May 012017


On New Year’s Eve, 2012, I attended the Release & New Beginning services at the Unity Christ Church of Bon Air, in Richmond, Virginia.  The service was all about letting go, being set free, and forgiveness of self and others.  The message was “Let Go of the Shore.”  There was even a song with the same title.

I can remember sitting there listening to the music and hearing the words to the song.  It took me a few moments to realize that there seemed to be moisture rolling down my cheeks.  It was so unexpected, the tears that is.

There are situations that bring up feelings we have forgotten; we have put them in a box with a top and put it on our mental shelf.  I know there has to be someone that knows what I am talking about.  We are never alone in our experiences.  They might not be identical, but they are enough alike that you and I can truthfully say, “I understand.”

I would like to share with you the topics focused on in that service.

Letting Go

What does letting go mean to you?  When you hear or read these words, how does your heart and soul response?  What feelings come up for you?  What are they about?  Are they issues you have added to your daily walk on this earth?  Have this been holding you down or back?  Why has it been so hard to even consider letting this issue(s) go?

You are being asked the same questions I am asking myself right at this moment.  I asked myself these questions when I was in that service in 2012.  The first thing that came to my mind was, “Who wants to think about this stuff?”   Well, I had enough sense back in 2012 to know that thought meant, “I needed to be open to this letting go process.”

I dare say most of us have something, and it can be small or big, we need to let go of right now.  In most cases, it is something we probably can’t do a thing about.  I challenge you to free yourself of one of these ‘heavy worries’ this month.  All you have to do is to decide to do it.  It is as hard and as easy as that.

One final thought on this topic, “I use to think that holding on made me stronger.  I have now lived long enough in the ‘School of Life’ to know letting go is where true strength is shown.”

Being Set Free

The word free is a powerful word.  Based on the situation, it can evoke joy, peace, hope, a smile, screams of excitement, and so many other emotions.  However, ‘being set free’ can be mental as well as physical.

I have volunteered at several women’s prisons since 2001.  Over the years, I have seen many women physically set free from the prison, but they were still mentally imprisoned.  Do you understand what I mean?

I can also say I have met people who have never spent a minute in a brick and mortar prison, and yet, they were still tightly locked-up mentally.  They were spending their life needing to be set free from something.

If you aren’t able to work through this type of imprisonment alone, there are resources available to help you.  Many of them are free or at a reduced rate.  Most employers that provide healthcare coverage have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).  This program includes counseling service for four to six sessions for no charge.

The excuse of not being able to find any help or not being able to afford counseling is no longer true for many of us.  I need for you to know and understand help is out there for you.  Are you ready to be set free?

Forgiveness of Self & Others

Imagine that, forgiveness of self and others.  Can you tell me why I think if you and I forgave self and others, the need for letting go and being set free would go away?  Do you think that this true?

When I looked up the definition of forgiveness, these are some words I saw, “pardon, absolution, exoneration, remission, dispensation, indulgence, clemency and mercy.”  Which one of these words does your soul need to hear from you to get rid of some old hurt, guilt, or pain?

What have you been holding on to you need to let go?  Who else besides you, do you need to forgive?  I think we have spent enough time carrying all this stuff around.  It is time to decide and take action to free ourselves from these weights, of various kinds, we have been carrying.

Let me know about your journey on this path to a better quality of life.  I say again, all you have to do is decide you are taking the needed action.  It is as easy and as hard as that; however, it is possible and doable.

Until next time, I am sending love, hope, peace, and joy to you and yours.  Remember, YOU MATTER; you always have, and you always will.

Shirley T. Burke founded the Esteem Institute as a platform to offer transformational programs, classes and workshops to individuals and organizations who welcome personal and professional growth. In 2011, she was one of ten people to be named as an inaugural winner of the Boomer Magazine “It List.” She is a member of the National Speaker’s Association and Past President of National Speaker’s Association-VA Chapter, ABWA -The River City Express Network and the Network of Enterprising Women.  Contact – Website – Facebook – Twitter – LinkedIn

Photo Credit  – geralt

  • Shirley T. Burke

    Good Evening Emme, It is a surprise to see you have read and commented on my article. Thank you for taking time to do this. Letting go does bring joy in so many ways. Peace and Joy

  • Emme Simon

    Hi Shirley, I was at the same service about Letting Go of the Shore. I find myself surprised at times when I listen to the music and find my cheeks moist too. I sure have discovered over the past 6 years letting go of the shore does make room for my joy.

  • Shirley T. Burke

    Helen, I appreciate you reading and commenting on my article. I hope to see you soon. Peace and Joy

  • Shirley T. Burke

    Thank you Yolanda for reading and commenting on my article. On another subject, I so hope you had a better than wonderful birthday. Peace and Joy

  • Yolanda Gray

    Beautiful said, Shirley!

  • Helen Glover Payne

    My thoughts on “Letting Go” is re-inventing your mind set. There are 4 principles to re-invent your mind set: recognizing its happened, it’s not your fault, accept your responsibility, and rise above it. When you follow these 4 principles it will add value to your life, you will feel unashamed and you will begin to love you. Elder Helen Payne, Founder of Daughters of Divine Power..