We all want to have happy, healthy relationships in our lives. But too often we try to make those relationships work through controlling the steps and actions of others. Because issues that create pain cause us to lose what we hold so close. Yet it’s interesting how letting go creates more of what we want than holding tightly does.
In every type of relationship there is the desire to be in control of the outcome. If you do X-Y-Z, someone will treat you better. Or at least they should. So we tell ourselves.
We all want to be in control most of the time. But with relationships, control is holding on to someone with closed hands, trying to determine their responses, or behavior. But you can’t control anyone else and have them truly give you what you want.
Letting go is the way to healthy relationships.
Control causes manipulation. Which breeds bitterness. Which creates loss and division. Which ends up in an ending you don’t want.
People who try to control others hold them tightly with their hearts and minds, using words to steer certain responses. It’s problematic.
There’s no freedom in a relationship like this, be it friendship, family, or romantic. Subsequently, it’s much harder to give and receive world when you’re being restricted, held on too tightly by someone else.
Love is what we all want more of.
Love can be defined in many ways. For simplicity’s sake, we can define love as the joining of peace, joy, freedom, happiness, kindness, appreciation, acceptance, harmony, and affection.
Wayne Dyer defines it this way: “Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you.”
Ultimately, love is the art of letting go and letting God (aka the Universe, Almighty Love, the Most High, the Higher Power or however you care to define Deity).
I recently put together an episode of The Appetizer Radio Show built around this philosophy, describing the art of letting go for a full, healthy and whole life with others. I incorporated music that illustrated this point.
Also in the radio show was pieces of a doctrine that my good friend, mentor and pastor shared with us recently. He gathered this wisdom from one of his friends. I want to share it with you here to practice the art of letting go, one piece at a time:
To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off.
It’s the realization that I don’t control another.
To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try to change or blame another, because I can only change myself.
To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their own outcomes.
To let go is not to be protective.
It is to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue,
but to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes and to cherish the moment.
To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less and to love more.
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