Don’t Lose It, Use it!

by Lillian Csernica on May 30, 2013


Day 30: React to this term: Letting Go

 When I contemplate the phrase “letting go,” I see my hand opening and something drifting away, the same way a balloon will float up into the sky.  Whatever it is that I’m letting go of moves away from me.  That seems too passive to me.  I want to be the one doing the moving.

I have some trouble with ambivalence.  I’m not sure if this is a side effect of all that practice I did for the Debate team, or if my compulsion toward fairness keeps me stuck sitting on the fence.  My therapist often asks me, “How do you feel about that?” or “How does that make you feel?” or “What are the feelings?”  Sometimes it can be really hard to get past all the thinking and reach that basic, primal level.  The feeling waiting down there is often sorrow or anger.

Here’s the conclusion I’ve come to, and, as they say, your mileage may vary, so take it for what it’s worth.  I think letting go can be about more than just releasing whatever or whoever it is by standing there and watching that bus drive away.  My therapist taught me that attachments arise from investing emotions into situations or people.  The greater our emotional investment, the stronger our attachment.  Given that, I believe it’s important to take the proactive stance of withdrawing our emotional investment, just like withdrawing money from the bank.  Take it back!  Once it’s all mine again, I can re-invest it anywhere I like.

See what I’m getting at?  Instead of thinking of letting go in terms of loss, take back that emotional investment and regain that energy and strength!  Don’t just sit there and mourn the loss of something that might well have been causing you some kind of harm.  Make it a positive act of liberation!



Filed under Blog challenges, Depression, Family, Special needs, Writing

8 responses to “Don’t Lose It, Use it!

  1. Wise words, and couldn’t have read them at a more serendipitous time! 🙂


  2. Gregg

    Greetings my dear friend – great to see you last weekend. I was drawn to your blog post, not only because of you (of course!) and not just for your fine insight – but because of the sub title/topic: “Letting Go”. That has always been a challenge for me, not in small part due to a low case of OCD. But there is a different kind of letting go, one that must happen in the face of the one inevitability of life – its end. As you are aware, I have faced that (as have many, as we all lose loved ones sooner or later) in the deepest darkest sense, when I lost my daughter in an auto accident in 2002. One of the things that I did in my stunned beginnings of a recovery from that deepest of wounds, was to contemplate, and then begin to write what it meant to make that ultimate “letting go”. In starts and fits, it was fashioned over the next three years (the writing was not that difficult in a mechanical sense, the subject was the issue and led to significant time where I had to put it aside; always to eventually be drawn to it like a moth to light, to continue on). I eventually submitted it to a publisher friend of mine, who produces the quarterly magazine “News from Native California” out of Berkley. It made it into print in April of 2005 – just weeks before my mother – my daughter’s godmother as well as grandmother – passed over to join her.
    She was able to read it, my finest and most painfully wrought work, before she too crossed over.

    The title of my article? “Letting Go”. It was the journey of how my indigenous heritage saved me from falling into the abyss during the intense grief of losing my baby girl (she was 9 days shy of her 22nd birthday – and still my baby!). The traditions and rituals of my ancient people speak directly to the act of “letting go” as a necessary and unavoidable consequence of life. It will happen, no matter what, so we must embrace it and then un-embrase it: letting it go; “ke’yaal” – in my language, “we let you go”, because our ceremonies are always communal, surrounded by family and friends. That is fortunately what happened with Elonda and I, we were surrounded by family when we said goodbye and let her go.

    Yet, we know that we never truly and totally let go – that is also so human.

    Thanks for your words. ‘ yaxap ‘ – that is all. Gregg.


  3. That’s great advice and an awesome way to think about letting go of something.


  4. Linnian,

    You wrote:

    “When I contemplate the phrase “letting go,” I see my hand opening and something drifting away, the same way a balloon will float up into the sky. Whatever it is that I’m letting go of moves away from me. That seems too passive to me. I want to be the one doing the moving.”

    I love what you’ve written here. I’ve had the same experience. Recently, I’ve come to believe that letting go is really shifting our focus towards that which is inline with our life where it is in the present moment.

    With love, Amanda


  5. I love that ‘regain energy and strength’! I never thought of it that way and I really like that!


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