Sometimes, one of the most difficult spiritual disciplines to master is learning to let go. I call it a spiritual discipline because, like worship, prayer, scripture reading, fasting, etc., learning to do so can strengthen our faith and help us to live a happier, more free, and fruitful life.
Our tendency is to cling and to cling tightly. The more that appears to be at stake, whether real or imagined, the more tightly we cling. We fear losing or appearing to lose or being considered incapable, so we hold tight trying to prove otherwise. There is fear of the unknown, and comfort with what is (regardless of how painful) rather than what might be. We are often unable to determine when enough is enough and agonize about what others might think or say despite what we know to be true. Knowing whether, when, or how to let go requires honesty, self-awareness, and yes, a fair amount of courage.
Truth is, letting go is often not about losing at all but rather about gaining the new and transformative thing that God might have in store. What if we could let go of old hurts and wounds, broken promises, unrealistic expectations, unhealthy relationships, jobs lacking growth and appreciation, the need to be right or to “win”, or to achieve a certain outcome as if the anticipated outcome is the only good one possible?
More often than not, we can trust ourselves with ourselves, even in a pandemic—perhaps most especially in a pandemic. We can trust that God is with us and only wants what’s best for us. We can trust that somehow the universe is more likely than not to align itself with the heartbeat of our soul, our wants, desires, and needs.
Learning to let go doesn’t come easy but could very well be one of the best and most impactful spiritual disciplines of all.
Grace and peace,