Thursday, November 3, 2022

Why We Must Learn the Beauty of Letting Go


By: Donna Bucher

Watching the leaves fall one afternoon reminded me, learning the beauty of letting go affords us freedom from things no longer serving us. Just like a messy garage or basement, holding onto things which have completed their purpose in our lives creates clutter.

Physical clutter causes anxiety, but anxiety also results from emotional and spiritual clutter. Refusing to clean out that garage or basement of old memories can keep you from moving on with your life.

Likewise, clinging to old memories in our minds, with the hope of recreating that time again keeps us from embracing the life we have. Retaining broken methods of coping, immature mindsets, or behaviors, keeps us from personal growth.

Ignoring sin patterns stifles spiritual growth and hampers our relationship with Christ.


In the same way the trees and leaves prepare for autumn and the eventual “letting go”, we must prepare to release what we can no longer hold. We easily identify overwhelm or express feeling “burdened” or “heavy” but knowing why often proves elusive. Truly experiencing the beauty of letting go involves some soul searching.

Hebrews 12:1 reminds us to “lay aside every weight and the sin which hinders us.” I emphasized “and” because weight here is not talking about sin. The weights consist of something hindering and burdening us, but not necessarily sin. In preparation for “letting go”, let’s explore some of the weights causing us overwhelm and heaviness.

Let Go of a Story

We all tell stories to ourselves. Sadly, most of the stories involve negative self-talk creating overwhelm and heaviness.

Failure and Inadequacy Stories. Do you replay past failures? Is there a particular area of failure? Do you have a story for financial difficulties, work problems, or health issues? Think about the emotions that arise when you tell these stories to yourself.

Emotional Baggage. Are you holding onto resentment, bitterness, or anger? Do you replay stories of every time someone hurt you, disappointed you, or treated you unkindly?

Let Go of the Past

Spending too much time in the past steals the joy in our present life. At times we struggle accepting the finality of the past.

Grief and Regret. Are you weighed down by regret over outcomes in your past? Do you spend time replaying situations, wishing you could change the outcome? Does past grief have you focused on what you lost rather than what you still have?

Denial. Do you refuse to accept a life change like divorce, job loss, broken relationships, or a chronic health issue?

Nostalgia. Talking about or reminiscing about the past is fun. But longing to actually be in the past creates overwhelming sadness. Do you spend time trying to make things exactly as they were at some point in the past?

Let Go of Behaviors

Sometimes we develop patterns of behavior which complicate our lives. They become comfortable in one sense, but on the other hand prevent us from personal or relational growth.

Procrastination. Procrastination, a byproduct of anxiety, also manifests as a bad habit rooted in laziness. Fear of failure, perfectionism, and poor organization contribute to this negative behavior.

People Pleasing. A form of self-abandonment, people pleasing results in sacrificing your own needs, and often your identity to please others or have them think well of you.

Poor Self-Care.  Too much or too little entertainment or relaxation. Misuse of technology, poor sleep hygiene and nutrition, or lack of exercise.


Spending some time considering the above categories brings awareness to stories, behaviors, and past memories burdening your life. This contemplation reveals areas of spiritual and personal growth hindered by things you can release.


Yes, the trees have taught me there is a season for letting go; and just as the leaves nourish the ground for new growth, letting go of stories, the past, and negative behaviors, brings nourishment to my soul; allowing God to bring new growth into my life.

Are you weary and burdened today? Come, experience freedom and intimacy with Christ as you gently relinquish each burden into His hands, embracing the true beauty of letting go.

Which of the three categories, (stories, the past or negative behaviors) represent the most emotional and spiritual clutter for you?

What one step can you take today to move towards letting go in these areas?

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