Learning to let go

I am currently in a period of learning how to let go. To let go of those closest to me. To let go of my expectations. To learn I can’t fix others, I can only fix me.

I came across this poem below in my therapist’s office, and looked it up online. It’s author is anonymous, but these are great words that can be applicable in so many different situations. We are all going through something.

I hope is helps you, as it has helped me. I need to print and keep on my mirror.

Update: I actually was able to copy the one at my therapists and found some differences, which I have now made below.

Letting Go

To “let go” does not mean to stop caring, it means I can’t live someone else’s life for them.

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 consequences.

To “let go” is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hand.

To “let go” is not to change or blame another, it is to be responsible for myself in that situation.

To “let go” is not to care for, but to care about.

To “let go” means I want what God wants in the situation, and not what I think is best for me or the other person.

To “let go” is not to judge, but allow another to be a human being.

To “let go” is not to be in the middle of arranging all the outcomes but to allow others to affect their own lives.

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 criticize or regulate anyone else’s life, but to do my best to become all that I can be.

To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my own 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 today.

To “let go” is to fear less and love more.

To “let go” is to hug someone, but not to hold him so tightly he is crushed and smothered.

To “let go” is to give a person or situation to God, who is the only one, who, can, work everything together for our good and for his glory.


Perhaps it is letting go of a rebellious child or a burden of sorrow, losing a loved one or learning to live with heartache which we just cannot let go of. Read this over. Study it…..and you will find letting go of your load will allow your spirit to soar.

For me one of the most gentle and beautiful reminders of letting go is the butterfly…hold it too tight and we risk damaging their delicate wings or fatally crushing them.

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2 comments to Learning to let go

  • One of the most inspiring articles I’ve read in a while.
    Letting go seems to be harder than it really is. :)
    Farouk recently posted..Why does my mood change throughout the dayMy Profile

  • Kelly

    Hmm, when ever I say something with the words ‘I should’, I remember someone telling me to stop ‘should-ing’ all over myself, lol. So when I hear that phrase, what I really hear is guilt, and it’s usually over something stupid that makes no difference to anyone so why ‘should I’ feel bad? LET IT GO: It’s done, you didn’t, who cares – be happy!

    –> Also struggling with depression here, and a co-dependent. I find the information on being co-dependent is really helping me through depression. Bernice, have you read the book ‘Co-Dependent No More” by Melody Beattie? Most of your posts seem to be inline with what this book is about.

    I also grew up in a dysfunctional family which taught me to be co-dependent, which taught me to shut out my feelings, which I believe triggered my depression (that I have only recently admitted to but have been struggling with for years). Thank you for being brave and putting your story out there, I found you through your Stressed Mom site and am grateful for all the information on both of these sites.

    Letting Go is one of the hardest steps, but is foundational. That’s why it’s the first of the 12 Steps for Alcoholics/Addicts and Co-dependants:

    The Twelve Steps and Promises of Co-Dependents Anonymous:

    The Twelve Steps of Co-Dependents Anonymous

    1. We admitted we were powerless over others – that our lives had become unmanageable.
    2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
    3. Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God (as we understand God).
    4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
    5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs.
    6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
    7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
    8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
    9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
    10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
    11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.
    12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other codependents, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

    The Twelve Promises of Co-Dependents Anonymous

    I can expect a miraculous change in my life by working the program of Co-Dependents Anonymous. As I make an honest effort to work the Twelve Steps and follow the Twelve Traditions…

    1. I know a new sense of belonging. The feeling of emptiness and loneliness will disappear.
    2. I am no longer controlled by my fears. I overcome my fears and act with courage, integrity and dignity.
    3. I know a new freedom.
    4. I release myself from worry, guilt, and regret about my past and present. I am aware enough not to repeat it.
    5. I know a new love and acceptance of myself and others. I feel genuinely loveable, loving and loved.
    6. I learn to see myself as equal to others. My new and renewed relationships are all with equal partners.
    7. I am capable of developing and maintaining healthy and loving relationships. The need to control and manipulate others will disappear as I learn to trust those who are trustworthy.
    8. I learn that it is possible to mend – to become more loving, intimate and supportive. I have the choice of communicating with my family in a way which is safe for me and respectful of them.
    9. I acknowledge that I am a unique and precious creation.
    10. I no longer need to rely solely on others to provide my sense of worth.
    11. I trust a guidance I receive from my higher power and come to believe in my own capabilities.
    12. I gradually experience serenity, strength, and spiritual growth in my daily life.

    Thought this might be some good info, even if it makes for a long comment!