Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners


6 Tips for Letting Go in Loss

The older I get the more I’m convinced a whole lot of life is about letting go. The only problem is I’m not very good at it. Maybe you can identify.

Here’s a short list that helps me let go in times when I’m grieving something I’ve lost or am feeling stuck in an unhealthy cycle of negative emotions that leaves me feeling down or discouraged. Maybe you’ll find it useful:

1. Let your focus be not on what you’ve lost but on what remains. A woman who cared for a mother with progressive dementia said this advice carried her through the hard times of gradually losing the mother she knew.

2. Keep a gratitude journal. In honoring what “remains,” develop a daily habit of writing down several things for which you are grateful in your day, and give thanks to God for these things.

3. Practice “letting go” with the things you find easier to part with. If there is something you’ve not been able to let go of in your life, practice letting go on some smaller things, such as your possessions. Hold a big yard sale and sell your stuff at rock-bottom prices. (You may find that I show up.) Or, start giving away your things to friends who can use them. Or, if you belong to a church, tithe generously. This practice of holding your material possessions lightly may begin to feel so good that you’ll find it less intimidating to let go of the harder stuff.

4. Pray, pray, pray, and invite a couple close friends to pray for you. Ask God daily to help you let go this day. Letting go for the rest of your life may sound daunting and impossible, but letting go this day and living in the present this day, are doable. Ask God to let you release those things that are keeping you from living freely in the present this day. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

5. Pay attention to your breath and visualize letting go. Work on inhaling God’s grace and exhaling the negative emotions. As you’re doing this, ask Jesus to show you what He would do with whatever you’re holding on to. Jesus will show you. You may need to do this over and over again, or regularly, but it helps.

6. Cultivate laughter and a sense of humor. A measure of how much you’re holding on to is how well you’re able to laugh. Some will say they don’t have a sense of humor. I don’t believe this. Cultivating a sense of humor is like learning any other skill. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Find outlets for laughter. Then practice deep, throaty laughs. You’ll find it therapeutic.



Previous Posts

Mental Health Break—Sprawl II
My favorite band these days is Arcade Fire, and I've featured the Canadian indie rock group before at this intersection between God and life. The lead singer studied Kirkegaard in college and their songs, like this one, are often subtle but brilliant critiques of the least aesthetically pleasing thi

posted 12:58:15pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

I Can't Breathe and the Widow's Cry—A Guest Post
Fellow saint and sinner Saskia de Vries is a neuroscientist in Seattle, Washington and has posted before at this intersection between God and life. She, like so many of us, is grappling with the tragedies of Eric Garner and Michael Brown and the larger systemic problem they seem to reveal—namely,

posted 2:10:09pm Dec. 11, 2014 | read full post »

Advent and Emptiness, Via Louis CK and the Prophet Isaiah
I've been making my way through the book of Isaiah. This morning's reading was from chapter 6, where the prophet Isaiah receives his call to go to the people of Israel and proclaim God's judgment of a people who have wandered away from God's purposes for them. Isaiah asks how long God's people will

posted 11:45:39am Dec. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Advent Resurrection
It may seem strange to pair Advent with resurrection. Usually resurrection comes more naturally at Easter. But at heart the labor pangs of all creation giving birth to the Christ child are a longing for a new start. Advent is a longing to be born again. Neuroscience now teaches that every minu

posted 2:47:38pm Dec. 04, 2014 | read full post »

Birthday Cred—Ecclesiastes Via David Foster Wallace
Today I'm still (barely) on the left side of 40, and bea

posted 11:01:03am Dec. 01, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.