The Gentle Art of Letting Go

The Gentle Art of Letting Go

He was taking a risk in releasing it to the wild and unknown. 

It cooed quietly then off and away it flew as Noah let it go. 7 long days Noah waited and hoped.
The Dove returned, olive leaf in its beak, it was time to leave the cramped quarters of the Ark, a safe place for the past but how it was time to move on and let it go.

Letting go is difficult.

We like to hold on to things. Past hurts where injustice has been done. Control of others and a perceived level of security.

Perhaps letting go of hopes and dreams, passions and desires. Letting go of children as they move from child to teenager to adult. Letting go of youthful physical beauty and ability to wrinkles and spare tyres!

I read this the other day

If I get stuck in who I am now, I might never blossom into who I might yet become. I need to practice the gentle art of letting go. Sam Keen

A pupae spins a cocoon around itself. Gently, precisely, and instinctively it builds a home that is needed for that moment.

Change is happening, unseen, unknown. 

The time comes for the butterfly to let go of the old. Its painful, tough, deeply personal, but needed, or it will die.

Something subconsciously beautiful invites the butterfly to let go of the old redundant cocoon. Unless it lets go it will never become what it was purposed to be.

The Bible is full of people who had to embrace the ‘Gentle Art of Letting Go’.

  • The Mother of Moses laying her little baby in a wicker basket, letting him go.
  • Abraham walking up a mountain with a son to be killed by his hand, letting him go.
  • A loving Father watching a Son walking away with half of his wealth, letting him go.
  • Another Father abandoning, ever so briefly, a Son being crucified, letting him go.

How do we let go? 

  1. Name it, as best you can. Give exact shape to what you need to let go of. Friends may be able to help. ‘I need to let go of ……..’
  2. Acknowledge just how much of who you are is wrapped up in what you are clasping onto. ‘What I am letting go of is important because ……..’
  3. Acknowledge the risk. Whenever we let go of something we have empty hands, what will happen if our heart is not given some thing new? The Biblical examples above had risk attached. ‘As I let go I am risking ……..’

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” Anais Nim

There is a time. Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that there is a time for everything. It may not be the right time yet, you may not have fully embraced and understood what and why you are clinging on to.

There may be a physical place to let go of what is being held.
A graveside, a beach, a garden etc… A place where memories are held.

Let your heart guide to that place.

Letting go is a process. Letting go may need to be repeated a number of times as we embrace and understand what we have been holding onto. This is ok!

Forgiveness, as an example, is both an act and a process.

Write it down. You may like to write down what you are letting go, helping you to define more closely what you are releasing. Then with what you have written, cast it into the sea/ river, burn it, tie it to a helium balloon etc.

Be hopefully prepared for the possibility of something coming to you in return. As we release, something new and unexpected floats into our hands. Watch and wait.

The Gentle Art of Letting Go by Sue Pinkerton

Like feathers drop
Into the void
From softly open hands,
Like beads of mist
From cobwebs fall
Upon the drifting sands,
Like tears that drift
From lash to cheek
And then to healing soul,
The time has come,
My heart has said
For gently…
Letting…
go…


What do you find most difficult about ‘Letting Go’?

Barry Pearman
Image: Letting Go