A Discussion On Letting Go And Choosing What To Feed

A Discussion On Letting Go And Choosing What To Feed

In Motherhood, Parenting by Jen34 Comments

 A few months ago one of my children’s teachers alerted me to something that had happened at school. This child had been caught doing something extremely out of character. As we talked about it at home, I discovered that “trying to be perfect” had been the motivating element for triggering what had happened. And this child was completely heart broken by their choice. They would have paid any price if they could go back and re-do those few moments with a choice that was more inline with their true character. Together we talked, hugged, cried and decided how to make this wrong choice right. Then we talked about how overrated perfection really is, because it is through our mistakes that we grow stronger so that we know how to act next time.

At bedtime a few nights later this child told me that they just couldn’t forget or forgive themselves for their mistake and that the guilt and remorse was gnawing away at them. I leaned down very close and said, “I am going to tell you what my mother told me many years ago when I felt that same way.” I stopped and made sure they were focused on what I was going to say and then told them the secret for getting rid of those feelings, “Those types of feelings can only grow IF you feed them.”

Guilt will only grow IF we chose to feed it.

Self doubt and nagging fears of inadequacies will become our constant companions IF we allow it.

Bad feelings or hatred toward others will fester and poison us only IF we allow them to take root in our lives.

Many years ago the thoughtless and selfish actions of someone I cared deeply for caused actual physical suffering and pain in the life of another person for whom I also cared deeply. In the aftermath, I was so entirely consumed with the powerful emotion of hatred. A type of hatred that I had never experienced before this point and did not know how to deal with. 

I wish I could say that it took only a matter of days before I was able to find my way out of that dark prison of hatred, but it took far longer than that. It took longer because I fed it. Far. Too. Long. Until finally with the help of God, I was able to stop feeding that hatred and instead replace it with a heart full of love that changed me; in a very literal way.

I would suppose that far too often we all can be guilty of feeding that which will harm us rather than that which seeks to build us up and I wonder why?

Why are we so often willing to throw damaging stones at ourselves and then draw those bad feelings around us like a warm blanket?

Because said no one ever, “Holding that grudge really helped me out in life!” Or holding myself back from trying something because we were scared of failure,”Was the best decision ever!”

That kind of thinking is silly and ultimately it all comes down to what we decide to feed.

William Ernest Henley said, “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.”

Each and every day, through even the littlest of  choices, we indeed have the opportunity to chose that which we will feed and decide who we will become.

My hope is, that you choose to feed yourself well.

A Discussion On Letting Go And Choosing What To Feed

Stay Happy! Stay Informed!



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  1. Self-forgiveness can be one of the hardest kinds. But you’re right, it comes down to what we feed. I had a similar discussion with my son recently in regards to anger and behavior. It took a long time, but the outcome was pretty good.
    Rabia @TheLiebers recently posted…Saying I Love YouMy Profile

  2. I too have walked in these very shoes. It took years to figure out how destructive this was. I’m ever so happy I finally realized what was causing me so much pain. I’m one happy gal now.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺
    Comedy Plus recently posted…Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  3. That’s my hope too. I haven’t had too much trouble over the years but certain people have angered me, and I have fed that fire. Over and over. I’d love to say I’m 100% over it, but maybe a good 85%. I can shake it off more than I ever could.
    What a gorgeous post.
    Tamara recently posted…When Hair Loss Happens and What to Do.My Profile

  4. Oh Jen, I love this! What wise words. I frequently feed the Negative Nelly and the Guilty Gertrude. It never makes me feel better and I need to remember that forgiveness happened at the cross – and choose to live in the joy and freedom that my love for Christ gives me.

    I love you mom’s wise words – and how wonderful that you’ve passed that wisdom onto your own children.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.
    Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom recently posted…10 Things Children Need to See Their Parents DoingMy Profile

  5. This is incredibly powerful. I’ve been much more connected with mindfulness discussions and I think this is truly related. On the most part, many of us have the power to let our minds wander. What great advice you gave your kid (and your mom gave you) about how it’s our choice to let perfection define us…or to be little kinder.
    Caryn recently posted…Wellness Work Series: 5 Tips for Staying Active at WorkMy Profile

  6. Well said Jen and I hope the child in question took your advice and stopped feeding the negative feelings. I have often wondered why we find it so easy to dwell on the negative, but can let positive things go too easily, with hardly a side ward glance? Probably because there is too much emphasis in the world to try to be ‘perfect’, so when negative tings happen (and they do) it affects us so much more.

    Debbie recently posted…Spring Flowers On ZakynthosMy Profile

  7. Such a great post. I believe I needed this reminder just as much as that child of yours did. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I tend to hold onto guilt sometimes. I’m working on letting go more. I really enjoyed reading this post.

    Oh, and you asked me a question last week on where I bought the Five Nights At Freddy’s shirt for my daughter. It’s at Target for $9.
    Amber recently posted…Happy Half Price Chocolate Day!My Profile

    1. Thank you Jenny. I think it is a constant battle that will go on my entire life, so I don’t think you are alone. I have found it easier as I have gotten older to let a lot of things go and just not worry about them. I hope that trend continues.
      Jen recently posted…Ten Rookie Parenting Mistakes To AvoidMy Profile

  9. This is such an important lesson…for everyone from young kids to grown adults. There have been far too many negative thoughts that I “fed” for far too long. Thanks for the reminder to just let it go!
    Leslie recently posted…I’m Finally Back!My Profile

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