How to Let Go

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How to Let Go

Postby PuppyEars » Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:00 pm

Okay so, we all hear it, see it written in literature and may have done it by accident on occasion. But not quite sure how. I am talking about Letting Go. Maybe you have mastered this and there is a conveyor belt that runs directly from you to God that can carry unwanted emotions and when you pull a lever, phlooph, you instantly let go. I am happy for you but for us mere mortals I hope to hit on a component of this letting go business and if we are lucky, others will chime in with different ways for us to let go.
Society puts pressures on us from the minute we can stand upright. One of them pressures I was prey to was "never surrender, never back-down, big boys don't cry". Especially at home, schools, television - a lot of material that surrounded me was geared to pump up the ego. And it all worked. It worked so well, that king alcohol had to beat the surrender out of me for 20 years in order for me to follow a few simple steps. Maybe you can relate.

It is only natural for us to tighten our grip after some sober time. How do we let go again?

Intense vulnerability. Like surrender, vulnerability is becoming more and more frowned upon in today's world. If you are on a battlefield and bullets are whizzing by your face, okay, do whatever you can to not become vulnerable. Most of us are not on a battlefield.
Sometime right before the second meeting I ever attended I was reluctant to put my hand up to share where I was at, and a fellow old-timer said "make yourself vulnerable in there". So I did. The outpouring of help and wise words and even them squirmy hugs had me surprised people cared. God was using that old-timer as a channel that day.
Vulnerability is not a weakness; instead, it is the willingness to drop your facade to experience your feelings and life's happenings with every part of your being.
Maybe you get uncomfortable when you read things like "drop your facade" and want to flex an ego muscle with a controversial response. I understand. Fake-it-til-you-make-it is supposed to be about enthusiasm. See if that fits :lol:
So far in my sober time, the only result I have seen from making myself vulnerable is growth. I am safe and protected from taking a drink, but in true alcoholic fashion, I can take too much safety and protection - which prevents me from becoming vulnerable and unable to let go.
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Re: How to Let Go

Postby D'oh » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:53 pm

It is 1 of the Promises. "Trust in Infinite God rather than Finite Self" and Great things will come to past.

I believe that I found "It" (with the Fellowship's help) when I wasn't looking for "It". It came amongst a some what Turmoil filled days in Sobriety, when I just Let Go and Opened Up all the possibilities. That Something/Someone was there and had always been there to that point in my life. And I could totally trust that there was a Plan for me to continue on if I asked for guidance.
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Re: How to Let Go

Postby avaneesh912 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:54 am

For me most of the time, the letting go happens when I am sitting alone with myself and start observing whats going on up inside between the 2 ears. Lot of the thoughts are repetitive. If you facing some situation in your life, the mind (the ego) always comes up with why it is not good for me or it could be elation. Either case I will have to dumb it down.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: How to Let Go

Postby Barbara D. » Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:40 am

Let's see now. At first, I had to accept that I played God in my own life, that I took responsibility FOR people, places, and things instead of just being responsible TO certain duties. I expected myself to be able to control results. And I thought when I had life under control, that would make me happy. So, if I was stressed out and needed a drink, it was either your fault or I was too stupid to see all the strands that made up a particular situation so I could fix it.

Secondly, I had a change in my thinking, a change in my perception. I had to take responsibility for my own thinking and feelings. I had to make sure I was on an even keel first, then expend energies to take care of daily goals. I thought forcing myself to be selfless would fill me up, not drain me.

Thirdly, having learned to keep tabs on my own spiritual ebbs and flows, I had to distinguish between what was and was not my business.

And fourthly, if I couldn't resolve the conflict by awareness, I had to be willing to turn it over. Being atheist at that time, I didn't know where "it" went. I just knew I could kick and scream but it wouldn't change the fact that I was not in charge.

For me, this letting-go or turn-it-over process is also on the one-day-at-a-time schedule. It takes a while for me to grasp a new idea, incorporate it into my belief system, and then see results in my behavior. I can work on one person or detail again and again, and it does get easier and lasts longer. When a new person or thing enters my conflict zone, I have to start at the beginning: awareness, self inventory, accepting powerlessness, turn it over.
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Re: How to Let Go

Postby PaigeB » Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:38 am

With my most recent bout of letting go I have had to reject fantasy and accept reality. Reality is there is nothing I can do anyway, so why wallow in it? Letting go is the part where I reject the thoughts of sorrow or control or whatever the issue is. Then I have to change my mind, literally change my thinking & keep trudging.

Changing my mind can come from readings, a phone call, prayer & meditation or taking some kind of action on any of the Steps or Traditions. Trudging can also change my mind.

Trudging means I do what is in front of me to do. I am a lot less of that to do today, so I really have to fill in the blanks with ideas about service and volunteerism rather than solitare & social media. I really, really want to isolate - so I know the answer is to get out there and do something. Tonight is a meeting or a fundraiser. I thought I was locked into the fundraiser because I had to make chili, but they are coming to get the chili early... I can get out of it. Something is telling me that I have to go support my sobriety sister in her time of trouble whether I am carrying chili or not. Also, that will take up more time and require more of an effort since I am rather awkward at social type functions.

Trudging along side my sisters ~ and allowing them to trudge alongside of me ~ is probably the answer.
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Re: How to Let Go

Postby Lali » Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:13 pm

PaigeB wrote:With my most recent bout of letting go I have had to reject fantasy and accept reality. Reality is there is nothing I can do anyway, so why wallow in it? Letting go is the part where I reject the thoughts of sorrow or control or whatever the issue is. Then I have to change my mind, literally change my thinking & keep trudging.

Changing my mind can come from readings, a phone call, prayer & meditation or taking some kind of action on any of the Steps or Traditions. Trudging can also change my mind.

Trudging means I do what is in front of me to do. I am a lot less of that to do today, so I really have to fill in the blanks with ideas about service and volunteerism rather than solitare & social media. I really, really want to isolate - so I know the answer is to get out there and do something. Tonight is a meeting or a fundraiser. I thought I was locked into the fundraiser because I had to make chili, but they are coming to get the chili early... I can get out of it. Something is telling me that I have to go support my sobriety sister in her time of trouble whether I am carrying chili or not. Also, that will take up more time and require more of an effort since I am rather awkward at social type functions.

Trudging along side my sisters ~ and allowing them to trudge alongside of me ~ is probably the answer.


I can use that. Thank you!
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Re: How to Let Go

Postby Lali » Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:14 pm

Barbara D. wrote:Let's see now. At first, I had to accept that I played God in my own life, that I took responsibility FOR people, places, and things instead of just being responsible TO certain duties. I expected myself to be able to control results. And I thought when I had life under control, that would make me happy. So, if I was stressed out and needed a drink, it was either your fault or I was too stupid to see all the strands that made up a particular situation so I could fix it.

Secondly, I had a change in my thinking, a change in my perception. I had to take responsibility for my own thinking and feelings. I had to make sure I was on an even keel first, then expend energies to take care of daily goals. I thought forcing myself to be selfless would fill me up, not drain me.

Thirdly, having learned to keep tabs on my own spiritual ebbs and flows, I had to distinguish between what was and was not my business.

And fourthly, if I couldn't resolve the conflict by awareness, I had to be willing to turn it over. Being atheist at that time, I didn't know where "it" went. I just knew I could kick and scream but it wouldn't change the fact that I was not in charge.

For me, this letting-go or turn-it-over process is also on the one-day-at-a-time schedule. It takes a while for me to grasp a new idea, incorporate it into my belief system, and then see results in my behavior. I can work on one person or detail again and again, and it does get easier and lasts longer. When a new person or thing enters my conflict zone, I have to start at the beginning: awareness, self inventory, accepting powerlessness, turn it over.


Very helpful. Thanks!
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Re: How to Let Go

Postby Noels » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:28 pm

Goooood morning beautiful people :D I was the last of 8 children. We were poor when I grew up - financially poor - at the age of 6 I started selling jerseys mom knitted from door to door . On weekends my 2 brothers and myself would " raid " the big bins/dumpsters outside Pick 'n Pay Grocery Store for all the vegetables they threw away - our excuse - we had a turtle and we used the vegetables for the turtle - in reality - it was for our consumption. Many a night we had pap for dinner. If there was black coffee, mixed red jam or eggs to with the pap it was a feast.....
So the other day my eldest sister (shes about 67, I'm 46 so there's quite an age gap) remarks in the company of some people who were present (occasional visits to their homes over Christmas time or new year's) that I was the spoilt one because I was the laatlammetjie, I "got it all" and " got away with everything". ..... boy was I taken aback by her remark :lol:
I didn't say anything at that moment. I didn't have to as the others who were present remarked that they don't remember me as being spoilt so I simply stated that "I think what my sister meant was that my parents were more relaxed and patient with me". This swung the conversation nicely and the evening proceeded with no further incidents.
In my heart though I felt hurt. I did not understand why my sister would continuously say things like that as what I remember of my childhood is the total opposite of their perceptions of my childhood? That bothered me for a while - not to the extent that I want to disown my sister or break all contact with her (its not just her in any case, all the kids who already left the house when I came into existence have this impression that I was spoilt) - I just felt hurt because my memories from what I lived was clearly in total contradiction to their perception of me and that time?
I tried the usual - acknowledge that I felt unhappy about her comment, concentrated on letting it go, told myself its way in the past what does it matter, ..... nothing worked and I decided to simply push it to the back.....
I cant remember exactly how and when it happened but during the course of this week I thought about her remarks again and I suddenly realised that its okay. She wasn't in the house at the time when I grew up and ive never been a person who concentrated on "the bad" - throughout my life. Ive always looked at each situation as it was happening to see what the lesson in that particular situation was for me so ive never walked around thinking that my childhood experiences was " a negative ". The lesson I took from that as I was experiencing it and even afterwards was that it made me stronger. I learned from a young age to communicate with people. To ask questions. To be fearless. To be honest. I learned that there was a Higher Entity who walked with me. I learned that everything will be ok. That we can change our present or current reality by action. I learned that there is ALWAYS a positive for each negative. Example - my mom could have sat back and said " there is no money ". There is nothing I can do about it but she didn't! She knitted day and night, poured herself into "creating" and through her actions, changed our " possible reality" into a definite - we ate that day. I learned that tomorrow will look after itself. I just needed to do "in this moment" what I possibly could to survive " the next moment". And I learned that love overcomes all.
I also learned that I can not change my sister's perception of 40 years ago nor can I blame her for thinking her perception of my life 40 years ago was wrong. Simply because she didn't experience my reality 40 years ago. She was already out of the house. She didn't experience what I experienced in my daily life when I was growing up. Nor can I deny that I possibly had a better life than her simply because I didn't experience HER reality when she was growing up. I didn't know my parents or their circumstances when the other kids were growing up so how can I dispute anything?
The most importantly that I learned from this is " I don't HAVE TO deny, dispute or try to alter her perception of events or me of when I was growing up". If it makes her happy to think that I was spoilt and got better treatment or whatever it is that "spoilt" means to her, then so be it. I know what my reality was 40 years ago and I still cant look at it as a negative for ive learned much from that time so it served me well.
With that realization I could let it go.
I pray this shared experience can help someone and wish each person reading this post only love, happiness, peace and joy today.
Love and light,
Noels xxx
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Re: How to Let Go

Postby KathyAnne » Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:12 am

Hi Puppyears, yes being vulnerable was the key to my recovery. I wasn't aware in my first year that's what I was doing. But it was my saving grace, I just had to be me and get all my stuff out I sometimes cringe about personal stuff i shared but so what!
I bet most don't even remember and it helped others for sure, I had one or 2 come up to me at times telling me it was listening to me that helped them be honest. Funnily enough now some time has passed I don't want to open up like that now & share it with my sponser, I suppose I've grown up.
But vulnerability I think is the key but unfortunately not many can do it. It's only my opinion.
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Re: How to Let Go

Postby PaigeB » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:57 am

The most importantly that I learned from this is " I don't HAVE TO deny, dispute or try to alter her perception of events or me of when I was growing up".

Thanks Chelle. I recently made 2nd amends to my mom, feeling I had messed up the first ones since we argued (?) over who did what between me and my siblings. Come to find out one thing that hurt worse... she did not know I had been making amends (except the money I gave her) back then. Then she told me that I talk too much - which is a defect I have prayed about, but one that has not been removed from me.

Ouch. A lifelong concern of mine tossed in my face while I was vulnerable. Go Mom. Of course my first inclination was to blame and deflect and a number of other things - but I DID NOT DO any of those things. I kept plugging through my amends and it hit me when I left her place for a 3 hour drive home, that I was headed down a bad road if I continued to wallow in it at all. I was suddenly filled with the same realization as you came to above... And I realized that I had done what I could do. I was finished cleaning this room and could go forward with a clear heart and mind.

Thanks for sharing.
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Re: How to Let Go

Postby Spirit Flower » Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:06 am

I have quietly been having an emotional morning. I could feel my anger; at the presidential candidates, at my boss.

But I had promised I would make a spiritual fitness kit to add to a gift basket to be auctioned off at our alano club fund raiser.

As I typed out the words, I felt a cooling healing peace come over me:

At the hospital I was separated from alcohol for the last time….There I humbly offered myself to God, as I then understood Him, to do with me as He would. I placed myself unreservedly under His care and direction. I admitted for the first time that of myself I was nothing; that without Him I was lost. (BB pg 13)

I was to test my thinking by the new God-consciousness within. Common sense would thus become uncommon sense. I was to sit quietly when in doubt, asking only for direction and strength to meet my problems as He would have me. (BB pg 13)

Belief in the power of God, plus enough willingness, honesty and humility to establish and maintain the new order of things, were the essential requirements. Simple but not easy; a price had to be paid. It meant destruction of self-centeredness. I must turn in all things to the Father of Light who presides over us all. (BB pg 13)
...a score card reading zero...
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Re: How to Let Go

Postby PaigeB » Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:39 am

But I had promised I would make a spiritual fitness kit to add to a gift basket to be auctioned off at our alano club fund raiser.

Service to others comes through again. I don't think I need joy, just a glimpse of Peace.

My heart is happy for you!

Thank Goodness! :wink:
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Re: How to Let Go

Postby Duke » Sat Oct 08, 2016 4:54 pm

Great stuff. Lots of ideas I'm going to carry with me. Thanks all.

For me, letting go is the process of accepting responsibility that if I'm disturbed, I'm the problem I have to deal with. Once I fully accept that proposition, letting go seems to naturally follow from implementing the solution I learned in the tenth step.

By the time I get to "resolutely turn my thoughts", whatever started my negativity seems to recede dramatically or disappear altogether.

It seems like this idea of taking personal responsibility for all my emotional ups and downs is a recurring theme for me this month. I must need this program.

Thanks for the topic.
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Re: How to Let Go

Postby clouds » Sun Oct 09, 2016 7:41 am

I picked up on a phrase the people at my original home group used to use because it helped me so much to Let Go and Let God. It was " We just take our own inventory, not anyone else's."

This takes a very large weight off my shoulders. Its enough to learn to be an observer of my own defects, make any apologies when needed and clean up my side of the street. I find more and more, I can leave others to do their own homework and so I get mine in on time that way, otherwise, I'm lost. In fact I find that taking my own inventory and accepting others where they are at, taking a kindly and tolerant view, even if they don't appreciate my efforts for it or for doing step nine or honesty, it doesn't effect me too much. Sure I get hurt feelings, notbeing acknowledged or understood etc. Still, there is the peace from knowing I've done my best with the steps, regardless of the arguments or lack of forgiveness from others.

This is a great way to live, the promises are fantastic and I don't recall it promises that we will have it all our way with everybody all the time anyway. May as well Let go and Let God then, meanwhile doing the best I can with these AA principles.

This has been a really good discussion, well begun and well contributed. I will take many messages home from this. Thanks E-AA ers. :D
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: How to Let Go

Postby Roberth » Mon Oct 10, 2016 12:03 pm

Hello PuppyEar, My name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles area alcoholic. Have you ever hear the expression “How do you get to Carnegie Hall…..Practice, practice, practice.”
It seems we want to find the magic AA dust that will make everything the way we think they should be…..I had to learn this is a program of action. It seem the more I work with other alcoholics the better my life get.
I was taught early on that if I was alone in a room with my problems I should get the hell out of the room and help someone with theirs. Funny how most of mine problems seem to die of neglect and one that don’t the answers usually pops up. And what even funnier the answers are what they should be not what I what them to be……
Robert
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