When is it time to let go?


Recently, I have had some extended time sitting in the woods on beautiful autumn mornings. I simply love this time of year and sitting in the quiet, watching the world of nature around me, is one of the best ways I know to spend time. The colors of the leaves, the deep blue of the sky, and the freshness of the air make living all the more worthwhile.

The other morning, the temperature was crisp, the sunrise beautiful, and the wind was calm. This was probably the first really cold day in that area. But, on this morning there came a time that the leaves on the trees started falling like rain. It appeared that all the leaves were just waiting for such a time as that… a wonderful, sunny, crisp morning… to relinquish their hold and relish the fact that they had accomplished another year of purpose. On this morning, I actually was able to hold my eye on one individual leaf and watch it “let go” and fall to the ground. It was fascinating!

This experience made me wonder how the leaves really know when it is time to “let go.” Yet, it seems they always know the perfect timing. Why is it that we often have such a difficult time letting go of some of the things we should? What are some of those things?

Well, here is a short list of things we should freely “let go”:

  1. Hurts from the past
  2. Worries about tomorrow
  3. Burdens that we simply cannot control
  4. That schedule that allows no time to really live
  5. Trying to organize, shape, or manage the lives of others
  6. Perfectionism
  7. Activities that provide no value

However, there are a few things we should never let go… things that we should “hold on to”:

  1. People that care about you
  2. Hope, optimism, and enthusiasm for the future
  3. Making a difference for someone else each day
  4. Doing the right things in the right way
  5. Love
  6. An appreciation for the beauty around us
  7. Knowledge that there is a God that loves us and cares about us

A leaf never holds on longer than is needed. Neither should we. However, we must hold firm to those things and people that give meaning and purpose to our lives. These things make life worth living.

So, today, no matter if you are hurting, happy, desperate, discouraged, enthused, engaged, depressed, or dynamic… think about those things that you are holding and ask, “Which of these should I allow to go? What must I grip even harder?” Then, do what you need to do.

Remember, this could be your very best day yet! We never know when that day might come. So, look for it today and savor it when it comes!

2 thoughts on “When is it time to let go?

  1. “What surprises me most is “Man”, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he doesn’t enjoy the present; The result being he doesn’t live in the present or the future; He lives as if he’s never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived.” – Dalai Lama


  2. Thank you Eldon

    I needed this today. Were you sitting in the chair Alan made while reflecting on the world’s beauty.

    Have a great Thanksgiving.



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