Last Monday we had a big celebration for one of our daughters. We bought balloons and baked a cake for her. In the morning, Emma got all dressed up and ready for the day. It was going to be a very significant day! It was the day she would finally let go of her pacifier.
Around noon or so, our whole family went outside with all seven colorful balloons and Emma’s pacifier. She watched her daddy carefully attach the pacifier to the balloons, while I filmed the event. He picked her up, gave her the pacifier, and said: “OK, Emma, say, bye-bye, binky”! She said “bye-bye, binky” and let go of the balloons…
This was the first time our precious little girl had to let go of something. Oh, she had shared things with others for a few minutes and then gotten them back, but this was a moment of really letting go, forever! She loved her pacifier very much. It was literally her best friend for two and a half years of her life. But it was time for her to let it go, because there are greater things that lie ahead of her, like showing her cute little teeth to everyone, and talking, and expressing her darling little self. And that pacifier would definitely stand in the way of those things.
Sound familiar? How often do you find yourself wondering what life would be like, if you just let go of this “one thing”?
“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.” – C. JoyBell C.
What is holding you back? Just think of some things. No, think of one thing that you know you need to let go of. What would your life be like without it? Would it be better? What would change about it?
To get you thinking, let me share some examples with you:
- Our Stuff: You know, the extra spatula in the kitchen, that you never use, but it’s there “just in case”. And that one towel that doesn’t have a matching one. And the countless cords for unknown digital devices… The list could have millions of things on it. Sometimes, we just hold on to things we don’t need that we are sentimental about. Let go of some stuff, breathe easier, have a clean and organized home, and invite the Spirit in.
“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God”… – Doctrine & Covenants 88:119
- Habits and Addictions: I put both in the same category because I think they go together. Little habits could easily turn into addictions. Let go of the habits that could potentially become something more serious.
“Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself”. – 2 Nephi 2:27
The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints has an amazing program called The Addiction Recovery Program. You can learn more about it here. Also, my wonderful mother-in-law was an Addiction Recovery missionary for the church for many years, and she blogs about it here.
- The Past: Some things in the past, whatever they may be, just hold us back from progressing. Maybe it’s a painful memory, maybe it’s a negative event. Let us press forward and let the Atonement of Jesus Christ determine who we can become.
“Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad…” – Doctrine & Covenants 128:22
- Wrongs and Hurts: It’s not easy, and it takes a while. But to forgive and forget is one of the very important things we’ve got to do in our lives.
“I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men”. – Doctrine & Covenants 64:10
The list could go on and on.
To finish Emma’s pacifier story: Once she let go of the balloons, they flew up for a few seconds, changed their course, and got stuck in a tree, right across from our home. Every time Emma looks out of her window, she sees those balloons with her pacifier attached to them and says, “bye-bye, binky.”
Once we let go of something, it’s not always permanently gone from our lives. We will still have memories and reminders of things of the past, but let them not hold us back from what lies ahead of us. Rather let them help us grow and become better every day.
When we let go, we are truly free! What will you let go of today?
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lau Tzu