As fall approaches, a season when the trees enter into their cycle of rest, may I invite us to contemplate the things we may need to let go of in order to allow the space we need to intentionally grow?
Today, I'm contemplating Psalm 46:10, and the thought that the words "Be still" can also be interpreted as "Let go."
For much of my life I struggled with worry, shame, fear, uncertainty, and control. It was crippling. I recall the beginning of my search for meaning and purpose during my high school years. I would go to the library and pour through works of inspirational authors such as Norman Vincent Peale, but my mind was stuck in negative thinking, no matter how hard I tried to have a positive mindset.
The messages of "I'm not enough " came from everywhere - from tabloids and commercials screaming women should look a certain way, to messages of unworthiness even from the very places I thought were meant to nurture my spiritual growth.
I went to a nutritionist, I saved up and bought a rowing machine and exercise bike. I bought the diet pills and meal planning cards. I bought the weight loss shakes and diet bars. I thought if I could just lose weight and become prettier, it would be the answer I was searching for.
I look back now at that girl, and want embrace her in unconditional love. I want to tell her how beautiful she is, just as she is. I want to go back and share with her what a growth mindset is all about and help her heal.
Often, however, a growth mindset comes after the rain. Little did I know then, the very things I needed to let go of would be what would free me. The things I was holding on to with white knuckles were the things keeping me in bondage. All the what-ifs, lies, and deceit, both from my environment and those created in my own head, had done nothing for me except hold me back from connecting with my most authentic self, the way each of us are created as a unique image of God.
Eventually, I began to let go of the worries, fear, and uncertainty. Instead of "what if," I changed the narrative to an expectant "what's next?" That way, even if something didn't turn out like I hoped, I could learn and grow from it, and allow that learning to inform my next steps.
I let go of shame. We've all done things we're not proud of. May we learn from our experiences, good and bad, seek forgiveness, and strive to do better.
I let go of unhealthy control issues. Sure, there are some things we have control over, but there is much in life that we cannot control, nor should we try. We are responsible for our own actions and how we respond to situations. That is where I focus my control now.
What is something you need to let go of to allow healing, peace, and growth? Consider what you can let go of to become more authentically you. It could be worry, shame, fear, uncertainty, control, and so much more. We are not intended to carry these burdens, nor to be alone in facing them. Often our prayers are for specific outcomes, when God may be asking you to simply be still and let it go.
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May your week be blessed and beautiful.💕