There’s freedom in letting go

October 15, 2018

Sometimes we gain freedom not only by letting go ourselves, but by helping someone else let go of us.

A child rounds a corner on her little purple bike, one training wheel clattering on the sidewalk, the other high in the air. Her father calls her over and tells her that today is special. Today, she has finally outgrown those training wheels and will learn to ride the bike like the big kids! Tears follow the happy news.

“But what if I fall? Or I can’t balance? I’m not ready!” she complains.

Finally, after many assurances that he will be right beside her, she lets daddy take the wheels off.

At first he holds tightly to the bike, and she sits there frozen, unable to pedal, rigidly gripping the handlebars.

“Relax,” he says. “It’s okay. I’m right here by your side.”

She relaxes. then she starts to pedal. Dad releases his grip slightly. He lets go and runs alongside. She looks over and laughs. “Daddy, don’t let go! I’ll fall!” And then, the inevitable happens; she falls.

But she gets back up. He holds on again. And again. And again. Until near suppertime, daddy runs beside, lets go of the bike, slows to a walk, and watches his little girl ride off on two wheels.

Is there something or someone in your life that you need to let go of in order to grow? Is there someone you need to help let go of you? Sometimes it’s tempting to keep people dependent on us. It makes us feel needed and powerful. It makes us feel good. But it may be holding them and us back.

Go ahead. It’s time. Take off the training wheels. Help them ride off into the sunset. Set both of you free.

God, help me resist the temptation to keep people dependent on me. Give me the courage to help other people let go of me.

From the book: More Language of Letting Go

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About the author

In addiction and recovery circles, Melody Beattie is a household name. She is the best-selling author of numerous books.

One of Melody's more recent titles is The Grief Club, which was published in 2006. This inspirational book gives the reader an inside look at the miraculous phenomenon that occurs after loss--the being welcomed into a new "club" of sorts, a circle of people who have lived through similar grief and pain, whether it be the loss of a child, a spouse, a career, or even one's youth.

For more information about Melody and her books, visit the author's official website