Letting go

The phrase “letting go” sounds very easy.  It is not.  It is a process and it takes time.  We human beings hang on to things that we love with a fierceness sometimes that is indescribable.  If we are people who need to control things, it is even more unthinkable.  If it is a combination of both it will be the most difficult thing you ever do.  Someone once said ” The strength of our generosity is a primary factor in our ability to accept change.  The mind that can let go, as is required in an act of giving, diminishes the forces of craving, clinging, attachment and fear within us.  These forces would have us hold on to pleasure in a futile effort to control experience, to make pleasure last forever.  These forces would have us fear pain, as though it were not a part of the flow of events and cause us to try to avoid or deny it no matter what the effort costs us.  As we learn to give material things to others, we develop the ability to let things be as they are, without trying to hold on, push away or control what can not be controlled.”  Letting  go of people requires the same strength, courage and commitment.  It is not easy to let go of someone you love, especially if that person is your child.  It is required for your sanity if that child is or has become dysfunctional and is an adult now.  For whatever the reasons that has occurred.  Letting go is required in order to not become involved in the drama that is their life.  If your child is still a child, get your family help, because it then becomes a family issue, not just the child’s.  Children are not born dysfunctional, they are taught how to be.  If you are dealing with someone, your adult child or not, who has become dysfunctional either because of addiction or some other reason, letting go will be difficult.  Your will want to help them and love them through it.  It is not your decision to get them help, it is theirs.  If they are not ready to let go of whatever the issue might be, they will not seek help.  You will find yourself in a battle of wills, theirs against yours.  It is an untenable battle.  No one wins because it is not yours to fight, it is theirs.  You can be support while they are fighting it, but it is their fight.  Letting go of that, wanting to help your child, is never easy no matter how old they are at the time.  Trying to help someone who does not want the help is crazy making for you and for them.  Letting go does not mean that you stop loving that person.  It means that you are not physically involved with that person.  That does not have to be a permanent thing.  When they are ready to stop the crazy making, you can re-involve yourself  with emotional support for their efforts.  They need to fight this battle alone in order to make it theirs and learn whatever they need to learn from it.  You cannot learn it for them.  You cannot take their pain away or feel it for them.  They have to go through it in order to get to the other side.  The pain that you do feel is yours.  That is you battle to fight and learn what needs to be learned from it for yourself.

Praying, using guided imagery and relaxation exercises will help you to let go of those thing that are not yours to control.  It will allow those that need to learn the lessen, learn it while you are learning yours.  It will allow you to deal with your pain while they are dealing with theirs.  Remember loving someone does not have to stop just because they are no longer with you physically.  If you have ever truly loved someone they are always with you.  This site has relaxation and guided imagery videos that will help you to let go of those things you cannot control.     Link to the video’s   Enjoy!


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I became a therapist in an attempt to understand my own childhood and what happened there and how it made me who I am, exhibiting the behaviors that were not always positive, very often self-destructive. I used Art Therapy to help me understand things in my past that were stopping me from making better decisions in my present day. I used Behavioral Science to help me understand underlying causal factors, roots to the present day behaviors that I was seeing in myself. Both help me to change those behaviors/thoughts that were causing me to make self-destructive decisions that were causing pain in life. I have been a therapist since 1985 and have an undergraduate degree Art and behavioral science (double major) from the University of Maine. My graduate work was done at Marywood university and I have a degree in Art Therapy. I have certificates in Forensic Interviewing and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior therapy. I have 22 out of 30 credits toward a degree in Trauma Therapy from Drexel University. I started out as a Community Support Worker, Program Manager/Clinical Supervisor, Family therapist and Outpatient therapist.

2 thoughts on “Letting go”

  1. Letting go… So hard… Letting go of expectations of how a situation could be or ought to be… That’s part of the need to control issue which is useless because there really isn’t anything you can control except yourself. But when dealing with loved ones who are self destructive it’s really hard to do. You are so right. Great post.


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