Let me share a cool story as to how I came to know and understand one of life’s greatest truths.

Years ago, as my ex-wife and I were putting the final touches (as if we were painting a portrait) on our divorce arrangements, I was being asked to sacrifice yet more time with, and access to, my children. At least on paper.

I can’t tell you how much that cut me because I just couldn’t fathom why my children (and, yes, I) had to suffer because two adults couldn’t work out their differences. Well, I wanted to fight it like crazy, but couldn’t really afford to. And I knew in my heart the whole mess just needed to come to an end.

Well, my mother knew of my pain, frustration, and anger and sent me an audio recording of a sermon given by a guest pastor at my parent’s church. The subject matter was securing peace by letting go. Man, was this guy reading my mail or what?

I can still remember the exact time, and my location, as I listened to that tape. And to this day it stays with me. The gist of what he said was…

A person will never be truly free until they’re willing to give up their most valued possession.

Now, for some that may be money, their business, car, or other material objects; but for me it was, and still is, my children - though they’re certainly not a possession in the literal sense.

So as tough as it was, I paid heed to what this guy was saying, knowing my current frame of mind wasn’t providing any measure of peace anyway. I let go, let the legal arrangements fall into place as their mother wanted, and shortly thereafter signed the papers.

Well, that pastor couldn’t have been more correct. Over the years, regardless of what the legal papers said, I could be with my children just about anytime I, or they, wanted. Yes, that’s how it turned out. I mean, because I let go, and my ex cooperated, I didn’t have to worry about threats to our time together or not having the time to nurture them and watch them grow. Truly...

Letting go of my most prized possession gave it back to me.

I believe we won’t reap the richest rewards in this life until we’re ready to sacrifice the one thing meaning the very most to us.

And I’m kind of thinking to the typical panic and anxiety sufferer, the ongoing need to control every aspect of everything that could possibly touch their life is right there at the top of the old prized-possession list.

In that regard, I think it’s pretty accurate to say…

Our most prized possession is, well, us.

And, don’t misunderstand, that’s not a bad concept. The only problem is within the context of control it’s not a very healthy ownership arrangement, as opposed to looking out for #1 in an effort to take good care of yourself.

I believe we need to learn to give it up. Yes, I know control makes us feel so secure, but it’s such a false sense of security. Can’t you see that? No, we aren't going to live our dreams and enjoy a lasting, honest peace until we trust ourselves, and our world, enough to let go. Then, and only then, will we become truly free.

And, oh by the way, we're only being asked to be willing to sacrifice our most prized possession. The sacrifice itself may never be required.

What do you think? Are you ready to let go?

Author's Bio: 

After a winning bout with panic disorder, a career in the business world, and a part-time job working with socially challenged adolescents, Bill found his life's passion and work. So he earned his master's degree and counseling credentials, and is doing all he can to lend a hand to those having a tough time.

Bill has some powerful mentoring and service packages available on his website, which include his panic attack education and recovery eWorkbook, "Panic! ...and Poetic Justice." The eWorkbook is ready for immediate download. You'll also find a link on the website to Bill's "Panic Attack Freedom!" blog. Lots of good stuff going on and much more to come.

In addition to doing psychiatric emergency work, Bill continues to do a lot of writing and speaking. He's conducted numerous mental health workshops for non-profit organizations and remains available to present more. Bill is a national and local member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (N.A.M.I.).