Learning to Let Go

Step 3

Step 3 of A Guide to Addiction Recovery and Healing talks about trusting in God.  It is easy to talk about that theoretically – how important it is to do it, why we should, how silly it is to doubt Him, etc. Actually learning to do it is another matter. Letting go of the things we want so desperately to control and turning them over to God can be hard!  Here are a few tools and techniques that have helped me learn to “Let Go and Let God”. I hope you find them useful on your own journey.

Writing

Writing uses a different part of your brain than just thinking or speaking.  When I write out my thoughts and the feelings of my heart, my mind slows down and I am able to discover thoughts and feelings and ideas that might have been too fleeting to capture any other way.  If I write about my desire to let go of something and my reluctance to trust that the Lord will take care of it to my satisfaction, I can often find the willingness to let it go.

Visualization

Sometimes I just stand in the middle of an empty room and imagine putting whatever I am trying to let go of in a bubble resting in my open palms.  Then I lift my arms and visualize myself giving the bubble a little push up to send it on its way toward the Lord’s outstretched hands.  I see him receive my bubble and embrace it and I know that it is safely under His control. I know it sounds hokey, but try it. It really works for me! This works particularly well when what I need to turn over to Him is another person, usually someone who is making choices that concern me.

God Box

I have a box that I call my God Box.  (Some people have a can instead, because, after all, God “CAN”.) When I find myself obsessing about a situation or a person and I know I have done everything I can do to resolve it, I write it down on a piece of paper, date it, fold it up and put it in my God Box as a physical representation of having turned the matter over to God.  The next time I find myself obsessing about it, I have two choices.  I can either take it out of the box and tell God that I decided to take it back, or I can remind myself that I turned it over to Him and let it go. One amazing side benefit of using the God Box is that when I put something new in it I get to go back and reread all the old papers. Doing this reminds me of what a great job He did with all those other things.  In fact, He did such a fabulous job with some of those things that I don’t even remember what they were!

By the way, a “virtual” God Box does not work.  There is something about physically writing it down on a piece of paper and putting it in the box that is just different and more effective than doing it in your mind.

Fasting

It is not that unusual, in the Church, for people to fast and pray for something they are concerned about. However, many times we use this tool as a way of “counseling the Lord”.  In other words, we know what outcome we want for the situation and we try to control it by telling the Lord what we want Him to do. We may even add the obligatory “if it is thy will” or “nevertheless, thy will be done” to the end of our prayer as we begin our fast, but I wonder how often we really mean that.

I am going to suggest a slightly different way of using the tool of fasting. When I have a situation that I know I cannot control and that I have done everything I can or should do about it, I will fast and pray to understand and accept the Lord’s will in the matter.  In this way, I invoke His help in letting it go, and turning it over to Him.

  • In which areas of your life do you need to do a better job of “letting go and letting God?”
  • Of the tools listed here, which you not tried before, feels the most comfortable to you?
  • What will you do today to try a new way of learning to let go?

Please share your thoughts about this post by commenting below.

Related posts: Problem Solving FlowchartForgiveness – the Essence of Step 8Becoming Entirely ReadyJealousy: Only You Can Prevent Forest FiresForgiveness – the Essence of Step 8Change: The AADWAR ProcessTrust: Do Not Put Other Gods Before Him

7 thoughts on “Learning to Let Go

  1. Oh Mira, I finally came to look at your blog. Beautiful! I especially like the part about fasting. This is so very helpful to me. I get into ruts with my fasts. A few months ago I asked the Lord to help me know what to ask for with a particular situation. The answer was clear and immediate and TOTALLY contrary to what I was thinking. I love your suggestion to ask to accept His will in a fast. Thank you!

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