Letting Go, Moving On

Here’s a profound thought for you:

If you want to move forward, you first have to let go.

Crazy, huh?

Reminds me of when I went ice-skating last winter. I never did learn how, and it had been years—decades—since the last time I tried. This time around I allowed a friend to coerce me into going, even though I was afraid I already knew how it would turn out.

As expected, I couldn’t let go of the rails. I watched as dozens of happy people flew past me, dancing and bobbing in glee while I chuck-chucked alongside the rails. My friend, a first-timer as well, was already gliding around and around, laughing in sheer delight and triumph. How I envied them all their fearlessness and accomplishment.

I knew I could just as easily join them in that experience. No one had tied me to the rails, after all.

But I could not—would not?—let go of the safety of the sidelines. Not when I could fall flat on my behind, or break an ankle, or simply exist, for just a moment, completely and utterly out of my element with nothing to hold on to.

Logically, I understood that I would never experience that sensation of floating on ice if I did not first risk falling flat.

Emotionally, I shrugged and declared, oh well. Ain’t gonna happen.

So I remain a non-skater. For the time being, at least (I haven’t quite given up on myself yet).

But here I am, with the certain knowledge that it’s time to move on with my life. And I realize I have to let go of some things first: particular thoughts, behaviors, beliefs—the sideline stuff, the forces I’ve clung to for safety on the sidelines of life.

For the longest while I believed those things held me back, kept me tethered when I wanted to be free.

But really, I’m the one who’s been holding on with an iron grip.

It’s infinitely safer to hang on to the belief that I am flawed, that I don’t deserve success, that I simply don’t have what it takes to step out onto the rink and fly. Or, I don’t have enough money. I don’t have the right credentials. I don’t know the right people.

At least if I keep hanging on to this sideline stuff, I won’t risk falling flat on my face, right?

But it’s time to let go. Time to move on. Time to trust.

I learned first to trust God. Now God teaches me to trust myself.

Time to let go. Time to move on. Time to trust.

Time to trust myself. Time to believe in me.


5 thoughts on “Letting Go, Moving On

  1. Daniel

    Great point. The hard thing is figuring out when to let go. Sometimes like in skating the benefit of letting go is clear and so are the consequences, you might break an ankle, you might have a whole lot of fun. The harder part is should I let go of a job I hate? Maybe I will find a much better one, but maybe I will just be unemployed for a year and face financial ruin. How do we know when the rail is a God given support to keep us from disaster and when is it a barrier to really soaring?

    1. YRK Post author

      That’s the question, isn’t it? But if you’re looking for definite answers you may not get any. There are no guarantees, unfortunately. No matter which way you go, you still face risks. That’s where faith and trust and maybe a little planning come into play. I think deep down inside we always know what we’re called to do, but the “what ifs” keep us paralyzed. It’s always better to lead with faith than with fear, though. In dilemmas like these, I always ask myself, “Are you driven to stay (or leave) because you’re afraid? Or is it a simple but deep conviction that it’s not time to to go yet?” Only you can know the answer to those questions. When the moment arrives that you do choose to let go, you have to trust that whatever happens next is part of the process, part of your journey. Whether it’s breaking an ankle or getting it right on the first try, or being unemployed for a year or experiencing unimaginable success.

  2. Aimee

    Yuniya, I once had a basketball coach tell me, “you are your own best defender,” referring to the fact that I always thought I’d miss, so I wouldn’t take the shot. This post made me think of that and the book I am currently reading by Louise Hay, “You Can Heal Your Life.” Here’s a an excerpt: “What we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us. I believe that everyone, myself included, is responsible for everything in our lives, the best and the worst. Every thought we think is creating our future. Each one of us creates our experiences by our thoughts and our feelings. The thoughts we think and the words we speak create our experiences.” Take it with a grain of salt, but I do think our thoughts are powerful.

  3. Dan

    Isn’t life great? It gives us an abundance of chances to learn and grow. As we grow, we can move on to the next stage. It is good to study things out before letting go. But if it is what you WANT to do and the risks are acceptable (the desire to do it out weighs the aversion to the risk), and you have asked God for your confirmation, then let go. However, if it’s not yet time, you will probably be able to make the opportunity come around again and perhaps that time you will be ready. It is not a race.
    Compared to God, we are still in first grade as to the things we will one day know, whether here or in heaven later. I truly believe we are here to learn and grow. God wants to give us all he has. I know that for me, it will take time before I am able to handle all of that. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. We are each on our own path. We can look to others for advice, but they don’t really know your path. There is only one being we have to account to. Whether you let go of the rail now or later doesn’t really matter if you are OK with Him and yourself.

  4. Pingback: Reality Tests | The Career Misfit

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