There are things that we never want to let go
of, people we never want to leave behind.
But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end
of the world; it’s the beginning of a new life.



My father once told me of a trick question he used in a college class on forest fire control.  If there was a fire coming from a certain direction and wind was coming from another, what was the best thing to do?  The right answer was, "Run like hell and pray for rain," but few students ever got it.  So allow yourself the freedom of knowing there are times to bail out, quit, run, leave the struggle, and have more time for joy.

Charlotte Davis Kasl

You don't realize that if you stop looking backwards craving the love and acceptance which you didn't receive from your parents, then you might open your eyes to what is available for you now.  But you won't let go.  If only you could see that looking back into an incomplete and imperfect past, with regret, blame, guilt or resentment is keeping you from the treasures that await you here now.  The past has gone.  You cannot rectify something that is no longer with you.

Leonard Jacobson
We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.

Joseph Campbell

Letting go is the lesson.  Letting go is always the lesson.  Have you ever noticed how much of our agony is all tied up with craving and loss?

Susan Gordon Lydon
The Knitting Sutra


Let go.  Why do you cling to pain?  There is nothing
you can do about the wrongs of yesterday.  It is
not yours to judge.  Why hold on to the very thing
which keeps you from hope and love?

Leo Buscaglia


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Letting go doesn't mean we don't care.  Letting go doesn't mean we shut down.
Letting go means we stop trying to force outcomes and make people behave.
It means we give up resistance to the way things are, for the moment.
It means we stop trying to do the impossible--controlling that which
we cannot--and instead, focus on what is possible--which usually means
taking care of ourselves.  And we do this in gentleness, kindness,
and love, as much as possible.

Melody Beattie


Are you holding on to something in your past?  Why not totally let go?
Letting go is difficult.  We resist change and want to hold on to the past.
We are afraid of the unknown.  Yet impermanence is a truth of life.
Change is a natural rhythm.

Susan Santucci


The Tao Te Ching says, When I let go of what I am, I become what
I might be.  When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.
Have you ever struggled to find work or love, only to find them
after you have given up?  This is the paradox of letting go.
Let go, in order to achieve.  Letting go is God's law.

Mary Manin Morrissey


Trying creates impossibilities, letting go creates what is desired.

Stalking Wolf, Apache elder


We must learn to let go, to give up, to make room for the
things we have prayed for and desired.

Charles Fillmore


As I started to picture the trees in the storm, the answer began
to dawn on me.  The trees in the storm don't try to stand up
straight and tall and erect.  They allow themselves to bend and
be blown with the wind.  They understand the power of letting
go.  Those trees and those branches that try too hard to stand
up strong and straight are the ones that break.  Now is not the
time for you to be strong, Julia, or you, too, will break.

Julia Butterfly Hill


There's an important difference between giving up and letting go.

Jessica Hatchigan



People have a hard time letting go of their suffering.
Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for
happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything--anger, anxiety,
or possessions--we cannot be free.


The harder you fight to hold on to specific assumptions,
the more likely there's gold in letting go of them.

John Seely Brown


We must learn to let go as easily as we grasp
or we will find our hands full and our minds empty.

Leo Buscaglia


To let go isn't to forget, not to think about, or ignore.  It doesn't
leave feelings of anger, jealousy, or regret.  Letting go isn't about
winning or losing.  It's not about pride and it's not about how you
appear, and it's not obsessing or dwelling on the past.  Letting go
isn't blocking memories or thinking sad thoughts, and it doesn't leave
emptiness, hurt, or sadness.  It's not about giving in or giving up.
Letting go isn't about loss and it's not about defeat.  To let go is
to cherish the memories, but to overcome and move on.  It is having
an open mind and confidence in the future.  Letting go is learning
and experiencing and growing.  To let go is to be thankful for the
experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and made you grow.
It's about all that you have, all that you had, and all that you will
soon gain.  Letting go is having the courage to accept change,
and the strength to keep moving.  Letting go is growing up.  It is
realizing that the heart can sometimes be the most potent remedy.
To let go is to open a door, and to clear a path and set yourself free.


Our fear is even stronger when
we think we are responsible
for others--our children,
for example.  We want
to spare them pain, and
so we forget to listen to
the Sound of Creation.
No one learns from
someone else's mistake.
If we respect others, we
must recognize that they
have a right to their own
dance. Their own spirits
will guide them.



"We hold fast by letting go."  Letting go of our attempts
to control things, our attempts to maintain control over
every aspect of our life.  We've all heard the saying
about if we love something, we should let it go, and then
we'll know whether it "belongs" to us when we see
whether it comes back to us.  So much of our discontent
and our dissatisfaction comes from our unwillingness
to let go of trying to control things and trying to
cause just the results that we think should occur.

tom walsh

Healthy mysticism praises acts of letting go, of being emptied, of getting
in touch with the space inside and expanding this until it merges with the
space outside.  Space meeting space; empty pouring into empty.  Births
happen from that encounter with emptiness, nothingness. . . . Let us not
fight emptiness and nothingness, but allow it to
penetrate us even as we penetrate it.

Matthew Fox

You hang on to the past hoping for what
should have been but still isn't and
never will be until you let go!

Stephen C. Paul

Every time you let go of something limiting,
you create space for something better.



One wears one's mind out in study, and yet has more mind
with which to study.  One gives away one's heart in love and
yet has more heart to give away.  One perishes out of pity for a
suffering world, and is stronger therefore.  So, too, it is possible
at one and the same time to hold on to life and let go.

Milton Steinberg

In the end these things matter most:  How well did you love?
How fully did you love?  How deeply did you learn to let go?

the Buddha


We need in love to practice only this:  letting each other go.
For holding on comes easily--we do not need to learn it.

Rainer Maria Rilke


Consider the trees which allow the birds to perch and fly away
without either inviting them to stay or desiring them
never to depart.  If your heart can be like
this, you will be near to the way.

Zen Buddhist teaching


The clouds above us come together and disperse;
The breeze in the courtyard departs and returns.
Life is like that, so why not relax?
Who can keep us from celebrating?



The greatest thing is, at any moment, to be willing to
give up who we are in order to become all that we can be.

Max De Pree



Let go a little to have a little peace.  Let go a lot to have a lot of peace.

Achaan Chah


We believe that it is difficult to let go, but in truth, it is much more difficult
and painful to hold and protect.  Reflect upon anything in your life that you
grasp hold of--an opinion, a historical resentment, an ambition, or an unfulfilled
fantasy.  Sense the tightness, fear, and defensiveness that surrounds the
grasping.  It is a painful, anxious experience of unhappiness.  We do not
let go in order to make ourselves impoverished or bereft.
We let go in order to discover happiness and peace.

Christina Feldman


Once we see that everything is impermanent and ungraspable
and that we create a huge amount of suffering if we are
attached to things staying the same, we realize that
relaxing and letting go is a wiser way to live.  Letting
go does not mean not caring about things.  It means
caring about them in a flexible and wise way.

Jack Kornfield



On Letting Go
Robert Paul Gilles

To "let go" does not mean to stop caring. 
It means I can't do it for someone else.

To "let go" is not to cut myself off. 
It's the realization that I can't control another.

To "let go" is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To "let go" is not to try to change or blame another. 
It's to make the most of myself.

To "let go" is not to care for, but to care about.

To "let go" is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To "let go" is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.

To "let go" is not to be in the middle, arranging all the outcomes, 
but to allow others to affect their own destinies.

To "let go" is not to deny, but to accept.

To "let go" is not to nag, scold, or argue, but instead
to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.

To "let go" is not to adjust everything to my desires, 
but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.

To "let go" is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.

To "let go" is to fear less and to love more.

(from his book Thoughts of the dreampoet : vol. 1.)

We have come to look upon life as a conflict with death--the intruding
enemy, not the natural ending--in impotent quarrel with which we spend
every stage of it.  When the time comes for youth to depart, we would
hold it back by main force.  When the fervor of desire slackens, we
would revive it with fresh fuel of our own devising.  When our sense
organs weaken, we urge them to keep up their efforts.  Even when our
grip has relaxed we are reluctant to give up possession.  We are not
trained to recognize the inevitable as natural, and so cannot give up
gracefully that which has to go, but needs must wait till it is snatched
from us.  The truth comes as conqueror only because
we have lost the art of receiving it as guest.

Rabindranath Tagore

Does anything in nature despair except man?  An animal with a foot caught in
a trap does not seem to despair.  It is too busy trying to survive.  It is all closed
in, to a kind of still, intense waiting. Is this a key?  Keep busy with survival.
Imitate the trees.  Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember
that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic
pain.  Sit it out.  Let it all pass.  Let it go.

May Sarton
Journal of a Solitude


When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

Lao Tzu


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Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get.  Life should be
touched, not strangled.  You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times,
and at others move forward with it.

Ray Bradbury

Today I am amazed at the things our children have done and their wide range
of interests.  They are all living their lives and not the ones I would have planned
for them.  But I have learned that their lives are theirs, not mine, and in living
their own lives they have given me experiences and an education I would never
have had if I’d been fool enough to make them do what I thought they should do.

Bernie Siegel

Prescriptions for Living


Forgiveness and the release of the past open the creative flow of life,
supporting all levels of mind, heart, body, emotion, and spirit.  This
energy flow determines the state of our health, our desire to create and
procreate, our willingness to develop our gifts, and how we use or deny
the life force that we are given as human beings. . . . by choosing to
let go of the past, our fears, and our negative patterns or reactions to
life, we are suddenly funded with a resurgence of life force, which propels
us into a newfound way of being and a very different
way of understanding the world.

Jamie Sams


Periods of change are full of paradoxes.  They're difficult but exciting,
frightening but freeing.  Letting go of old patterns that
no longer work for us is exhilarating.

Sue Patton Thoele

In examining our own lives, we might be able to spot the heavy
weight of yesterday's deeds that we persist in carrying around with
us.  We might be carrying bitterness and resentment because we may
have felt betrayed by a friend.  We might be carrying anger and a
feeling of injustice because we lost out on something we really wanted
while someone else got it.  We might be carrying hurt feelings because
someone we liked criticized us.  But continuing to carry harsh and
negative feelings from the past can be like picking up a pebble in
your shoe while you are out walking.  You can stop and remove the
pebble, or you can continue to walk and let the pebble irritate your foot
and cause pain.  The choice is yours.  You can release your anger and
hurt feelings, just as you can remove the pebble from your shoe.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life


The more you let go the more you accomplish.

Stephen C. Paul

I defined ten “guideposts” for Wholehearted living that point to what the Wholehearted work to cultivate and what they work to let go of:

Cultivating Authenticity:  Letting Go of What People Think
Cultivating Self-Compassion:  Letting Go of Perfectionism
Cultivating a Resilient Spirit:  Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
Cultivating Gratitude and Joy:  Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith:  Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
Cultivating Creativity:  Letting Go of Comparison
Cultivating Play and Rest:  Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth
Cultivating Calm and Stillness:  Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
Cultivating Meaningful Work:  Letting Go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To”
Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance:  Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”

Brené Brown
Daring Greatly

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To let go means to give up coercing, resisting, or struggling,
in exchange for something more powerful and wholesome which
comes out of allowing things to be as they are without getting
caught up in your attraction to or rejection of them, in the
intrinsic stickiness of wanting, of liking and disliking.

Jon Kabat-Zinn
Wherever You Go, There You Are

Letting go doesn't mean that you don't care about someone anymore.
It's just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.

Deborah Reber
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul


It has been stupidly difficult to let go, but that is what has been needed.
I had allowed myself to get overanxious, clutching at what seemed sure
to pass, and clutching is the surest way to murder love, as if it were a kitten,
not to be squeezed so hard, or a flower to fade in a tight hand. Letting go,
I have come back yesterday and today to a sense of my life here in all its
riches, depth, freedom for soul-making. It’s a real break-through.

May Sarton
Journal of a Solitude


We find by losing.  We hold fast by letting go.  We become something new by
ceasing to be something old.  This seems to be close to the heart of that mystery.
I know no more now than I ever did about the far side of death as the last
letting-go of all, but now I know that I do not need to know, and that I do
not need to be afraid of not knowing.  God knows.  That is all that matters.

Frederick Buechner

I surrender my anxiety and my sense of urgency.  I allow God to guide me
in the pacing of my life.  I open my heart to God's timing.  I release my deadlines,
agendas, and stridency to the gentle yet often swift pacing of God.  As I open
my heart to God's unfoldings, my heart attains peace.  As I relax into God's timing,
my heart contains comfort.  As I allow God to set the tone and schedule of my days,
I find myself in the right time and place, open and available to God's opportunities.

Julia Cameron


The only things we can keep are the things we freely give to God.  What
we try to keep for ourselves is just what we are sure to lose.

C.S. Lewis



Found online:

(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
sources from various social media pages.  They're too nice
not to share!)


Alone in his car heading west, it's easy for Jason
to feel sorry for himself and mad at the world.  But
then he gives a ride to Hector and learns that life
isn't nearly as negative as we sometimes see it,
and that the prejudice and discrimination that
he's experiencing aren't unique to him--and aren't
impossible to overcome.  The friendship between
this young man and his 70-year-old passenger is
an inspiring story of love and dealing with
obstacles in our lives.    
Book - Kindle



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