How Can I Let Go If I Don't Know I'm Holding On

Setting Our Souls Free

Linda Douty

Aug/2005, 192 Pages, PAPERBACK

ISBN-13: 9780819221322



Download a free study guide here.

Letting go isn't just saying good-bye to people, places, and things, as important as they may be. It's also about letting go of attitudes and ideas, such as perfectionism, resentment, worry, and judgmentalism-that keep us from growing in our relationships with God and others. Letting go is crucial to our spiritual?and emotional?health.

In How Can I Let Go If I Don't Know I'm Holding On?, Linda Douty examines a variety of letting-go struggles and offers ways to move on to a deeper spirituality. Weaving together her own experiences and the stories of others, she offers strategies for letting go of the things that keep us from a deeper relationship with the Divine. With practical suggestions and updated versions of spiritual classics such as lectio divina, plus questions for study and reflection, this book is a rich resource for personal spiritual growth as well as for group study.



Linda Douty, a spiritual director who serves on the leadership team of the Academy of Spiritual Formation, writes for religious publications, including Upper Room and She lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

"Charmingly and engagingly written, Douty's candid and conversational approach will appeal to many seeking for relief from themselves and their self-sustained burdens."-- Phyllis Tickle compiler, The Divine Hours
"In this wise book, Douty, a spiritual director and United Methodist, calls readers to identify the hurts and resentments that might be affecting their relationships with God and others. Individuals will find much that is useful on the road to healing.--Publishers Weekly, May 23, 2005
"A wise, searching, and often witty reflection, well-informed by scriptures and life experience and rich in memorable lines, on one of our toughest human challenges--letting go in order that we may become whom we can be with God's help. The work of a masterful spiritual guide whose own experience enables her to speak with authority. Essential reading for ministers and spiritual directors and people trying to get their act together."--E. Glenn Hinson, Emeritus Professor of Spirituality and John Loftis Professor of Church History, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond
"Every major spiritual tradition endorses a key piece of wisdom: It is by giving up, letting go, and renouncing attachments that we achieve fulfillment and joy in life. Linda Douty's book is a wise guide to accomplishing this vital lesson."-- Larry Dossey, MD Author, THE EXTRAORDINARY HEALING POWER OF ORDINARY THINGS, REINVENTING MEDICINE, and HEALING WORDS
"Linda Douty's book, filled with stories and practical ideas, honors what we know of the release that comes with letting go, illuminates the places where we still hang on, and gives us the tools to take our next step toward freedom. Reading this book is affirming, challenging, and liberating." --Jane E. Vennard, author of A Praying Congregation: The Art of Teaching Spiritual Practice
"The author identifies and offers practical suggestions about some of the dimensions in the landscape of letting go--an essential ingredient in the growth process. Even though there is general agreement on the need to let go, people often cannot identify their attachments. Speaking with wisdom based on experience, Linda charts some of the why, what, and how to uncover attachments and release them---an important book for spiritual seekers." --Herbert W. Smith, PhD., Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee
"Linda Douty has written a wise, compassionate, and comprehensive book rooted in her own life experience, her appreciation of diverse spiritual mentors, and her deep commitment to God's way. The ‘how of letting go' through awareness, availability, action, allowing, and acceptance offers a profound process for the journey to responsible freedom. The author's honesty evokes and challenges readers to proceed hopefully in the art of letting go in our own lives." –Barbara B. Troxell, Senior Scholar in Spiritual Formation, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois.
"Linda Douty lets us know that the title of her book emerges from her own life experience and does this in such an inspiring and practical way that enables us to find much needed help for our own spiritual pilgrimage." –Paul Blankenship, Professor Emeritus, Church Historian, Memphis Theological Seminary
"As Linda Douty tells us the story of her journey she shares the achieved wisdom that has made her an exceptional spiritual director." –John McQuiston, author of Always We Begin Again and A Prayer Book for the Twenty-First Century
"If the world's wisdom traditions agree on anything, it's the paramount importance of relinquishing all attachments, material and spiritual. In this wise, honest, and witty book, Linda Douty brings home the meaning and practice of this discipline for a modern American audience. It will inspire you and show you the road to inner freedom." --Mark W. Muesse, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Religious Studies, Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennesee
"A remarkably honest, engaging description of Linda Douty's struggle against the restraints--some imposed by society, some self-imposed--that frustrate our efforts to live as God intended. Her suggestions will be helpful to many engaged in the same struggle." --Gene Davenport, Professor of Religion, Lambuth University, and author of Into the Darkness and Powers and Principalities
"With compassionate clarity, Linda Douty guides us to a healing encounter with our deep hurts, fears, and defenses. To read this book is a release to a transformed response to life." --Rev. Flora Wuellner, author of Forgiveness: The Passionate Journey
"Douty's book is a wonderful demonstration of a passion for sharing an experience of how she was kept from being free and responsible in her spiritual journey. It is a book that shares how she found help in ‘letting go' of the hindrances that blocked her true self-fulfillment. The book is also a serendipitous finding of persons and resources to assist the reader who wants to move from ‘milk to meat,' as Saint Paul says, in their spiritual development." –William R. Walker, Adjunct Professor, Department of Pastoral Care, Methodist University Hospital, Memphis
"An emotionally and spiritually mature book, by an author who clearly knows the struggles of her topic from hard-won, deeply integrated personal experience. With realism, humor, and wisdom, Douty provides guidance through the many layers and levels of letting go by which God refines and blesses us throughout our lives."-Marjorie Thomas, Spiritual Director for Companions in Christ, Upper Room Ministries
"An excellent self-help guide for learning how to relax into joy and peaceful relationships with yourself, others, and God. An excellent book!"--Real Travel Adventures, website
"Here you will find a multitude of rich and varied material about spirituality steeped in grace, love, and compassion."- Carla Pineda for Viva Books
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