Letting Go is a topic I can never hear about enough. I love it when it’s the topic at meetings, and I really love it when people talk about how they let go—what exactly they do that helps them.
Letting go is probably the answer to 99% of my questions. (What should I do in my relationship? Let go. What should I do about that cranky relative? Let go. What about the future I am worried about? Yes, let go of that too.
But still, and often, just as in my newcomer days, I can sigh and say, “But how?” and I try to keep the whiney tone out of my voice.
So, I love the advice on letting go from the amazing Melody Beatty. Beatty is a recovering woman, recovery writer, and a recovery role model. I highly recommend her books especially the day meditation book called, “The Language of Letting Go.” My first sponsor gave me that book in 1983 and I still read from that dog-eared, underlined, tear-stained copy every day.
So here is her advice on how to let go:
*If you are holding onto a worry or a problem or a person—think of that as holding onto a baseball.
* If you have tried to solve a problem three times (and worry doesn’t count) then stop yourself. Let go. Throw the ball.
*If someone asks you for advice, you give them the advice one time. Then throw the ball to them. Let go. Say nothing more.
*If a person has not asked for your advice, or if you offered some advice and the answer was “No thanks,” there is nothing to throw. Let go. The ball is not in your hands.
It might be helpful—if you are really struggling with an issue or a person—to get a small ball to hold, use a ballpoint pen to write the issue you’re struggling with on that ball, and then let it fly. Throw that ball off a cliff, into a river, roll it down a hill away from you, and say out loud, “I am letting go of….and name it.”
That’s what letting go looks like. Let it go.
More on life in long-term recovery--see "Out of the Woods" published by Central Recovery Press.