Ten commandments for letting go

By Phyllis Jenkins
Special to Inside The Pew

Editor’s note: This copyrighted column is reprinted with the permission of the author.

As I thought about this season of Letting Go, I wanted to share the ‘Ten Commandments for Letting Go’ that I wrote back in 2009. You see, I had a difficult time letting our first born go away to college. Then, once I began to share my thoughts and feelings with other moms, I quickly found that I was not alone.

Thus was born this tool to help us let our children Go- Grow & Glow!

My prayer is that it will help you as much as it did me and many others.

Are you a parent with a child that has left home or is about to leave?

Are you having a tough time adjusting to this transitional stage of your life?

Then you will benefit greatly from the Ten Commandments for Letting Go.

Commandment I

Thou shall acknowledge that your child/children are a gift from God. He has allowed you to be the caretaker to nurture and prepare them to fulfill their purpose in life

Commandment II

Thou shall believe that this transition is a “successful accomplishment” in your child’s life. Be confident that the good work that God has begun in your child’s life will be completed

Commandment III

Thou shall identify and make a list of all the emotions associated with this ‘letting go’ process

Commandment IV

Thou shall ask God to remove all the negative emotions that are hindering you from completely supporting and encouraging your child (example: fear, guilt, shame, etc.)

Commandment V

Thou shall recognize and respect this as the beginning stage of your child’s adult independence.

Commandment VI

Thou shall acknowledge and accept your new relationship. It has moved from a Parent/Child-Caretaker relationship to an Adult/ Adult-Friend relationship.

Commandment VII

Thou shall accept the limitations that came with your new Adult/ Adult-Friend relationship. Therefore, accepting the challenge of offering no unsolicited advice.

Commandment VIII

Thou shall become the best Encourager and Mentor (not manipulator) that you can be. Start by focusing on your young adult’s strengths and not their weaknesses. Reassure them that you will always be there for them. Remember, every choice they make will not be a good one, but be there for them anyway.

Commandment IX

Thou shall take a self-examination by answering the following questions:

  1. Am I fulfilling the purpose in my life for which I was created? If the answer is no, pray for God to give you direction in this area.
  2. How can I strengthen existing relationships (spouse, children, parents, friends, etc.?)
  3. Are there new relationships that I need to cultivate?
  4. What goals have I not completed? What new goals do I need to pursue and fulfill?

Commandment X

Thou shall seek a ‘need’ (outside your own) and ‘fulfill it.’

Experience the great joy of being a blessing to others.

Over-comer, Believer, Dreamer, & Encourager are just a few words that describe Phyllis Jenkins. She is the founder and president of the Powerful Journey Organization, where she empowers women to live a balanced life by helping them: Find their Passion- Focus on What Matters Most and Flourish in their Calling. Phyllis is also the publisher of the Powerful Journey, an online magazine.  She inspires, equips and enlightens audiences of all ages through her practical and powerful presentations. With her captivating energy, she offers strategies which will fuel your Journey with Purpose, Preparation and Perseverance. Phyllis is confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6, NIV).

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