When Should You Practice Letting Go?

Let go and relax

I had a rough weekend recently. A lot of emotions were coming up, and for no good reason that I could see. I felt sad, angry, confused, and I was full of tears.

Learning to let things be

The good news is that I’ve learned to let this be what it is. I don’t need to pick it apart to find the root cause, because sometimes, as we do our internal work and walk our spiritual paths, we end up creating space for old gunk to surface and we just need to let it pass.

I’ve found, too, through meditation and sitting with my feelings, rather than resisting, numbing, or avoiding them, that if I’m still and quiet I will receive an answer.

We don’t need to analyze every thought and emotion.

If we stay curious we often get unexpected insights

So that’s where I was as I navigated through this strange bout of the blues. I was staying open, taking good care of myself, and trying not to be judgmental of what was happening.

Then I remembered something that always seems to slip my mind until I’m right in the middle of it: we experience alternating periods of expansion and contraction.

Expansion is when I feel very energetic, goal-oriented, driven. I make a lot of art at this time, I write a lot, I have excellent ideas that I act upon, I’m reading more and learning so much.

Contraction in the other hand is the time to delve within, rest and recuperate.

It’s like breathing

We inhale, and then we exhale. After the expansion comes contraction. This is when I turn inward, to assimilate and absorb all the information and the results from my inspired action. This is a time to rest and process.

And what I’ve come to understand recently is that when we are expanding energetically and spiritually, our body needs a minute to assimilate. If we don’t let our physical vessel catch up with where we are energetically, we start to get sick and run-down.

In my expansive phase I felt excited and motivated, and without realizing it I was pushing past my limits and was heading towards exhaustion. So, I prayed. “How can I increase my capacity to hold more energy?” And as clear as if it had been said out loud, I received this thought: “That is not your work. That’s for Me to do.”


That felt powerful to me. I sat down to meditate, seeking clarity. I said, “Well, what should I do then?” And again, I received a thought, as though Source were communicating directly to me. “Go to sleep. You are getting sick and you need your rest.”

So, I followed the guidance I was receiving. I went to bed early and I let myself sleep late, and I woke up feeling brand new.

I felt as though something had shifted and healed. And I realized that it’s important to stay in my lane when it comes to discerning what is my work to do and what is the work of God (or Source, Energy, the Universe – whatever you choose to call it.)

Think of it like gardening

Daisy outside

When I plant a seed, there’s a lot I can do to make it likely that a healthy plant will grow. I can prepare the soil, I can plant it where it will get proper amounts of sunshine and shade, I can water it and pull any weeds that show up.

But I am not the one who starts the tender green shoot curling out of the shell, through the dark earth to break the surface into the light. I am not the life force that grows it taller, stronger, and unfurls graceful leaves and buds. I’m not the one who decides the perfect time to unfold delicate petals, to turn colorful flower faces to follow the sun as it moves across the sky.

Here’s my point

It’s good to take action and to do our part. And whether you believe in this Force, in some kind of source energy, in God (or not…) it’s good to recognize that sometimes we need to practice allowing.

We need to understand that we can’t force anything or rush our own growth. There are changes that we can absolutely prepare for and nurture.

We can make the ground fertile, so to speak. But there is so much grace in realizing when it’s time to step back, let things flow, and just be.

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About the Author
Amanda Gold is a writer, artist, speaker, and student. She also runs a small company called Party Wolf selling hand-sewn flags that smell like peppermint! She used to be homeless, depressed, and addicted, but has completely turned the ship around and wakes up each day with gratitude and sincere excitement for life. She jumps at any chance to talk to others about this and hopes to help as many people...  visit author page.
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