I don’t know the author, but these words were true for us: 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, but 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 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.
My reflection: At Al-Anon meetings, I often heard the words “let go” and “detach with love.” These words were confusing for me because I didn’t understand how to love my son, but also detach. When the recovering alcoholic at San Patrignano told me to, “Stay Close, but don’t give him money,” this idea clicked. I understood how to stay close and let go at the same time.
Today’s Promise to consider: Letting go doesn’t mean abandoning my loved one. Letting go means giving him the dignity of making his own choices and dealing with the consequences they bring – good and bad. Letting go means staying close, but out of the chaos of his addiction. I’ll do this, one day at a time.