How to let go…

How to let go...  by Keri Kettle

My oldest is getting ready to head off to study overseas for a gap year (a gap year is taking a year off between finishing high school and going to college).  It is certainly a challenge not to worry if she will get up on time, if she will eat right, if she will make friends or just spend the whole time on the Internet.  I have to let go of being in charge of her time and her body and let her take over that responsibility.

In my work, I have to walk through the process of letting go all the time – of the house, of the time their kids spend with the other parent, of having the life they thought they had signed on for.  Maybe you are letting go of your kid as they go off to college or learn to drive or become a parent themselves.  Maybe you are letting go of ever losing that last ten pounds or having knees that don’t ache or you are finally going to let your hair go gray.  Maybe you are letting go of the dream that didn’t pan out, or being the parent you thought you’d be or having the life you expected to have.

That damn Frozen song was so popular in part because we can all think of something we want to let go of, something we want to be free of, finally.

Having walked so many folks down the path of letting go, and having had to do it myself more often than I’d like – I’ve learned a trick or two about this letting go stuff.

Start small.  Letting go is a practice.  If you can’t let go of the stray sock that you haven’t seen a match to in 5 years, you are going to have a really hard time letting your kid go to college in another state.  Practice the art of letting little things go – the stray sock, the person that cuts you off in line at the grocery store.  Get good at letting the small stuff go and the big stuff gets a little easier.

Take your time.  Letting go is not a race.  When you rush through your feelings, they come back to bite you in the butt.  If you feel sad, give yourself time for sadness.  If you feel annoyed, let yourself be annoyed.  It’s okay to have all of the feelings, in fact it’s the only way to get through them.

Hold on.  Letting go isn’t giving up.  Hold on to the knowing that you have raised a good kid.  Hold on to the knowing that you have done what you need to do and trust that it was enough.  Hold on to the truth that just because things didn’t turn out the way you planned doesn’t mean that they didn’t turn out awesome.

Because sometimes the only way to make space for the most amazing things to happen is to hold on tight to our truth and letting go of everything else.

Please share your thoughts.