4.0 Letting (Go)

Posted: April 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

Letting the cat out of the bag: Nel Kitty doesn’t care what her tongue looks like or who sees it. Or, in this case, takes a picture of it. I could learn a lot from her.


To be honest, I had no idea what I was going to “learn” for this week. So far, some weeks have been planned, some have sprung up out of nowhere. I anticipate that this is how it’s going to be for this year. I have a few things scheduled — screen printing, metal working — and I’ve had a few friends step in and offer things — bread baking, exquisite corpse creation.

The big things we learn can’t always be planned, though. Sometimes life sends them to us as lessons and all we can do is stay open, hold on and breathe big.

This week so far has been an exercise in letting go, in letting things happen, in letting things come and wash over me. It has been a week of just… letting. At first, I thought, can I write about “letting”? Is it something that can be learned? And then, just as I was starting this post, I opened up Gina Marie’s blog and read this:

Shanna and I recently had a conversation about body image. We can both recall, in a not-so-distant-past, looking into a mirror and hating what we saw. Not only were we hidden, but shameful, awkward, too strong for our own good, improper, and improperly put together. And then, just by letting go, taking a leap of faith into the thin, cold air of the upper atmosphere, the touch of truth upon our flesh, we could finally see the truth. Beauty. Inside and out.

Right, I thought. Of course I can talk about letting as a learning experience.

What does “letting” even mean? The Free Dictionary says it means many things, including:

let 1

// (lt)

v. let, let·ting, lets

1. To give permission or opportunity to; allow: I let them borrow the car. The inheritance let us finally buy a house.
2. To cause to; make: Let the news be known.

a. Used as an auxiliary in the imperative to express a command, request, or proposal: Let’s finish the job! Let x equal y.
b. Used as an auxiliary in the imperative to express a warning or threat: Just let her try!
4. To permit to enter, proceed, or depart: let the dog in.
5. To release from or as if from confinement: let the air out of the balloon; let out a yelp.
6. To rent or lease: let rooms.
7. To award, especially after bids have been submitted: let the construction job to a new firm.

1. To become rented or leased.
2. To be or become assigned, as to a contractor.

Phrasal Verbs:

let down

1. To cause to come down gradually; lower: let down the sails.

a. To withdraw support from; forsake.
b. To fail to meet the expectations of; disappoint.
let on

1. To allow to be known; admit: Don’t let on that you know me.
2. To pretend.
let out

1. To come to a close; end: School let out early. The play let out at 11 p.m.
2. To make known; reveal: Who let that story out?
3. To increase the size of (a garment, for example): let out a coat.
let up

1. To slow down; diminish: didn’t let up in their efforts.
2. To come to a stop; cease: The rain let up.


let alone

Not to mention; much less: “Their ancestors had been dirt poor and never saw royalty, let alone hung around with them” (Garrison Keillor).
let go

To cease to employ; dismiss: had to let 20 workers go.
let off on Informal

To cause to diminish, as in pressure; ease up on: Let off on the gas so that we do not exceed the speed limit.
let (one’s) hair down

To drop one’s reserve or inhibitions.
let (someone) have it Informal

1. To beat, strike, or shoot at someone.
2. To scold or punish.
let (someone) in on

1. To reveal (a secret) to someone: They finally let me in on their plans.
2. To allow someone to participate in (something).
let up on
To be or become more lenient with: Why don’t you let up on the poor child?

This week I am learning to give myself permission, to cause, to permit to enter. To let up on myself when I let people down. To let up on the things I can’t let go of. To let my hair down.

Letting go, letting go, letting go, s.


“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning.” Lao Tzu


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