Hello and welcome to my website, where I am delighted to share information about my TEDx talk, “The Unstoppable Power of Letting Go,” speaking events, news and updates, and generally where I’m at when it comes to how I Let Go For It℠ in my own life, since I do it in some form or another practically every single day. There’s lots to see here and I hope you’ll browse around and come back often. With that said, let me tell you a story—well, actually, a few stories—about how I came to be so passionate about the topic of letting go, why I think it’s so important, and how I think I can be of service to you and the people you love.
A few months back, I got a private message on Facebook from a woman named “Bobbie”. She wrote to me after watching my TEDx talk to tell me how much it opened her eyes, giving her strength and hope. See, she had her own letting go story: After her nine-month-old son was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, she asked her emotionally unavailable bully of a husband to leave. A few weeks later, wanting to keep her family together, she tried to repair the relationship but by then, her husband wanted nothing of it. So, she let it go. With him gone and with her son now in remission, she realized how strong she was on her own. Then, a year later, her husband wanted to reconcile. But it didn’t work. So, she let go again. “I’m scared to death of what the future holds,” she wrote. “But … I love me. I don’t deserve to be treated poorly. I deserve to be happy.”
Her story touched me deeply for so many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that I too had a personal experience with an emotionally unavailable bully of a boyfriend-turned-fiance when I was in my late teens and early 20s. Let’s call him “Marvin”. Marvin and I were together for almost five years; for most of them, especially once we were engaged, he wasn’t very nice to me and everybody knew it. He’d talk down to me, control me by telling me what I couldn’t do, where I couldn’t go, and who I couldn’t spend time with. He’d hang up on me for no good reason and ignore my calls for days. And you know what? I accepted all of it—even apologized on too many occasions when I’d done absolutely nothing wrong. When, in fact, it was he who should have done the graveling.
To make matters worse, he’d do these things in front of other people, friends, family, and even strangers—leaving me, as you may imagine, feeling embarrassed and ashamed—and they noticed. But because I didn’t think too much of myself back then, I always went back for more. I remember one night, in particular: I was making a spaghetti dinner for a bunch of guys on his softball team at his apartment—something I did practically weekly. As I served the garlic bread, Marvin said something not so nice (thankfully, my brain has chosen to forget the exact words). For some reason, in that particular moment, I decided not to take it and rose up like Edith Bunker in All In The Family (Google it). Took off my apron, literally and figuratively threw in the dish towel, and walked out in a huff.
Yet, by the time I’d gotten home, panic had set in as I imagined all the ways I’d spend the rest of my life alone if he’d gotten too mad and left me; so as soon as I got into the house, I called him to apologize. He didn’t answer of course, so I called again. And again. And again. And again. And again. Until finally, the next morning, after leaving me to not sleep alone, he picked up and “forgave” me. (Even as I recount this story, I am cringing.)
Months later, after I’d eventually come to my senses and called off our wedding six weeks before it was supposed to happen (took a while, but I got there!), I ran into one of the guys who was at that spaghetti dinner. He told me how they’d always gotten on Marvin for how badly he treated me. That night, they’d prayed I would NOT call. That I would leave Marvin to stew in his own bad juju. Maybe he’d have learned something—gotten nicer.
I don’t know, maybe. But I doubt it.
Today, I’m actually grateful for that experience—and the one I present in my talk—because it taught me that it wasn’t up to Marvin to get nicer; it was up to me to think and want better for myself. To set my own ground rules. To stop letting love whack me every which way but Sunday. To, as Bobbie puts it so eloquently, love me. The pain of heartache can be a powerful tool for self-advocacy. At the time, I didn’t register leaving Marvin as a merciful act of letting go, but today, I can very clearly see that’s what it was.
“So many beautiful things can happen if you’re brave enough to let go,” Bobbie wrote. She does me proud. YES. Letting go is not always easy, but often leads us to the best of all possible rites of passages—the kind that allow us to reclaim our rightful selves and the life and love that we always wanted, but never dreamed we could have.
I’m telling you all of this because, if any of it sounds familiar even on a spectrum (from not so bad to Marvin hideous), I get you. The fact that I’ve gotten letters from so many of you telling me your stories of letting go for love (whether through divorce, finding new love, or fixing a current love that’s good but needs a little work)—and how much my talk made a difference—humbles me. Shows me that none of us are alone. I also know that letting go offers us a way out. That we can leave the madness and opt for a better more peaceful, more loving, and more fulfilling time of it. That, when it comes to finding love and happiness, we are not crazy for thinking what we think. And wanting what we want.
For a long time, in too many of my relationships, I thought I was. But now I know – it wasn’t me. It was them. 😊
It is for this and so many reasons that I’m excited to tell you about a very cool new project I’m working on that I hope you’ll all be part of. It’s an advice column, called Big Wild Love: Let Go For It℠. I’ll be writing monthly for wildriverreview.com. The focus of the column is on YOU—telling me where you need help with love and me doing all I can to deliver based on what I’ve learned from a) professional therapists and other experts, and b) through my own research at the school of hard knocks.
I invite you and your friends to send your questions to me at email@example.com. And, by the way, if you have never been on wildriverreview.com, you’re in for a real treat. Grab a cup of coffee or tea or a pizza or a pound cake or a bag of Doritos, call your friends and tell them you’ll see them next next weekend, turn off Netflix, and plan to get sucked in.
Can’t WAIT to hear from you!
With a ton of love and gratitude,