words: Theresa Conti
photography: Erin McKinney
“Let Be. Let Go. Let In.”
– Rick Hanson, Ph.D.
Step 1: Let Be
The quote above, coined by Dr. Rick Hanson, serves as a reminder to accept what’s happening in the moment. The feelings we feel, the thoughts we have, the pain we experience. To acknowledge what’s there, without denying, avoiding or numbing.
Letting Be allows us to embrace all of who we are, to accept ourselves and our humanity, and to greet ourselves with love, tenderness and compassion, perhaps in ways we’ve needed in the past, but hadn’t gotten. In this way, we show up, nurture and honor ourselves.
Letting Be may feel scary as we begin to feel the feelings we’ve kept buried. But Letting Be is the key to our healing and freedom.
Facing what’s there requires courage as we meet ourselves in the midst of discomfort. But we are born to thrive, and Letting Be is the first step in the process.
Take small steps if you feel overwhelmed by the feelings that arise. Know you’re not alone and seek help, if needed, from a therapist, coach, friend or support group. It’s important to honor your process, and to move at your own pace.
We can also Let Be with what’s pleasant, nurturing and life-affirming. It is the crux of the Letting In phase of the process, mentioned in Step 3.
Step 2: Let Go
Letting Go is the next step on our journey and paves the way to Letting In the good we desire.
Letting Go may require that we come to terms with an aspect of our lives over which we have no control: a loved one’s behavior; the loss of a relationship; a change in our job status; a habit that no longer serves us or; the need to forgive ourselves, as well as others.
In 12-Step programs, Letting Go is addressed in Steps Four through Nine, where we take a fearless and moral inventory of ourselves; share it with a trusted confidant; ask our Higher Power to remove our shortcomings and; make amends to those we’ve harmed – including ourselves.
Regardless of the method we use, the key is Letting Go of whatever has held us back, so we can move on and experience the joy and success we desire.
Step 3: Let In
Letting In is the third and final step of the process, where we open to the good both within and around us. It is here, in the fertile soil of our hearts and minds, that we can take in the good that leads to greater peace, love and happiness.
Letting In can include the kindness of others; the warmth within our own hearts; the gratitude we feel for the many ways that we are supported, nourished, valued, and respected and; Letting In appreciation for ourselves, as we give thanks for the innate gifts we are here to share.
Let In the good feelings that arise as you reflect on the blessings in your life.
No matter where we are in the process, Letting Be, Letting Go and Letting In is an organic and life-long process that allows us to thrive and flourish.