Word of the Week

Word of the Week: Release

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I don't know if you anything like me, but once I find something good I want to hold on to it with all I have. I want to savor it. I want to enjoy it. I don't want to ever think about when I wouldn't enjoy such a wonderful thing in my lifetime.

But sometimes thanks to circumstances out of our control and sometimes thanks to nudges in us toward change we must do our word of the week: release.

Release: to give freedom or free movement to someone or something.

Yet, there's so much that feels harsh about release if you think about it for too long. We can perceive the act of release to be dishonoring something of value. If a person has a played a big role in your life or story . . . or if you've had a job forever . . . or if you've always spent your free time in a certain way, you may not know who you are anymore without that.

For isn't it easy to say, "How will I ever go on if ____ isn't here?"

But release can be a gift to you because it's a choice.

It's not something anyone could force you to do. It's something you have to do for yourself. And with a release, comes gifts. Gifts of space in your schedule. Gifts of time in your days. Gifts of emotional room to welcome in others to your life. Gifts of surrender to what is and not what isn't.

In fact, embracing release can change the temperature in the room as you go about your day. Release brings peace!

Wherever you are in your life this morning, I'm sure that there is something that is calling out in you for release.

Is there a friendship that needs to shift from the front seat to the back of your life? Is there a "yes" you've said for years to something leadership role that now needs to be a "no?" Is there a worry that you've carried and carried and carried so more? Whatever it may be, I find wisdom in thinking through author Parker Palmer's question:

"What do I want to let go of and what do I want to give myself to?"

Because if there is anything I know for sure, you won't release anything if you aren't intentional about it. Because even if your life circumstances change outside of your control, you can still hold onto illusions. (Don't we all know people who are holding onto stuff from the past with bitterness or hurt or avoidance running through their veins?)

It's up to you to release, if you want to.

If you are interested in the spiritual practice of release, do this this. Ask yourself Parker Palmer's question. Then, be still. And before you know it, the next steps will come. You'll know what needs to go.