom line is that God made you special, He loves very much and His hands are always there to guide you through no matter what the situation. The only catch there is that you have to release your troubles to grasp His outstretched hands because "sometymes holding on means letting go - LDK".