Jan 06

A year for letting go

Fullscreen capture 162016 85230 PM

When the movie “Frozen” came out, both of our girls were old enough that they did not seem to have a fascination for that sweet story. It might be partly a result of every other little girl in Our Town singing “Let it Go” at the top of her voice (and frequently off key), so we actually experienced the “Frozen” journey, albeit vicariously. But the message seemed to resonate with me, and since that time I’ve been practicing the art of “Letting Go.”

It’s not so easy to do that, when the “letting go” involves something or someone you do not WANT to let go . . . . but in the real world, we frequently don’t get to make those choices. When we are forced to let go of anything that holds deep meaning to us, and has a treasured place in our heart, it is really difficult. But in order to move forward, it is frequently necessary to let go of whatever is holding us hostage.

A few months ago, during a time of serious soul-searching and seeking advice from those whom I believed to be wiser that I am,  I heard the words, “Just write a new story.” Just like that! Simple, right? After all, we can’t spend the rest of our lives focused on the past, revisiting old wounds, retelling the “old story,” no matter how much it hurt. Can we? Apparently not.


Grief, some say, is a passage through time, and one day, you will come out the other side. And what? Will it be as if nothing had ever happened? I think of my dear friends who recently lost their precious mom to a totally unexpected and unusual (I think) illness. She was only 63 and her husband of 40+ years and all of her children are devastated by their loss. Oh, they know that she is with Jesus and they rejoice that they will all be reunited one day, and they celebrate her life . . . . but will they ever “get over it”?

A friend of mine lost her husband to suicide a year or so ago. Isn’t it time that she should “get over it” and “write a new story”? What about those times when the “old story” becomes part of the “new story”? Hmmm . . . . . I guess it really isn’t quite that simple, then, is it? So just, exactly, how does one go about “letting go”?

Well, I’ve discovered that there are some things / people that require a conscious, determined choice to “let go.” That’s kind of different (in some ways) from recovering from the grief of losing a loved one through death.

It’s all difficult, but it seems that when we find ourselves in situations where we are holding on to something / someone who continues to wound us, to break our heart, or use, abuse, and manipulate us for selfish purposes – perhaps that’s the time when we need to step up to the threshold of this thing called “Real Life” and walk on through. And not look back.

Listen to me, as if I’m some kind of psychotherapist . . . . . I have no clue how to do this or what it all means – but I’m really weary of all the so-called experts in theology attempting to define grief for me. Because, at least for me, my story isn’t about wounds that were inflicted 20 years ago, but wounds that are still bleeding from things that happened, or words that were said . . . . oh, maybe, 20 minutes ago. So, the flippant advice to “just write a new story” doesn’t actually work in the real world.

b9280aec5ab03ee8a4c3a0554d21c18fBut – I’m going to try in this new year to let go of some of the sadness and pain that I’ve been stubbornly holding on to, thinking that if I try just one more time, that I’ll get it right this time and the pain will go away. Instead, for those things / people that can be “let go,” that’s what I’m going to do! And I will write that new story, in spite of those who have no clue about pain and only pretend to be spiritual advisers – but I will no longer accept the premise that there is a time limit on grief.

In this new year, I’ve decided to be honest and open and not worry about what other people think. Shouldn’t I have figured that out a long time ago??

DSC01212One of the ways that I am challenging myself to move my thoughts beyond the boundaries of my finite brain is to return to my art journal project. I had started doing art journaling several years ago, but one thing and another distracted me and I didn’t continue. But I can promise you that art journaling is very therapeutic.


So, just in case you are interested in joining me on this journey, here are a few pictures of the beginnings of my new art journal for 2016 . . . . . I’m hoping to share pictures as I go along, and I would love to see your art journal. Think about it!


In the meantime, please join us this week for the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop, sponsored by Katherine’s Corner. Hope to see you there and connect with you soon!



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  1. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Excellent advice! Hard to do, but everything really good seems to be difficult!!

  2. Michele Ash

    Thanks for sharing a Year for letting go. I guess I really needed to read this now, but it is so hard to let go. I keep thinking that one day things will get better and keep trying to communicate, however, it doesn’t seem that it will ever get better. Right now to tell you everything I’ve gone through would take up so much room and your time to read it all. My heart is broken and I don’t know if I can ever mend it! When it comes to family, things are just so hard to deal with. I would love to let it go and go on with my life, but, I feel that, for me, that would mean to move out of state. This way, instead of knowing they are around and I’m alone, I’d be alone and won’t have to worry about “running into them” somewhere. Thanks again for sharing this. I don’t know, maybe I should go and talk to someone, however, money is another problem around here! Michele

    1. Nina

      Hi Michele – I completely understand. I’m beginning to realize that I am not alone on this journey and there are others who need encouragement to stay focused on a journey to healing and wholeness. Perhaps it would be good to talk to someone about what you are going through, even if it is just a friend (money can be a problem for all of us!) – Why not think about starting your own art journal where you can express some of your feelings and thoughts? Art has been so therapeutic for me over the years. I hope you will stop back again and see the progress I’m making on my art journal – if I know someone is cheering me on, it just might help me stay on task! thanks so much for visiting, Nina

  3. Dorene @ Seasonal Chapters

    Well said. While letting go is often easier said than done, it can open doors and allow room for new happiness to enter. You’ve inspired me to consider art journaling. I have enjoyed using a written journal as a place to reflect, but have recently seen the topic of art journaling pop up in a few places and am intrigued. Your initial pages for 2016 are beautiful and the quotes are a wonderful way to begin writing your new story for this year. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Nina

      Hi Doreen – thanks for stopping by! If you decide to start your art journal, I would love to see pictures as you progress. Please let me know and I’ll visit you and see what you are up to. Nina

  4. Kathryn Ross

    Oh Nina! I’m so excited to see you working in your art journal! I’ve been re-establishing my art as a part of my weekly routine and inspiration exercises to move my writing forward with more focus and direction. In my post at The Writer’s Reverie this week, I explain what I learned in regards to maintaining a lifestyle of creativity and fulfilling God’s command to “rejoice always.” This mind-shift was so empowering! I barely touched upon it in the article for Ruby for January and will fill it out for February.

    God bless you as you move forward!!
    In Joy!

  5. Nena

    I am just starting to get into art journaling and although I am not an artist by any means, I am very excited to try something new and therapeutic:) Plus, it is another way to connect with God and have the revelation of His Spirit:) BTW, I love your art journal and I am also learning to have to let go of people that are hard for me to let go. But as I start walking away I can already feel a greater sense of peace so we know we are headed towards the right direction. God bless you and yours and may you have an amazing 2016!

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