Let sleeping dogs lie. Move on. Get over it. Just let it go. Those are the messages that repeated in my mind as I struggled through the urge to Facebook someone from my past. It’s actually my recent past, which might be the reason I struggled to embrace the idea of letting go. It wasn’t that long ago that I felt wronged. And although my mind and spirit knew it was time to move on, my heart was still in repair.
I’ve had other friends who faced similar distraught. They’re drowning in past hurts from broken relationships, and while they know they need to move on, they invite resentment and hurt to move in. We shouldn’t—no—we can’t do that. Anger, despair, resentment, disappointment should never take permanent residence in our lives. It should be an unwelcomed visitor who may temporarily disrupts our lives, but eventually moves out. We need to let go. But how do we do that?
First, stop entertaining your pain. That’s right. If you want to be rid of a certain people in your life, don’t Facebook them. Don’t go on Twitter and other social media searching for what they’re up to. Don’t ask mutual friends about them. Don’t dig for the trouble because you’ll find it, and in the process bury yourself deeper in pain.
There is a cost for not letting go. When you can’t let go, you can’t move on, and when you can’t move on, you close yourself off from new opportunities and experiences that bring new joy. There’s power in letting go. How do you let go? Be empowered by hope—the hope that things get better and that something wonderful, something great that you deserve is right around the corner.
When you let go of the negative, you make room for the positive. When you let go of pain, you make more room for joy and peace. So let it go, whatever is bothering you, hurting you, depriving you of the joy that God wants you to experience. Whatever it is, it doesn’t belong in your life.
If you wanted a glass of water, but the glass you had was filled with oil, you wouldn’t mix the oil with the water. You’d pour the oil out, clean it, and fill it with water.
Our lives and how we handle pain is no different. Pour the oil out of your glass and fill it with water. And remember that your pain, anger, resentment, disappointment—all those feelings that are fueling your inability to let go—are just thieves that steal your joy and time from your life.
Take note from John 10:10: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
So let’s live full. Raise your glass of water. Cheers!