Let go and let God
Letting go can be one of the most challenging things we can do as parents. We want to hold on to our children’s experiences, but sometimes, we need to learn to let go and trust that everything will work out in the end. I know that this is easier said than done, but it’s a lesson worth learning.
Often, when we hold on to things too tightly, we create unnecessary stress and anxiety in our children. We try to control things in their world that are outside of our control. This only leads to frustration and disappointment and fosters unrealistic expectations for our children. We forget that our own actions and reactions (positive or negative) model problem-solving and stress-management skills in our kids.
That’s where I like to tell parents, “Let go and let God.” It’s a reminder to surrender control to our Lord and Saviour and trust that everything will work out according to His greater plan.
When we let go, we create space for new opportunities and experiences to come into their lives – things we couldn’t have imagined beforehand. We allow appropriate experiences to flow naturally, without trying to force them into our own predetermined direction. We need to open ourselves up to the possibility that something better than we can imagine is in store for our children.
Letting go also means accepting our circumstances as they are, without judgment or resistance. It means acknowledging our own emotions without trying to change or fix them. It means being present in the moment and finding peace in the present.
Of course, letting go is not easy. It can be scary to give up control and trust in the Lord. It’s important to remember, though, that letting go is not the same as giving up. It’s about releasing what no longer serves us and making space for what glorifies God.
So, how can we practice letting go in our daily lives for ourselves as well as our children?
Here are some tips:
- Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and observing our thoughts and feelings without judgement. It can help us become more aware of our reactions to our children’s behaviours, and can help with insight and awareness of our own triggers.
- Write it down: Sometimes, writing down our thoughts and feelings can help us process and externalise them – making it easier to let them go. Try journaling or writing a letter to yourself, your child, or someone else, expressing your feelings and thoughts. This is only for you – and not for the indicated person to read.
- Practice self-compassion: Letting go can be difficult, and it’s important to be kind and compassionate to ourselves in the process. Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you want your child’s teachers to treat them with.
- Find support: Letting go can be a journey, and it’s so helpful to have support along the way. Talk to a trusted friend or seek professional help if you need it. Use the psychological resources your child’s school has to offer for yourself and your family. A school geared towards emotional well-being for their learners will always have a counsellor on site for child and family support.
Letting go and letting God is a powerful reminder to surrender control to the Lord and trust in His greater plan. It’s not easy, we know, but it can be liberating and transformative. By practicing mindfulness, writing down our thoughts and feelings, and relying on our support systems, we can learn to let go, remember that God’s plan is what matters, and trust that everything will work out in the end.
Brenda Leemans has been counselling families in her private practice since 2010. She has a passion for working with children and helping them develop the emotional skills they need to navigate their lives. She holds an Honours degree in Psychology from UNISA and is registered with the HPCSA