When the movie Frozen came out, my niece could not stop singing “Let it Go.” She is 7 and she has every line memorized. Heck, I think I could recite the song in my sleep now from all the times I heard her sing it. And if I being honest, the song is really catchy. And if I am being even more honest, I think there’s a great message in the song that we can all learn: having the freedom to just LET.IT.GO. is really empowering and allows us to be released to live as a fully alive and easy going person.
“Let it go, Kristen” is something I have to constantly tell myself. If you think about it, there are so many things that happen throughout the day that we need to decide to either cling to, or let slip from our heavy grasp. Letting go is something that I really struggle with. It’s a battle in my mind where I need to decide to make wise choices in the midst of very raw emotions. Just the other day, I was taking Brody (my adorable golden retriever) out to my courtyard in my apartment complex. I was just about to put his leash back on him when another young woman, vividly seeing my crazy ready-to-run puppy, decided to open the door to the courtyard anyway. Next thing I know, Brody is taking off and I am running after him (I had my pajamas on and slippers and slippers are NOT made for running). I remember being so upset with this person. Like, HOW RUDE!? It literally put me in a bad mood for at least the next 10 minutes. This would have been a great time for my niece to sing the song from Frozen.
I was clearly coming unglued from the decision to simply not let it go. I was holding on to raw emotions, ugly emotions. It made me realize that I need my own set of default procedures for when impatience, anger, pride, or bitterness rear their ugly heads. I need a system where I can remember God’s promises that are powerful enough to redirect me to the divine nature I am called to have. Because let’s be honest, we all feel justified in our emotions and it can be really hard to let things go. Even if it is as silly as someone opening the door that leads to me chasing my dog- I didn’t get to go to the gym that day so maybe God was blessing me with a quick run in the midst of a busy evening.
Lately, I have had a lot of things, “growth opportunities,” thrown my way. It has put me in a position to weigh what is important to me; to decide what is important to hold onto and what’s mandatory to just let go. I have passed some of these tests but I have also failed miserably. I have needed to ask for forgiveness to the people closest to me when I have decided to hold onto my “justified” feelings. These feelings that drive me to act, react and live the way I live. Frankly, learning how to let things go is a process. You can even say that it’s all about picking and choosing your battles. Ask yourself what is most important to you? I think we would all much rather shift through our junk drawers than deal with the junk that is in our hearts. The hardest part of letting things go is dealing with yourself. But we must. We must be present and engaged in order to let things go so that we can love well and honor whoever we come in contact with throughout our lifetime.
I am placing my honesty on a silver platter when I tell you that I have the HARDEST time letting things go. But we are always learning. Sure, I am still going to be vulnerable to letting things go. Every one of us is susceptible to unpredictable emotions that weigh us down. But that being said, I want to equip myself in every way possible to stay away from ugly emotions. I don’t want my inability to let things go to pull me away from the kind of woman I want to be. One with a gentle, calm spirit and divine nature. I want it to be evident that I know Jesus and that I love Jesus and I am chasing after being more like Him daily. I want to run to God for a new perspective and a new attitude rather than turning to earthly desires that keep me from letting things go. After all, avoiding reality never changes reality. And it can be frustrating to be in situations, conflicts, or hard places and have no idea what to do. It can lead to having a more difficult time letting things go because you simply don’t know what else to do. But when we make the effort to be more in tuned with the person we were called to be, living in freedom, it gives us all a fighting chance to make wise choices in the midst of raw emotions. It gives us all the freedom to simply let things go.
As I mentioned earlier, I knew for myself that I needed a predetermined plan that would help me let things go. Here is what I have come up with:
1. I remember who I belong to- I am a child of God and by no means am I what my emotions tell me I am. Instead of labeling myself as someone who can’t let things go, I remind myself that I am beloved, cared for, cherished, worthy, dearly loved and holy.
2. What’s most important- being happy, free and empathetic or being right, bitter and angry? I will choose being happy, free, and empathetic every time.
3. Stay in flow- my job is obedience; what does God want from me in this moment?
4. My reactions determine my heart- If I cannot let go of certain feelings, emotions or situations, where is my heart? I will either add to the authenticity of my love for Jesus in these moments or, sadly, negate it.
These steps have helped me in learning how to let it go. I am training my mind to remember each step to better equip me to handle my emotions and allow me to see what I need to put my energy and time into. I would love to hear from you if you have other processes you go through that help you live more freely!
With Grace and Love,