Can you let go of someone’s bad decision?

Let Go and Allow

What can you do when someone you care about is making bad choices?  Great examples of ‘bad’ choices in your opinion may be:

  • When your friend has cancer, and she is relying entirely on chemotherapy and radiation as the cure, and continues to eat junk and processed foods.
  • When your sister is dating a total loser!
  • When your child is going to travel for a year after high school, instead of continuing their education.
  • When you see your friend’s self-destructive behavior is going to get himself fired.

And if you listen to the voice inside your head, you may be hearing:  “What aren’t they listening to me? Don’t they know that’s a bad decision?  I can’t let them do that!”

You may have guessed that what I’m about to say pertains to how you can change your own actions, rather than trying to change the other person.

My philosophy is generally this:

Provide your perspective and knowledge in a respectful & caring way, but after that, allow the other person to have their own journey.

Everyone learns from every experience they have.  If we love the person, we want what is best for them, but we also need to remember that our opinion is certainly not necessarily the same opinion as others, or right, for that matter.

After all is said and done, if we allow the other person to have their own journey, this is their journey to have, not ours.

To release ourselves from this attachment not only respects the other person to have their journey, but it also provides ourselves relief from the frustration of our own desires.

This is a way to cultivate more peace in our own life.





6 thoughts on “Can you let go of someone’s bad decision?

  1. It can be so hard sometimes to limit your opinions, especially when you care so much. But if you have a problem with trying to control others, it’s apparently because you don’t feel in control of yourself. But I think that the Serenity Prayer is true for anyone because we really don’t have a right to try to change someone, do we?

    • Hi Diana,
      I agree… we really don’t have the right to try to force someone to change. All we can do is try to influence in a gentle and respectful manner, but certainly not coerce or force. Thanks so much for your comment.

    • Hello Al,
      Yes, a very good insight you have on this. The Serenity Prayer is perfect for this:

      O God, give us the serenity to accept what cannot be changed,
      The courage to change what can be changed,
      and the wisdom to know the one from the other

      Thank you,

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