Reflections: The Language of Letting Go – Detachment

I decided to start this as a means of discipline, structure and healthy routine for myself, as well as to establisha regular column for my readers.

detachment - language of letting go - girlintherapy

FEB 16 Meditation:

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie


The concept of letting go can be confusing to many of us. When are we doing too much or trying too hard to control people and outcomes? When are we doing too little? When is what were doing an appropriate part of taking care of ourselves? What is our responsibility, and what isnt?

These issues can challenge us whether weve been in recovery ten days or ten years. Sometimes, we may let go so much that we neglect responsibility to ourselves or others. Other times, we may cross the line from taking care of ourselves to controlling others and outcomes.

detachment - language of letting go - pin - girlintherapyThere is no rule book. But we dont have to make ourselves crazy; we dont have to be so afraid. We dont have to do recovery perfectly. If it feels like we need to do a particular action, we can do it. If no action feels timely or inspired, dont act on it.

Having and setting healthy limitshealthy boundariesisnt a tidy process. We can give ourselves permission to experiment, to make mistakes, to learn, to grow.

We can talk to people, ask questions, and question ourselves. If theres something we need to do or learn, it will become apparent. Lessons dont go away. If were not taking care of ourselves enough, well see that. If we are being too controlling, well grow to understand that too.

Things will work out. The way will become clear.


Today, I will take actions that appear appropriate. I will let go of the rest. I will strive for the balance between self-responsibility, responsibility to others, and letting go.

“When are we doing too much?… When are we doing too little?”

I have trouble ascertaining this a lot of the time. Especially in recent time, with regards to work, and my friendship with a fellow CoDA member.

When should I push on? When should I wait?

If I don’t take action, won’t there be no progress?

But I don’t want to be too pushy, because I know I will go into control-freak mode, and want to control people and outcomes.

I want to approach that CoDA friend and tell them I notice they’re behaving differently and to see if they’re ok. I can choose to wait and see; let things unfold on their own. Sometimes, pausing and waiting is necessary.

But how would I know how long to wait?

As such, Melody Beattie writes…

detachment - language of letting go - IG - girlintherapy“There is no rule book… If it feels like we need to a particular action, we can do it. If no action feels timely or inspired, don’t act on it.”

WOW. Ok, so if I feel prompted to do something, do it. And if I don’t, I can just wait it out.

I struggle with this, because I get impatient to accomplish something. And if it takes too long, my interest simply fades…

“We can give ourselves permission to experiment, to make mistakes, to learn, to grow.”

This definitely addresses my fear of failure. I love the idea of experimenting. But at the same time, what if the experiment fails or comes to naught? I guess I realise I should always decide my own definition of when the outcome is good, or when the outcome needs improvement.

There is no absolute concept of Success or Failure – it is what I say it is. But more often than not, I don’t take the time to define it, so I get disappointed a lot even without having preset my expectations.

“If there is something we need to do or learn, it will become apparent. Lessons don’t go away…”

I think this is another way of saying we will keep making the same “mistakes” over and over again, until we learn from it.

Also, when the student is ready, the teacher is bound to appear.

“Things will work out. The way will become clear.”

Alright, I will embrace and own this promise!!!

Things will work out – we are part of a Grand Plan – god’s plan happens in spite of us and not because of us – trust the process.


Do you have any thoughts from this reading? Please feel free to share with me in the comments below, I’d love to discourse and exchange views with you 🙂



  1. Chava Mazal Stark says:

    This book sounds like something I need to read, especially lately. I’ve been feeling a bit out of control lately, particularly in my relationship with my mom. She’s emotionally abusive, but I’m her only kid so I feel obligated to put up with it. Learning when to let go is something I struggle with. This is a great post. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Kristin says:

    I love this! Letting go is something I struggle with big time. It’s so hard to remember how much more free you can be once you let go of something holding you back. Thank you for your post.

  3. blair villanueva says:

    Learning to let go is something that most of us are having a tough time to learn about. Me too before… but by and by I learned to let go eventually. As long as you know that you have a wonderful memories stored, letting go of things or of people will be easier.

  4. andrea warren says:

    Letting go is never easy but it is sometimes a necessary evil. If you can’t completely let go then setting some very clear boundaries is helpful. Your post reminded me that we all make mistakes and how important it is for us to learn from each of them. Thanks

  5. Chloe says:

    If there is something we need to do or learn, it will become apparent. Lessons dont go away

    I needed to read this today. There is something I’ve been putting off doing (bit of laziness, bit of self confidence) and it keeps coming up in my life. Thank-you for helping me realize I need to get started!

  6. Criselle Anne says:

    Thanks for sharing this words. It made me think and pause for a while. Letting go can be one of the most difficult decisions in life specially if you live in a world of “what if”. It takes time to practice and master it but eventually it’ll be more easier.

  7. Robin says:

    I read Melody every morning as part of my spiritual practices and attended many co-dependent 12 step programs to deal with my ‘over helping of others’. It feels good to help myself, and this is the bible of self help in my opinion!

  8. Aarika says:

    Thanks for the beautiful, vulnerable and inspiring post! The content is just what I needed to read today. Letting go and setting healthy boundaries is an important and empowering practice. Great post!

    • Girl says:

      Thank you so much, Aarika. Learning to detach doesn’t come easy, because as human beings, we are almost hardwired to desire control.
      But baby steps I say, baby steps… 🙂

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