In certain recovery circles, there are different slogan versions of the same general theme: “Let it go.” “Turn it over.” “Let go and let God.”
These are usually said in reference of some condition, person, place or thing that is a source of stress, resentment, anger or some other emotion that is potentially dangerous for the person’s serenity/sanity/sobriety.
I’ve had people listen to my tale of woe, and offer as help something like: “Just let it go.”
I always found this very frustrating.
I mean, OK, sure, yeah, I’d love to “let it go!” Who wants to be obsessed with something? Who doesn’t want to release some shit that has a hold on them. I am all for letting it go! But how in the hell do you do that really?
I mean, I can’t just will it away. Been there, tried that. Doesn’t work.
Pray it away? Nope. That has never worked for me. Works for you – have at it. Good for you. Not my thing.
Best thing I ever heard around all of this, something that really helped me understand how this releasing, this turning it over thing really works (at least for me,) was this.
Someone wise once said to me: in order to let it go, just try to loosen my grip around that particular complaint, problem, issue, person, or thing.
To just see if I could release my grip just a bit…
And you know what? That I could do.
I could just try to loosen my hold on it a bit.
And no, the issue did not just disappear as a result. But sure enough, that loosening allowed something to move a bit, and that, it turns out, became the beginning of a shift.
That little release made space for something else to enter into the picture…
What a difference! I was no longer frustrated whenever I had that suggested to me, because now I knew that they key, the starting place, was to just loosen my grip a bit.
It is urban legend that Quincy Jones apparently said to Micheal Jackson, “If a song needs strings, it will tell you. Get out of the way and leave room so that God can walk in.” He later rephrased this to, “You’ve got to leave space for God to walk through the room.”
I am not religious nor do I use the word God to indicate what I believe in spiritually, but I do love and have come to understand this phenomenon experientially in my life: this consciously leaving some space in a situation for something greater than myself to come through with some help, or some magic, or some beauty. At the every least, some new information! I have experienced it a multitude of times.
So now I have my own version of those slogans:
Let it go?! I don’t know. Leave some space? I say yes!