Letting go

by joelbear 9 Replies latest jw friends

  • joelbear

    Not letting go is what is making me unhappy. I keep myself pinned down to everything and everyone in my past. I am hopelessly nostalgic for the "good times", both as a witness and after that.

    I cling to the good times that I had already experienced.

    Always ready to retreat, but always terrified to take those steps into the unknown where new experience and happinesses can occur.

    Let go of the side of the pool Joel.

    Let go of the tree and walk across that log.

    Let go of that old job that was stagnating your brain and enjoy being in school.

    Maybe I need let go subliminal tapes to listen to at night. Its a mental exercise.

    How many times have yall heard me say its the key to my happiness.

    Why can't I do it. What is holding me back?

  • Billygoat

    I have the same trouble Joel. But what helped me is realizing that "Letting Go" is not just a one time action. It's something you have to do over and over.

    It's a lot like loving Mitch. You wake up every morning loving him. Just because you woke up once and loved him, doesn't mean you love him now. It's a continual thing. Every morning I get up, I have a choice to "Let Go" for that day. Sometimes I have to do it many times a day. Look at it as an exercise. Just the fact that you WANT to let go is great!

    You're a sweet man Joel! And I'm so grateful you're here.



  • LovesDubs

    You have to do this at your own pace kiddo...go into that cold pool one toe at at time. You will take three steps forward, two steps back, four steps forward, three steps back...but your progress will still be forward. The key is to replace those old memories and experiences with new ones. Thats all they are you know..nothing at all unusual, or unreclaimable in the here and now with new people, new things to do. We all became so entrenched in the JWness and gave up all outside loves and activities, we are like freshly sheered sheep out there. But what doesnt kill you makes you stronger.

    Take my hand sweetie...you can do this.

  • cruzanheart

    My hand is there for you too!

    My two children are completely different when they get into the pool. Jennie will take a deep breath and jump in (and then scream about how cold it is for a good five minutes). Jackson takes it one toe at a time and will not allow anyone to rush him (unfortunately, he's like that when he gets dressed in the mornings too - *sigh*). Think back to something scary that you've done in your life: riding a rollercoaster, learning to dive, driving a car. How did you approach it? Did you "just do it" or did you think about it for a while and then try it a little bit. Whatever approach works for you, apply it to this situation.

    For most of my life I had a tendency to look back on previous experiences with more fondness than I have the here and now. I was always looking in the past and didn't appreciate the present, and as a result I think I missed out on some neat experiences. Ask yourself each morning what you can do to make today interesting and helpful to YOU. Make a list if you need to.

    And feel free to e-mail me and all the other caring people on this board for support and suggestions. We really want you to succeed!



  • MegaDude

    I think the answer to your question is easy. However, I believe your path to be extremely difficult.

    The simple answer as to why you won't let go is fear.

    I know you already know that, but the fact is you see fear holding many people back from many good things. Why does a woman stay with a man who continually beats her? Why did someone I know keep drinking too much, despite the fact they knew it was bad for them, until he lost his family, his job, his life?

    There is great comfort in sticking with what we know and are used to even if we know it is bad for us. That's because you know the environment and in its own sick way it is dependable because you know the rules and how to get along in that environment. But if you break away from everying you've always known, what have you got? In many cases, you don't know until you take that road. Not knowing produces intense fear in a lot of people and rather than feel that fear they stay put where they are at.

    True change in one's behavior and personality is rare. It takes total commitment and fierce discipline.

    You have to trust and love yourself, or learn how.

    I know change is possible because....

    I've seen people give up bad drugs, too much booze, or too much food and live a healthier lifestyle.

    I've seen people give up a mind control religion that hurt people, even at the cost of losing the very people they loved the most.

    In all the circumstances where I've seen dramatic shift in someone's life paradigm it was not done alone, but with the help of people in like circumstances.

  • Introspection

    Joel, let go of letting go itself. You can't hang on to letting go anyways, if there is something to hang on to it's just that idea. Don't latch on to some method of letting go, just relax. By all means try anything you might think would help, but just use it in so far as it serves you. I'm pretty relaxed these days, I was completely relaxed while in a car accident that left my car totaled as far as the insurance company is concerned, (wasn't that bad structurally) but I was completely at ease throughout. I have done a number of things for letting go, but I've never done any of them consistently over a long period of time, I guess I let them go too.

  • Mary

    Joel I know exactly how you feel. For the most part, I also tend to "live in the past", probably because I was happier when I was 17 than the ensuing years. Even though I know alot of it was based on a lie, when I believed that our religion was "The Truth", I was very happy. Who wouldn't be? Thinking that you had Divine approval and that any sacrifice you made, like giving up material things, forgoing higher education, abstaining from fornication, were all going to get "into the New System", made it all worth while. There was the also the security and feeling of "oneness" that we had, at least in my Hall. I had lots of friends (after I left school) and was always going out and if anyone within our congregation needed anything, everyone would pitch in and help.

    It is emotionally devastating when you discover that this isn't "The Truth", that many of our doctrines are completely false, and that many of the things we gave up for the religion did not win us "Divine approval". There is the fear that the New System isn't "right around the corner", and that we will some day, grow old and die as will everyone we love. As well, unless you belong to another religion or organization, having good friends can be few and far between. There is that loss of security too.

    I take one day at a time. I read the bible (by itself) and I find that it helps ease the pain and emptiness in my heart. Some days are fine, others are not. The best thing I can suggest is that you (and me as well), don't dwell too much on things we can't change. By keeping busy doing other things that are meaningful (such as volunteer work) can help us try to put the past into perspective. I also remember one scripture that still helps me cope, when it says "while we keep our eyes not on the things seen, but the things unseen. For the things seen are temporary, but the things unseen are everlasting."

  • Swan


    I have been "stuck" in my recovery too from time to time. In fact, I have just recently gotten through another bout of it. I think the number one key to letting go is to recognize that you are stuck. Once you realize that you are stuck, it becomes easier to take steps to let go.

    Other keys to getting unstuck are posts like this one. Writing, talking, processing all of the mental garbage in your mind that is keeping you stuck. Find people willing to listen and dump on them. It may be a therapist or friends willing to listen. It may be a combination. This board is a great tool for that. Attend Meetups and talk to others who are in the same place or have been in the same place. The key is that you are actively working to process the thoughts and get unstuck.

    Another key is validation. As people validate that yes, there were some good things, and yes, there were also some really awful things in our JW lives, it helps us realize that we aren't the only ones. Look at other people. Read about their lives. Watch their biographies. Think about how they got through similar difficulties or even worse. It helps me to think, yes, my life was hell, but compared to Mr. X it was a better hell. He got through it. So can I. I've been through a lot of pain. So have others. Being a survivor is great feeling and very empowering.

    There is a saying that "you can't go home again" and this is yet another key to recovery. The only constant is change and so our lives will never be what they were. What is now will fade away too. Recognize that it is the natural order of things. Remember the good times fondly, but don't obsess on them. Those things are gone now, but there is plenty here in the present to enjoy while it is still here.

    Lastly, don't get down or give up because recovery doesn't happen when you want it to. It doesn't work like that. Sure, you will have down days, but realize at that time that you will also have very good days if you persevere.

    Hang in there. With hard work you can let go, but it just may be when you least expect it.


  • Guest 77
    Guest 77

    Be resolved to move ahead. Set goals and execute them. Read a lot of positive posts, cling to positive people. Above all, avoid giving up.

    Guest 77

  • teejay

    Great post, MegaDude.

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