The Paradox of Letting Go

One of the greatest up-hill, digging-the-claws-in-battles in this lifetime is about LETTING GO. It comes up in relationship, in our hurt, angry, bruised feelings about how others are treating us, and in opening up to love, even in handling what we feel is “rejection”. Some days it seems like everyone is all in the same boat, clients, -everyone.
Thinking about this today, I came accross a forgotten quote by Henri Nouwen,

“The great paradox is that in letting go, we receive… we find safety in unexpected places of risk. And those who try to avoid all risk, those who try to guarantee that their hearts will not be broken, end up in a self-created hell.”

What are the right words to convince ourselves that staying “safe” by being angry, hurt or at a loss is just what keeps us from the love we all desire? If I only knew.

Henri Nouwen was a Catholic Priest who authored the powerful “Return of the Prodigal Son” ( and struggled privately with his own nature; though he never publicly wrote of it, he disclosed to friends and confidants his conflict between his vow of celibacy and his desire for intimacy and human companionship as well as his own homosexuality)