You may or may not get any presents when your birthday comes around. But on that special day (and every other day as well), I hope you give yourself a very special present — the gift of letting go.
Let go of resentment
We don’t often think of a gift as something we release. Usually a gift is something we receive. But letting go of some things lets you receive other things of far greater value.
For example, when you let go of resentment and the desire to “set things right,” you give yourself the freedom to forgive. I’ve heard countless stories about singles who suffered injustice because of their single status. I’ve also had my own experiences, some of which I’ve shared in this forum. But I also understand that holding onto excess baggage only weighs you down, making your journey more burdensome than it needs to be. And that’s what resentment and the self-righteous insistence on “setting things right” are — excess baggage you don’t need.
I understand the grip of resentment. You feel so justified in righting a wrong and reversing injustice. Letting go seems to be the last thing you should do. But it’s the first thing you must to do to be free to forgive. Let the past remain the past. Let go of your resentment and focus instead on the bright and glorious future you can have ahead of you.
Let go of faulty thinking
Likewise, you should let go of any faulty thinking holding you back from achieving everything you were meant to become. False assumptions and negative self talk are two especially festering faults common among singles.
I’ve spoken at length previously about the dangers of self talk; you hold yourself back with your own messages. But false assumptions can also hold you back from achieving your potential as well as dreams and goals.
For example, many LDS singles assume the eternal companion they seek is about their age. That assumption keeps you from considering a larger sample of prospects. And that larger sample just might include the one you’re seeking.
Case in point: President Hinckley’s parents were 13 years apart. Would we have had President Hinckley’s wonderful influence if his father had not adopted different assumptions about age in a companion? And would President Hinckley’s father have experienced the same growth had he kept more traditional assumptions? Now there’s food for thought.
Let go of the hurt
Many LDS singles also need to let go of their hurt. No matter if their pain comes from never getting married, divorce, or the death of a spouse, many singles restrict themselves from the joy they could otherwise have, most especially the freedom to love.
Letting go of hurt is perhaps the scariest type of letting go. As strange as it may sound, many find staying inside one’s shell of pain more comfortable than the alternative. That’s because the alternative leaves them vulnerable to be hurt again.
Hey, I get it. The Prophet Joseph once said, “A burnt child dreads the fire.” I’ve experienced many types and intensities of pain in the more than two decades I’ve been single, deep and pointed pain associated with my singleness. But you’ll never feel the joy you want to feel if you don’t open yourself to love, because that type of joy can’t exist without trust. And there’s no need for trust if there is no vulnerability. If you want to be free to love, you must let go of the hurt.
Letting go of our resentments, faulty thinking, and hurt isn’t easy. But it’s not meant to be. The freedom we find on the other side wouldn’t be worth much if it came with little cost on our part. And that high-priced freedom is worth every penny. So give yourself the gift that truly keeps on giving — the gift of letting go. When you do, you can find a freedom to forgive, grow, and love like you have never known. And that will bring you more joy in your journey.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and since 2018 I've been producing a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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