Lenten Letters: Releasing

Today we begin a new concept. As I shared yesterday, neither the word Lent, nor any indication of it being a prescribed religious practice appear in the Scriptures. Though the basis for the concept is most definitely in the Bible.

It is a time for Jesus followers to attempt to mirror the 40-days spent in the desert fasting and enduring temptation by Satan. The accounts of those days, which came before His public ministry are reported in the Gospels of Luke, Mark and Matthew.

The idea of giving something up between now and Easter or Resurrection Sunday, came from the suffering and temptations Jesus made as he prepared for the ultimate sacrifice He would make for us all. 

It has been put upon my heart to deeply explore this Lenten season with a focus on forgiveness and becoming more penitent. Not an entirely new idea, but as I often do, I’m holding myself to some higher standards. The exercise I will be doing, and inviting you to take part in as well, is “Lenten Letters”.

On this edition of “Becoming Today” I’ll share the first of those and the person I’m writing the letter to is….

… well, myself. I mentioned I’m figuring out the formats of this exercise as we go. So preparing myself for giving some things up, for letting go, I need to explore how to release them.

Dear Rochelle,

This is a conversation I know we have shared many times over the years, and yet I know you are struggling with the idea. Releasing entails so many things on so many possible levels.

None of us need to weigh ourselves down with emotional baggage. We don’t have to carry the burden of our worries. Nor must we submit to the bondage of fear, self doubt or loathing. 

And while you’ve learned that God is willing to release us from all of it, by taking our anxiety and concerns upon Himself, still you tell yourself over and over again that it is easier said than done. True at times, but it doesn’t always have to be.

So why now are you having issues with giving these things up? What is it that is causing you to feel limited and stuck? 

If your past is holding you back from co-creating a life you truly love. Simply, let it go. The past, not your dreams and desires. By learning how to release the past hurts, shame, guilt, grief or even times of despair, you are helping to rescue yourself from a life of resentment, or a false attitude that you really don’t deserve anything better.

These kinds of pain can be difficult to release. Nonetheless it can be done. While we can never fully take away what happened, we can choose to survive and go beyond by thriving.  Life is far less about what has happened to you, it is principally about how you decide to respond to it.

You can not create a state of “Becoming”, if you aren’t willing to let the former or current  realities go. Are you ready to do some releasing?

I hope so and I know you do too. You’re not alone in desiring to better able release thoughts, emotions, situations o r even people that are restricting you. It is simply a part of the human condition.When we suffer emotional pain, how do you let go of the past and move on?

Intellectually you know the answers.

First you need to accept that it is a conscious decision. One that involves taking action. Holding on to the past is just like letting go and moving forward when you decide . It’s your choice. Once you make the decision then you take action to make it happen. 

To me it seems the best way  to heal is by learning a lesson from the situation, then using it to be “Becoming”.  Channel your thoughts, intentions, desires and energies into focusing on growth and building that momentum that moves both forward and upward. 

Do not get stuck in a “coulda, woulda, shoulda” mentality. Hanging onto what should have happened, what could have happened, or what you wished would have happened, give yourself motivation to get over it. Release it and heal. Or keep a grip on it and be paralyzed; immobilized by feelings of pain and bad memories.

You also know in your heart this is true. So what is causing the disconnect? What is preventing you from releasing right now?

Only you can answer that. So allow me to share some insights on how you can aid the process. These should resonate with you. Afterall, you have taught these concepts to so many over many years.

Begin by being kind to yourself. We are all our own worst critics. Now is the best time to show yourself some kindness and compassion. Treat yourself like you would someone else. Nurture, be loving, and kind. The more you are able to let self-care become an automatic habitual response into your daily life, the more you are empowering yourself. 

Remind yourself, that the most important moment in our lives, is the one we are currently experiencing. Make the most of it. Focusing on the present moment, lessens the possibilities for a negative impact that either the past or future can have on us.

Then allow your emotions to flow freely. To feel is to heal. Do not keep things bottled up. Burying your feelings not only causes the pain to  remain, oftentimes it can increase and have negative physical effects on our bodies ( and minds) as well.  You are not the only one who has ever been afraid to face a negative or painful emotion, just realize you need to do it. Face your fears, breathe and let them pass through you.

Do not allow them to define you. 

When you’re dealing with painful emotions, it is important to allow yourself permission to talk about it.Some people are unable to release it, because they falsely believe they aren’t allowed to talk about it. 

Then forgive and forget. Not only forgiving others for perceived wrongs, and asking for forgiveness from those you may have hurt but also forgiving yourself.

It is then, and only then, that you can let go of anger, guilt, shame, or any other feeling limiting your growth. Let it go. Face forward, look upward and you get busy moving on.

To let go of past hurts, you need to make the conscious decision to take control of the situation. However, this can take time and practice. Be kind to yourself as your practice refocusing how you see the situation, and celebrate the small victories you have.

While it is important that you address what’s troubling you at this moment, you do have 40-days to work through the process. And I’ll just bet you are already thinking of some relevant Scriptures to help guide you to the answers.

I hope you find some solace in these words and look forward to our next discussion.

May a smile always find you,

Rochelle

And yes as I remind myself there is guidance in the word, to direct my steps in being able to become more releasing. The ones I’m meditating on today include:

2 Corinthians 9:7

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Isaiah 41:10

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Deuteronomy 31:6

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Psalm 56:3–4

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

Deuteronomy 3:22

“You shall not fear them, for it is the LORD your God who fights for you.”

Isaiah 35:4

“Say to those who have an anxious heart, ‘Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.’ ”

Isaiah 41:10

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

2 Timothy 1:7

“…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

I hope these verses find those who need them. I also encourage you to take your own steps to make the most of this season of introspection leading to resurrection.

Also I am again encouraging you to consider doing your own exercise. Whether in a journal, a document, video diary or scribbled on the back of  a receipt just select whatever form you feel most comfortable with.  Plus just because I’ll be doing them daily, you don’t need to, just set your own standards and goals as for the frequency.

You could also opt  to share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section. Which if you’re on the website follows below. Or if you’re a daily subscriber, you can click on the headline at the beginning of the conversation and be taken.

Also if you’d like to raise questions or share in a less public manner, you can always send a message through our Contact page. 

Think about it. Pray about it. Meditate on it. Consider it and then decide to join us for another Lenten Letter, tomorrow on our next edition of “Becoming Today”.

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