Letting go is not giving in or giving up, it’s choosing what you want to embrace.
Letting go is so much easier to say than to do because it often requires forgiveness and a willingness to release an attachment to our point of view. We often believe letting go means getting rid of something, but it’s really practicing unconditional love. My Dad provided me with a powerful lesson of letting go.
Dad was a talented artist, sports enthusiast, and generally fun-loving guy. I could tell you many funny stories about his poor sense of direction and getting lost everywhere we went, his soft spot for dogs, reflected by how many visits we made to the Humane Society, and his intense love of ice cream, sometimes indulging us in Dairy Queen twice a day!
But I always felt there was something missing from my relationship with my Dad. After my parents divorced when I was 8, I found our infrequent visits disappointing, leaving me with a deep yearning to be seen, heard, and understood by him.
As his dementia was progressing, Dad would say to me on the phone, with a sense of desperation, “I have to come and see you and your house, can you tell me how to get there?”. I think he must have known he was losing touch with reality and wanted to see me one more time before his mind completely failed him. Unfortunately, the next time I visited him he had no idea who I was.
When my Dad peacefully passed, my immediate response was relief. I was relieved to know he was no longer suffering and I was also relieved my own suffering could end as well. I could finally let go of my expectations and disappointments I had with my Dad I had been carrying around for years.
Letting go of these expectations and disappointments set me free—to remember Dad for who he was and not for all the things I wanted him to be.
Words Associated with Letting Go
Relief, Permission, Space, Room, Freedom, Exhale, Expand, Release, Liberate, Set Free, Surrender, Unleash, Discard, Shed, Possibility, Open, Trust, Choice