Just prior to this autumn season, I started working through two different books. The first is a devotional book in which the author, Peter Scazzaro, uses an ancient spiritual practice called the Daily Office. The participant sets aside two short periods of time (The Office) each day for: “Silence and Stillness, Scripture, Devotional, Question to Consider, and Prayer.” I am finding this practice to be extremely soul nurturing.
Secondly, I’ll be facilitating a life group at our church using the book Boundaries. I’ve been introduced to the concept of boundaries many times. Through the years, I have committed to developing healthier personal boundaries, but I am finding the comprehensive overview and awareness of the “personal property lines that define who you are and who you are not…” helpful on many levels.
Both books align with my 2017 personal journey of ‘soul care.’
Developing emotionally healthy relationships, life-giving, God-honoring personal boundaries, and caring for one’s ‘soul’ will all require letting go of something to enable us to pick up and grasp something that’s better. As the fallen and falling leaves in this lovely photo illustrate, “Autumn is a wonderful time to let go of…”
Using photos Ron took the first day of autumn, as well as some insights/quotes from the two books I mentioned, here are some behaviors I want to be more aware of “letting go…”
I will let go of reactive boundaries.
“Proactive people show you what they love, what they want, what they purpose, and what they stand for…very different from those who are known by what they hate, what they don’t like, what they stand against, and what they will not do…proactive people do not demand rights, they live them.”
I will let go of petty resentments.
Quote from Henri Nouwen concerning the elder brother in the parable of the Prodigal son: “I recognize the elder son in me. Often I catch myself complaining about little rejections, little impolitenesses, little negligences. Time and again I discover within me that murmuring, whining, grumbling, lamenting, and griping…
I will let go of temptation to try to control anyone other than myself.
“God designed a world where we all live “within” ourselves; that is, we inhabit our own souls, and we are responsible for the things that make up “us.”…We are not, …responsible for other people. Nowhere are we commanded to have “other-control,” although we spend a lot of time and energy trying to get it!
I will let go of my tendency to minimize, avoid, deny or ‘stuff’ anger.
“Anger is a friend. It was created by God for a purpose: to tell us that there’s a problem that needs to be confronted.”
“One of the first signs that you’re beginning to develop boundaries is a sense of resentment, frustration, or anger at the subtle and not-so-subtle violations in your life…your anger can alert you…
In closing, I pray your autumn will include insights about ‘letting go…’
- Peter Scazzaro—Emotionally Healthy Relationships Day by Day… A 40-Day Journey to Deeply Change Your Relationships, Zondervan, 2017. ↑
- Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, Boundaries…When to say Yes How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life, Zondervan, 1992. ↑
- Boundaries, Chapter 5, Ten Laws of Boundaries, p. 98. ↑
- Day by Day, Week l/Day 2, quoted from Henri J. M. Nouwen, Return of the Prodigal Son, New York: Doubleday, 1992. ↑
- Boundaries, Chapter 2, What Does a Boundary Look Like?, p. 33 ↑
- Boundaries, Chapter 4, How Boundaries are Developed, p. 72 and Chapter 15, How to Measure Success with Boundaries, p. 277 ↑