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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Letting Go - Good, but Not Best

As we start off this new year, there may be things that we need to let go of, things that if we hang on to them will keep us from pursuing the good things ahead.
In his book, Necessary Endings, Henry Cloud identifies three things that we need to prune from our lives:

1.  Those things that are good, but not best.
2.  Those things that are sick and not getting better.
3.  Those things that are dead.
Here at the beginning of 2014 as we've made resolutions, chosen a word or theme, or set goals for the coming year, let's pause for a moment to think about what might stop us from keeping those resolutions or reaching our goals.

What are activities, habits, relationships, or attitudes that are barriers to moving forward in our lives, that are keeping us tied to the way things have always been? When I was teaching I had a poster hanging in my room that said, "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten." (author unknown) Growth requires change and change means some things will have to end and others must be different. 
  • What activities take up resources (time, energy, or money) that could be better spent on pursuing our dreams?
  • What habits keep us stuck in the same rut day after day, month after month, year after year? 
  • What relationships drain us of energy or lead us to places or activities that are hurtful to us? 
  • What attitudes keep us stuck where we are?
Take a little while to ponder these questions, to pull out a piece of paper or an electronic device where you can write, and jot down the ideas and realizations that come to mind. 

These are the things that may be good, but are likely not the best. These are the things that will keep us from moving forward toward our dreams, goals, and desires. 

Now, comes the more difficult, perhaps even a painful part. What will you do to change? 

How will you change your activities so that your resources are spent on pursuing your new resolutions or dreams? Last summer I participated in a Clutter Buster Challenge and I realized that I spent too much time and energy managing paper. For example, I had a picture file that I had built over 30+ years with pictures to be used for bulletin boards or crafts. I had hundreds of pictures that I had spent time searching through magazines to find. Once found these pictures had to be trimmed and filed. How often did I use this file? Occasionally it had been a valued source for some project, however probably not as valuable as the time and energy I had spent maintaining it. The file was pruned. Hundreds of pictures were thrown away and now only very special pictures are added. It was a good thing, but not the best.

How will you change your habits so that you are no longer stuck in the same rut? 

What will you do to change your attitudes to ones that encourage you to move forward and increase your energy level? 

What will you do about those relationships? This seems like the hardest one of all to me. I value people as gifts from God, created in His image. I know that true relationships take time and energy to build and cannot be easily replaced. Too often relationships are fragile. Yet sometimes people have a negative impact on us. Sometimes people make choices that hurt us and them. What do you do with those relationships that are holding us back, hurting us? What do we do when those relationships are people that it is difficult to avoid like family, coworkers, or members of an organization we are part of and value? 

What things do you need to let go of in 2014 to pursue not merely the good, but the best?


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Linda!! I appreciate you stopping by!

  2. I really enjoyed your post Darlene as always!! I have just finished reading a book, "Fully Alive" by Ken Davis (a Christian comedian). It is written about much of what you are addressing in this entry. He was very overweight a few years ago and finally saw the need to 'do something different' to change that! I also have weight I need to lose (and have needed to for a very long time) as well as many other time choices I need to change to choose 'best' over 'better'! Thanks for reinforcing what I know the Lord is already trying to remind me of and prompting me to DO something about it in this new year and in the future! Love you cousin :)