What Does it Mean to Let Go?

I have a piece in the Huffington Post today which is in response to the question I get asked the most when I’m out on book tour: what does it mean to let go? How do you do it? Well, I don’t profess to have the answer, but I do have some strong thoughts about how to get in touch with our pain and to use it. How to reframe pain and restructure our thinking around it. I’ll include an excerpt here, and would love for you to stop by the Huffington Post today to comment. It is such a vast platform and I’d love to share my work there with its wide audience. Your comments will help drive interest to this piece and future pieces I write on my Huffington Post blog. Thanks and may this day feel new and light. yrs. Laura
Read my essay here

In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, I’ve asked myself a question lately about the human relationship with emotional pain: at what point do we acknowledge the pain in our life and decide to end it?

Is it only when we’ve endured great agony that we see its perils and decide that we don’t want to feel that way anymore? Is it only then that we change our perspective and start to choose happiness?

Or can we arrive at a commitment not to suffer simply by relating with life and its low-grade hardships as part of the whole? As not bad or good. Right or wrong. Just what is.

It saddens me to think that the latter is the exception and not the rule.

For me, it took 14 unpublished books, my father’s death and a near divorce to finally see that happiness is a choice. And one I was hell-bent on making. But it meant that I had to let go of suffering once and for all. And suffering had become my “normal.”

How is this possible — this letting go?

I believe the answer lies in the present moment.

We hear the phrase: live in the moment. But what does this really mean in its practical application? How do we achieve the freedom of choosing to let go of the future and the past and commit to the present moment, when life throws us curveballs and even grenades? How do we not worry or rage or micromanage? (read more)


Filed under "Those Aren't Fighting Words, Dear", Huffington Post Blog Pieces, My book: This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness, My Posts

9 Responses to What Does it Mean to Let Go?

  1. Donald J Stifler

    Right on. The minute we think of pain it is history. If we relive this in the moment, we suffer. Suffering is simply retelling the story of our pain and this cheats us of the beauty and opportunities that can be experienced in the moment. The only choice to freedom is to let go. Nothing new here that you don’t know.
    Blessings in the New Year
    Don Stifler

  2. Catherine I. Petersen

    Greetings~ I am new to These Them Hills for which I am deeply grateful. Your insights and reflections are heaven sent, Laura. Your book is excellent council during this period in my life. Words cannot express the freedom I’m experiencing because of this discovery. You do not know me, but I can assure you – you are indeed an angel. Letting go, yet holding on….Peace, Catherine

    • lauramunson

      Catherine, I am so glad to find you here and thank you for your high compliments. I’m so glad my book is helping you. I am definitely not an angel, but I see the power of sharing and vulnerability abundantly around me the farther down this road of publication I get. People are hungry to share. Since you are new to THESE HERE HILLS, consider signing up for my HAVEN newsletter which chooses a topic every month, arrives in your email inbox, and then invites you to come here to share on that topic. I skipped a month for the holidays, but will be sending out this week. You can sign up on the home page of this blog, or go to my website http://www.lauramunsonauthor.com and sign up on the left margin on every page but Home. It would be great to have your presence. Peace to you, too. yrs. Laura

  3. Janis Schmier

    Once again, a very thought provoking piece. While I truly believe what you are saying here is the way to live each day, I find that the power I have given the past and the thoughts that carry it forward continue to overtake the present. What I need is a way to walk away from disappoint­ments, hearbreaks and the pain that overtakes the freedom of the present. Your writings and discussion­s have helped me to see this, but now I need to find a pathway forward to actually living now.
    Your Montana neighbor, Janis

    • lauramunson

      Janis, thanks for commenting at the HP and here as well. Very kind and thorough of you. I responded at the HP. Here’s what another wonderful reader had to say, “The minute we think of pain it is history. If we relive this in the moment, we suffer. Suffering is simply retelling the story of our pain and this cheats us of the beauty and opportunities that can be experienced in the moment. The only choice to freedom is to let go.” I love that. So well put. Peace, Montana sister. yrs. Laura

      • Janis Schmier

        Laura, I totally agree with you. As I read this comment earlier I thought it was very profound and immediately thought about ways I can apply it to what holds me from living for the now. Recently I have become more conscious of how my negative thoughts have been affecting my life and am making choices toward conquering them. In doing so I have found that I am laughing more and am genuinely happier.
        Just this morning I took the time to open my living room blinds, look out at the big beautiful Montana sky and enjoy a cup of tea–all before going to work. Thank you, Laura, for helping me to find my present.
        Gratefully yours,

  4. Kathy


    Yet another thought provoking piece of work. I am so happy to know that you have an endless supply!!! I believe we all love how you challenge us to think, ponder and challenge ourselves in such a positive way!

    Just a few days before I had read the first page in your book I was getting ready to go on a family vacation. I had come to a conclusion. I had decided no matter what, I was going to be happy that week. I was going to enjoy my time with the family, but also for me. So when I read that line in your book where you said “I am choosing happiness”, to me it was a validation of my thoughts and feelings.

    You talk of letting go, living in the present moment. So very true. I was reminded of the song that young Paul Mc Cartney wrote at the age of fourteen. It was after the death of his Mother Mary. One of the verses goes like this

    “And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree, there will be an answer, LET IT BE. ” As difficult as it is, we need to let the things go that we cannot control or change…..it will be as it is to be.

    Pain, not pleasurable at all, but necessary for growth, true growth. This quote has stuck with me from the first time I read it:

    “The secret of joy is the mastery of pain.”…….Anais Nin

    My wish is that we may we all find joy while experiencing a limited amount of pain.

    All the best,


    • lauramunson

      Kathy, I never knew that mother Mary was Paul’s own mother. It puts the whole song into a new light for me. Thanks for your, as usual, inspiring comment. Anais was a wise woman. Even her erotica is wise. And so are you. yrs. Laura

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