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Letting Go

By D. John Dyben, Clinical Fellow

freeOne day, I noticed that my six year old son had some scratches on the inside of his arm and wrists and I asked him what had happened.

This is what he told me:

“I was up in this tree because I wanted to climb up it and I stayed there for so long and I could see everything and I was up so high and it was totally cool.

But then I tried to get down and I got stuck.  I was like holding on to the tree and I had my arms around it trying to get down but I got scared and I was just hugging the tree and holding on so tight and I couldn’t go anywhere and I got really afraid.

But then I realized that my only hope was to let go.

And so I did, and I fell, and it wasn’t so bad, and then I was free.”

This is my son’s direct quote.  I am not embellishing.

The importance of applying this principle to life struck me immediately and I have been thinking a lot about it since that time.

I get myself into positions where I can feel completely locked up.  Like I can’t go up or down and any option is terrifying.  And it is, I think, much harder now because at least when you’re a kid in a tree, folks can see that you are in trouble.  In grown up world, it is often all internal and no one has a clue unless I let them.

I really want to do the right thing.  Sometimes I want that too much.  Maybe sometimes I am still trying to pay for past failures.  Who knows?  Whatever the reason, sometimes I get into over thinking, over controlling, and trying to “figure things out” to the point that it becomes paralyzing.

So, I am trying right now to remember JP’s lesson to me.  Sometimes, my only hope is to let go.  Even if I fall and get hurt, right now I am thinking that it is better than being locked up in a tree with nowhere to go.

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