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  • Writer's pictureErin Dittelberger

Releasing versus Relinquishing

“Relinquish if you really want to release…” Bear Heart

I have been thinking about the difference between releasing what no longer serves, and the idea of relinquishing. When I release something from my past, whether it is an old hurt that no longer serves me, an idea or belief that has been holding me back, or a thought about someone which blinds me from seeing them as they actually are, it frees me momentarily from that suffering. But, the experience that I have is that the thing that I am trying to release just keeps coming back. I also see this with my clients. We give something with an idea that it will be used a certain way- whether that is our time, our service, our love, our forgiveness, or a material possession.

The concept of relinquishing, as I see it, is to give away with less attachment to the outcome. For example, I relinquish the idea that my attempts at having harmony in a relationship with a difficult relative or friend will come to fruition, but at the same time I keep trying to have an open/mind heart and give from a place of self-compassion and compassion for them, while knowing that these tries may not result in the outcome that I have planned.

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