We all face it and we all recognize it in our own way.

Taking your child(ren) to school for the first time, letting go of their bike as they go down the street without training wheels, the first sleepover, going out on their own for the first time or going on vacation on their own.

We also sometimes have to let go with relationships that end or relationships that take another form, our children that we only see part of the time, for example (because they also stay with the other parent) or they become more and more independent and move out and finally we have to say goodbye to our loved ones forever.

We have to let go.

Today I am dropping off our almost 17 year old daughter at the airport.

She is leaving for Poland today for the first time for 5 days, without us.

I notice that I feel a huge knot in my stomach.

I grant her this city trip immensely, but I also realize that I have to let her go. She needs me less and somewhere this affects me enormously. I am proud of the young lady she has become, but it hurts inside that she is no longer my little girl and I have to slowly say “goodbye”.

It is all very double and difficult and we know, in the end we all cannot escape it.

No matter how strongly we resist it, there comes a time when we have to face it.

It is only up to us how we deal with it.

The opposite of letting go is holding on.

Therein often lies the crux.

Because what exactly are you holding on to?

You hold on to who you love and hold dear, what you feel committed to.

I hold on to that mother-daughter feeling, wanting to take care of my child, wanting to go out together, worrying if everything is going well, what if something happens to her and then I can’t be there for her?

I have to be careful that these thoughts don’t take over.

I can also look at it differently,

How clever she is doing this at this age, how independent and wise she is…. this lady will get there… and so will our moments together.

The superlative of holding on is clinging.

You can cling because you definitely don’t want to lose something, because you want to maintain control or because you are driven by fear of losing that which you hold so dear.

The people around me, too, have an opinion.

I also can’t let her go or think she is too young, is it a good idea at this time?

But, what am I depriving her of in doing so and what lesson is she learning?

You can also think about all that it will bring you/the other person. What are you proud of and what do you want to cherish?

Know that somewhere you have to let go and then above all let go:

What you have no control over, worry less about what others think of you,

Let go of perfection and unnecessary desires and expectations towards others.

It may be easier said than done…. but, it does help.

Only then can I come to myself and cherish what I have or have had above all else.

I drive up the driveway at home and already get an app: “hi mom, are you home yet? I’m about to get on a plane… You’ll hear from me soon. Big X”

A tear trickles down my cheek, but it’s part of life and how proud I am of this young lady!

Letting go remains difficult for all of us. Everyone in his or her own way. Fortunately, it usually goes step by step and otherwise we struggle through it.