There’s so much to say on the subject of letting go that I think I’ll just start from a place of simplicity: With one of my favorite poems, written by the Reverend Safire Rose, called simply She Let Go.
Before I share that poem, let me give you a little backstory. A magical woman named Susan Apollen—psychotherapist and energy healer I love (hand over my heart)—introduced me to this poem, which left me forever changed.
Yep, a poem.
SHE LET GO
She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgments. She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head. She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go. She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go. She let go of all of the memories that held her back. She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.
No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.
For whatever reason, the words, in their perfect rhythm, beauty, and simplicity, opened my eyes to the fact that I had choices, when I felt like there were none. It showed me that I could either hold on to the hurt I’d been feeling over too many losses at once.
Or, I could choose to let go.
At the time, I went to see Susan because I was struggling with the grief I could not name. I just thought I was depressed—over people I once believed would always be there for me and weren’t, and most importantly, over the unanticipated and tragic death of someone I’d spent more than one entire third of my life loving.
To say this person played a profound role on shaping who I was would be an epic understatement. At one time, he was my sun, my moon, and my stars. For all time, however, along with my amazing husband, he would be the one person—in a long line of monumentally bad dating choices—to teach me that I was not only worthy of romantic love, but of self-love, most importantly.
It was one of my life’s most powerful lessons. And he remains, even in death, one of my greatest teachers. Now, I’m not typically a poetry person (although I am a great fan of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein, does that count?), but this poem made me really get the broader attraction. Here a few ways it helped me move forward and perhaps can help you too:
- Showed me I had choices and that I didn’t need to stay stuck. You don’t either.
- Let me know I didn’t need a “committee” to validate said choices – those were entirely up to me. After all, it’s my life. Nobody has to give me permission to do what I need to do.
- Illustrated how I could choose to let go anytime. It didn’t have to be on a Monday, January 1st, the solstice, or in response to an overindulgence of pizza (and, okay, brownies).
- Clarified that letting go didn’t require a doctorate. Just a solid process for moving forward and a tinge of courage, she says, sheepishly.
- Showed that, if I chose to let go, it would all be okay. “And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.” Yes, it did!
I don’t know if this poem will carry the same resonance for you, but I hope it at least gives you letting go food for thought. Let me know what you think!
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Jill Sherer Murray is an award-winning writer and speaker who studies creativity, relationships and self-growth. She is also the founder of Let Go For It®, a lifestyle brand dedicated to helping individuals let go for a better life. Jill’s TEDx talk as well as her advice column, Big Wild Love: Let Go For It® were created in service to her loyal and growing fan base, who seek support in the act and the art of letting go for the love they desire and deserve. Follow Jill @letgoforit on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.