The Confluence of Grace, Acceptance, and Love in the Face of Worthiness – Part 2 – Letting Go

In re-reading and reflecting on Part 1, what keeps coming to mind is ‘letting go.’ It is just one of many branches that I will continue to explore in the weeks, months, and years ahead as I work to integrate more of grace, acceptance, and inclusion in my life. I hope you find the exploration of ‘letting go’ to be of value.

Several of you shared with me your own ‘struggles’ in the divisiveness of the world we find ourselves. I could tell from your stories that this journey is very personal for you as it is for me. I am interested to learn of more stories about your journey to finding a way to contribute to a world that is more hopeful.

Do your best and be well…



The Confluence of Grace, Acceptance, and Love in the Face of Worthiness – Part 2 – Letting Go

As we discuss from time to time, the pivotal questions for all of us are, “Is what I am doing getting me what I want? What do I want?” These questions can apply to a microcosm of our life in a single day or hour, or it can apply to a longer span of time; a longer period can be the most telling.

I remember one of my early clients was wrestling over why he wasn’t promoted. For much of the first two months he would defend what he was doing and why his supervisor was wrong. In the early going we worked through a few of those tangents, enough for him to see that his behavior may be noble/right at some level, but it was not valued. Even faced with that information, he would still attempt to ‘defend’ himself, as though he was recruiting me as an ally. I decided to take a different tact to redirect the conversation in a way that would help him to see the ‘value’ of his current view. I asked him, “What is it that you most want from your current job?” “I want to be promoted” he replied. I asked, “Is what you are doing getting you what you want?” After a long pause he said, “No.”

I have had other clients who were very invested in being ‘right.’ This is a large part of the story of the previous client. Being right may look different from person to person, but at their core they want to ‘prove themselves’ by being smarter, better, faster, have more money, more things – they ‘win’ more, or at least believe they do. They are often highly competitive. They often can have a certain ‘edge’ to their personality. They have a ‘motor’ that is running all the time. They can have a high need to be the best. They can be immensely proud that they don’t need much sleep and don’t come close to using all their PTO.

This style has gotten them much of what they want. In our vernacular what he/she is doing is working. It is getting them what they want.


Until there is an ‘event,’ or multiple events. The ‘interruption’ can be one of many things. After years of living life a certain way, or having been successful and they are now in their mid to late 40’s; or they experience a serious health scare; or get divorced; or become estranged from meaningful relationship(s), they come to ask the question, “Is this all there is?” They come to question whether what they are doing is getting them what they want. More often they are asking, “What do I want? How has that changed?”

I have painted the picture that the only people that come to this point in their lives come from those who are ‘hard chargers’ and ‘winner takes all’ mentality. The truth is that it doesn’t have to be the ‘extremes’ in our lives that get us to a point of “this isn’t working” for some segment of our life.

We all face the realization that at some point(s) in our lives we need to ‘let go’ of certain ideas, ways of thinking, behaviors that aren’t helpful, people who are aren’t helpful. If I added another word to the title of this post it would be surrender. Within the word ‘surrender’ there is an implied act of ‘letting go.’ Sometimes, it takes us a long time to change. We must ‘surrender’ (capitulate, submit, succumb) to an understanding that what we have been doing, or thinking, or who we are with, is not where we need to be. This change of perspective may come after a lengthy battle to maintain the ‘status quo’ of what we’ve been doing. For me, ‘surrender’ best describes what we must do to move away from where we are and on to something or someone that will ‘work’ in the ways we need as we evolve. These are ideas, ways of thinking, or people, that we are ardently holding onto. It can take a lot of information/experience with to finally convince us that what we are doing, or who we are doing it with, isn’t working.

When I have faced a time of surrender, I have a vision of me on my knees, head bowed as if to say, “Okay, I give. It is time for a change.” I have been there several times with my ego (needing less, not more); I was there in my first marriage – trying to ‘fix’ it until we both knew that couldn’t happen.

I also like ‘letting go’ as a synonym for surrender. It is an act that puts us in a place where we can be more open to listening and change. It is a place that can be hard to get to. My experience with my clients and with myself is that there seems to be a proportional relationship between how long I have been doing/thinking something and how long it takes me to ‘let go’ and position myself for change. That includes how big a change is required.

Think of this in relationship to what we talked about in Part 1. The notion of being more inclusionary is foreign to me if I tend to find reasons to exclude; of seeing others as equal if I’ve seen others as inferior in some way; or, if my behavior says, “You’re not as worthy.”

What have been the ‘interrupters’ for you and how you think? As I stated, if we think that what we are doing is working we will continue doing/thinking what we are doing/thinking. I can change the word ‘working’ to ‘right’ and we can begin to see how we have perpetuated the ‘segregation’ of thinking that keeps us invested where we are – even when people begin to die as a result.

Are there things, people, ideas that you need to ‘let go’ of? What would it take for that to happen? What would your life be like if you could ‘let go’ of _____ – what room might that create for you in reconciling with someone else? Is there someone that you need to say, “I’m sorry for _____; is there someone who needs your forgiveness?

It takes energy to ‘hold onto’ anything. How much energy do you have committed in your life to holding onto things that aren’t helping you (i.e., anger, hurt, superiority, being right, etc.)? If you could release that energy in more productive ways, what would your life look and feel like? What would it take for you to say to someone else more than you do now, “you may be right”?

I know the gravity of these questions because many of them I have asked myself. It isn’t easy, but the work to answer those and other questions the opportunity to put you and others in a better place.

Toward a better you…