Friday, September 24, 2010

Giving up or giving in is not the same as letting go.

Giving up or giving in is not the the same as letting go.  This is not an exact quote but is close to what Melody Beattie wrote in the latest daily reading in "52 Weeks of Conscious Contact."  I'm aware of how hard it is to separate the concept of letting go (usually followed by "letting God") from giving up or giving in.  As a sponsor I've worked with people who think their only choices are to try to get the alcoholic in their lives to quit drinking or just give up and figure the person is just going to drink until he/she dies and that they might as well just go to the liquor store and buy them some more.  The concept of letting go is totally foreign. 

From the outside it might look like they have given up or in because all the hoo hah about trying to get the person to stop ends.  But what's happened on the inside is that they have given the alcoholic into the care of God.  They don't know what will happen, but they know it's not up to them to fix the situation anymore.  When they give the person into the care of God, they don't go to the liquor store, bail the person out of jail, or pay the person's rent (they don't pay the consequences that result from the the drinking for the person).  They shut up the lectures.  They go on and live their own lives and treat the alcoholic lovingly.  They make space for God to work. 

This letting go thing works on anything I'm trying to change in someone else.  I don't pay their consequences for them, I don't lecture them.  I live my life and treat them with love and respect.  Sometimes I have to get out of their way to protect myself.  But I am at peace. 

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