Barrington H. Brennen
Dear friend, do you have difficulty letting go of
relationships that have gone sour? Do you have difficulty allowing your adult
children to live independent lives? Do you have difficulty letting your children
make their own mistakes in life?
Sometimes letting go means there will be no more interaction
between you and another person. This is not always the case. Letting go can also
mean that although there is still a relationship, you are allowing your family
members or friends to make decisions for themselves. This is even more important
when family members mess up their lives with drugs, alcohol, or other
destructive behaviors. Always "rescuing" them and not allowing them to
experience the consequences of their actions will cripple them emotionally. They
will not learn the lessons that can enrich their lives.
- LET THEM GO
- Too many parents stifle the growth toward independence and self-reliance
by parenting their adult children. Letting go may mean leaving your son in
jail and not seeking bail. Letting go may mean requiring your adult
daughter to buy her own food and clothing. Letting go may mean not
cooking, washing, or ironing for your adult children living in the home
with you. Letting go may mean requiring rent from your working adult
children staying in the home with you. Letting go may mean that the parent
must say, "Itís time for you, my working adult son, to live on your
own. I want you to be out of the house in three months. That does not mean
you cannot visit or occasionally come for dinner. It means that I will no
longer plan your life for you. You are totally in charge of it."
- To let go takes love. Here is a very popular poem that illustrates the
point. It is written Robert Paul Gilles (Copyright 1997)entitled "To Let Go Takes Love"
from the book Thoughts of the Dream Poet : vol. 1
To Let Go Takes Love
Robert Paul Gilles
Photo by permission of Robert
To "let go" does not mean to stop caring; it means
I can't do it for someone else.
To "let go" is not to cut myself off; it is the realization that I
can't control another.
To "let go" is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural
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; it is to make
the most of 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
To "let go" is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others
to affect their own
To "let go" is not to be protective; it is to permit another to face
To "let go" is not to deny, but to accept.
To "let go" is not to nag, scold, or argue, but instead 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 myself in it.
To "let go" is not to criticize and regulate anybody, but to try to
become what I
dream I can be.
To "let go" is not to regret the past, but to grow and to live for
To "let go" is to fear less and to love more.