Holding on … letting go. All of life can seem like a constant dance of holding on to some things while letting go of others. This is true in business and in our personal lives as well. In fact, it is true of every area of our lives.
But how do we know when to hold on and when to let go?
Like many of us, due to the Covid pandemic and circumstances beyond my control, there were plans that I had made for 2020 that I was simply forced to let go of, such as my joint 50th birthday celebration with my husband.
We had invited friends and family from around the country as well as further afield to what promised to be a joyous celebration of our lives and the relationships that have moulded and shaped us over the years.
The anticipation of having all our special people in the same place at the same time was quite something but little did we know that just days before the event was due to take place at the end of March, the nation would enter Level 5 or hard national lockdown.
Far and away the most significant occurrence in my life this year was the loss of my mother. The fact that she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease more than 10 years earlier and had been living in a care home in the UK for the past 6 years meant that we who loved her had been forced to start letting go of the woman we knew, long before. When the time finally came, the knowledge that she would be free from pain made letting her go that much easier.
But letting go does not have to be a negative experience even if we find it difficult or challenging. Often, when we choose to hold on to something despite the fact that we know the time has come to let it go, we risk missed opportunities in our lives; in our careers, our relationships, our personal growth and development, and even in our finances, which, in turn has implications for those around us, extending even to our communities and our society.
This does not mean, however, that we should, for example, just quit a job or end a relationship on a whim. What it does mean is that it is time to conduct an assessment by asking questions such as the following:
- What am I holding onto?
- Does it have a positive or negative impact on my work and or personal life?
- Can I set a deadline to re-evaluate and make a decision?
- If I had no constraints, could I turn what I am holding onto into something positive, and if so, what would it be?
Ultimately, as believers, we cannot hold tightly onto anyone or anything but God, the One who loves us and is the author and finisher of our lives and our faith. Who better then He to direct us in what we should hold onto and what we should let go of, no matter the circumstances of our lives at the time?