Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Letting Go

About a month ago, I had a difficult conversation with a friend of mine.  The next day, when I checked my email, I had a message from him with the subject line, "Let it go."  I laughed out loud, then wrote him back and told him that it made me laugh.  I have been getting lots of lessons on letting go this summer, but that was the most explicit.

Writing is a process of letting go, and it is one that I don't feel particularly good at.  This summer, I had two articles come out at almost the same time because the magazines were on different publishing schedules.  The first was Rising Up: Ministry at the World Gathering of Friends in Friends Journal.  The second was the message I gave at the Pacific Northwest Quaker Women's Theology Conference, published in Western Friend as Inviting Grace: Letters and Lessons from the Apostle Paul.

After they came out, I thought I would feel great, but I mostly felt anxious.  Publishing in print is very different from writing on my blog.  It takes a lot longer, and by the time the article comes out, I feel removed from it.  The editors at both Friends Journal and Western Friend were fantastic, but I was also aware that the final product was not completely mine.  And the magazines reach a much wider audience than my little blog.  So I had a hard time letting go.

I used to feel similarly after giving vocal ministry.  I would pick apart the things I had said, and feel embarrassed about the way I said them.  But I eventually came to the conclusion that, if I believe the message comes from God (and I do), it is not my place to question the content.  I don't know who the message is for and I just have to trust that the person who is meant to hear it will receive it in the right way.

Today at lunch, I got another lesson in letting go.  I went to the farmers' market during my lunch break, and somewhere between there and work, $9 fell out of my pocket.  After getting upset and looking around a little, I hoped that whoever found the money needs it more than I do.  And I remembered a bad day when I found $20 on the ground and decided I was just repaying a loan.

I am trying to let go.  I hope I am getting better at it.  And I hope I don't need too many more lessons!


  1. Ain't that the truth! Letting go seems to be a lesson we all need to learn over and over and over. I kind of figure it out in one area of my life and then this whole gigantic other attachment presents itself to me and I start all over again. Once I've accepted that I must release that, I discover something else I'm clinging to. Gyah...Money. Time. Relationships. Self-image. Comfort. Familiarity. Control. Each one a baby step in turning my life over to God.

    with love,
    Mary Linda

    1. It's good to know that I'm not the only one! Thanks for stopping by, Mary Linda.

      With love,

  2. Sometimes the learning to let go, is of a more "physical" nature. I am TRYING to let go of the "loss of control" of legs and hands. An undiagnosed neuropathy had taken much of the feelings from my legs and hands. I am trying to learn to live this way without being angry, frustrated, anxious, etc. One of the major blocks to "letting go" is the uncertainty of what the cause is and what the prognosis is. I do see a parallel with some emotional and mental issues that can nag and annoy one without much knowledge of what is happening and where things are going.

    1. Yes, I have a much harder time letting go when I am uncertain what will happen. What you are going through sounds hard. I will pray for peace and blessings as you continue to try to let go.


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