Day 4 of 45 Days of Courage

It takes courage to let go.

Yesterday I reflected on the courage it takes to regroup and start over. Today I am considering how it takes courage to let go.

I like to feel a sense of control. All the time. This has served me well in many situations throughout my life. Holding tightly and being responsible gave me the endurance to do well in school, to push for a career I love. I need to have a certain amount of control in order to be effective in my job and in parenting my children.

But the need for control has also made my life difficult. I find it hard to trust others. I hold on to the harsh words people say, and I take it personally. I find it difficult to let go of control and just know that people can handle their own lives. I live with anxiety and often feel overwhelmed with worry. It can be crippling.

And when I am in a situation over which I have no control whatsoever, I struggle to know what to do. Right now, for example, I am waiting to learn when I will have surgery to remove a tumour from inside a bone in my leg. It is painful and scary and I have no control over it.

So I have no great example today to demonstrate how I have shown courage and just let go. I only know that it does take courage to let go, to trust that the things I worry about will turn out fine. The truth is, I don’t know. I don’t trust. I am afraid. I am afraid of what is happening in my body. I don’t know how to let go of the hurtful words someone said to me last year. I don’t know how to release control and just let people take responsibility for the things they need to if it might affect my life or the lives of my loved ones.

But I need to. So today I will dig deep and find the courage to let go. Of one thing. And I will show myself some compassion if I can’t let everything go. One thing, one step at a time.

As I look outside, it is impossible not to see that nature gets it. The trees hold their leaves while it serves them. And when the fall comes, and those leaves are no longer helpful, they let them go. They need to let go to embrace the next season of their lives. Maybe that’s what I need to do too. How about you?

What are you holding on to? What is no longer serving you but you just haven’t been able to release it? Maybe it it control, or expectations, or an idea how how things should be. It takes a lot of courage to let go. We don’t know the outcome. It may not turn out the way we planned. It might turn out better. Will you try this with me?

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