The Difference Between Giving Up and Letting Go

It's been a while since I have written anything new. I am looking at a folder full of half-written, never published blog articles. And none of them feel particularly relevant right now. Today, it feels like I am coming to confessional.

The past few weeks have been hard. I've been trying. A lot. Or a little. But too much.

I have created this thing: a one-week retreat experience for women on a journey. I designed it from the stops and starts on my own journey. It is the kind of safe space for reflection and exploration and sisterhood that I wish I had had back when... the kind of safe space that I know I still need as I continue on my journey. It is a thing that lives outside of me now, having birthed it. But even now, as I prepare to share it a third time, it keeps teaching me new lessons.

The thing about doing work that you love is that it feels so personal. That is perhaps the hardest thing about it. It's heartbreaking when your heart's offering isn't received. Every "no" feels like a rejection of me personally. I know it's not me. But yet, I know it is me. Something in me has been feeling blocked, and writing this feels like a way of releasing it.

What is alive for me now is navigating this space that exists between giving up and letting go... 

For some reason, people have been slow to commit to my retreat this time around. It has made me start to question things. Is this really needed? Am I doing the right things?

There are no easy answers, and I know the way this episode fits into the story of my life won't necessarily become clear until later - possibly much much later. So I use my tools, and I come back to holding myself and holding the only true answer: I DON'T KNOW.

I don't know why it's different this time. I don't know why it feels harder. I don't know why I've experienced so many technical difficulties, so many communication challenges, so many unexpected delays.

What I do know is that GIVING UP IS NOT AN OPTION.

Giving up means shriveling and shrinking myself, recoiling in fear when I meet resistance, going cold, going silent, taking my ball and going home when no one wants to play.

When I sit still for a moment and feel deeply, I know my truth: that this offering is needed in the world, as much as a vehicle for my evolution as for others. It is what has come to me. It is what has come through me.

I see that I myself am becoming a more open channel and a clearer messenger, with every moment of doubt and struggle that I can breathe and remember myself through. There is something here. This is important.

So I am not giving up. I will continue to stand in my truth, to share, to speak, to give. Even when it feels like I'm standing in an empty room. Being open to asking questions. Being open to receiving answers I may not like. And being open to change.


Letting go means allowing my work to be alive through me, instead of working myself to death. It means remembering that my real work is to keep (re-)aligning myself over and over, and to keep taking aligned actions from that place.

Letting go means staying out of things that are none of my business - like the outcome of my actions. It means acknowledging that I have no control over what happens after I do my part. It means trusting that whatever happens in the end is for the highest good of everyone.

I am letting go.

I am not giving up.

This is yet another opportunity for me to trust more deeply and surrender more fully to something beyond me. Meaningful work is not always easy. But it is worth it.