Learning to let go

Life sometimes feels like I am stood somewhere beautiful holding a big bunch of helium balloons.  Every balloon is a responsibility I have taken on – being a mother, working part time, running a lifegroup, organising a Christmas party.  It can be quite a big bunch of balloons that I’m holding!  

Most of the time, I only take on things that I know I can cope with, that I can stay grounded whilst doing.  But then sometimes people come along and start thrusting balloons into your hand and there is nothing you can do to stop them.  Sometimes you take on things when you are not in the right mind, and find that really you can’t do them.  And sometime things that you were completely fine with doing before, you now are getting stressed over doing – the other added responsibilities mean you are lifting off the ground.  

Right now, I am starting to lift off the ground with the number of balloons I am holding.  I am not grounded anymore.  I need to let some of them go.

But how do you decide which ones to let go?

This is my problem right now, and whilst starting to float in the air I need to decide which things will help me get back to that grounded place. Which things will relieve the pressure enough to bring me back down to earth.  There are obviously certain responsibilities that I can’t (and wouldn’t ever want to! let go of – being a mum and a wife and a Christian are the core of who I am and the number one priorities.  After that comes things like work, because I wouldn’t be able to do anything else if I couldn’t pay the bills!  But then there are a lot of things in my life which I do extra to that.  Some are things I enjoy and that are expressions of my character.  Some are things that I want to do to love and serve my community.  Some are things that I do to love and serve my church.  Some are things that have fallen into my path because of circumstances.

But you know what – letting go is against what I normally believe in.  I am a true believer in committing to the cause, in not letting people down and in putting others before myself.  I am not a quitter, and it feels unnatural to leave things or relinquish responsibility for any other reason than moving home or area.  It is hard, and I hate putting responsibilities onto others who are also looking over-burdened, but I must trust that God knows what he is doing and will raise up others to fill the space.  

My prayer tonight is that as I learn to let go of some balloons, there is somewhere there who is excited to catch them.  Amen.

6 thoughts on “Learning to let go

  1. lipsticksandtea says:

    As a wife a mother and a christian the one thing i have always thought was unChristian it was letting go it made me feel like i am not commiting to any of my vows as a human being. But i have been in a journey where i found myself in a postion that letting go is the only option. And its hard. Just like you i hope that God will catch those ballons for me and i can find peace and healing…… lipsticksandteablog.wordpress.com

  2. Rachel Ridler says:

    Thanks so much for your comments – I agree completely that it feels wrong to be letting go! But definitely praying for peace in doing so. Good luck with the new blog – I hope you find some release in writing. And good luck with your 30 before 30 list! I have done a similar thing (and have a few months left to try to do them….)

  3. Simona Ilincuta says:

    Dear Rachel, as not able to keep my promise of visiting you, I have started to follow your blog.
    This one in particular, brought me unexpected relief: just recently had to learn that holding unto old, habitual responsibilities can run my spirit, even my mental health on a new low.
    Looking at the 3 core responsibilities you rightly identified, as you grow older,you 'll realise what you perceive as a 'must do', for your children,it might represent a 'if you like to' and you gradually, find that you have a lot of free time on your hands. Time you never had when they needed you 24/7, time you will find difficult to fill with meaningful things.
    A women's life,a mother's in particular is governed by the needs of her loved ones, namely, husband and children,so when this changes, maybe the 'other responsibilities ' you especially took on so selflessly, will help maintain that life balance much needed.
    Thank you for helping me ol' brain to kick start today ;-).
    Love, Simona.

  4. Rachel Ridler says:

    Such wisdom Simona – I know that a lot of my time during the day is taken up with just the tasks of running my house and kids. All my other things are crammed in after 7pm when they are in bed! I love it, but look forward to a time when I can do more of the other stuff because my children don't need me quite so much. I hope you find meaningful things to fill that space in your life x

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