THE COUNSELOR'S CORNER: Transitions: Going forward and letting go

By Fred Cavaiani

My wife and I moved into an apartment this third week in July. What a transition! We had lived in a rather large condo for eighteen years. Time to make a transition to a lighter life for both of us. Our kids are grown. We have six grandchildren now. One daughter has two children. Our other daughter has four children. Our son is getting married this Saturday. Moving from a condo to an apartment is a profound exercise in letting go of things. It is amazing how much we do not need. Yet it is mind boggling how much we have simply put away and kept over these many years. What a transition from hanging on to letting go.

Life seems to be a constant journey of going forward into new adventures and letting go of what is not helpful and what can be very cumbersome. Our basement was flooded with so much accumulation. There is no basement or upstairs in our apartment so we cannot take it with us. Memories are important but the symbols of those memories can result in an excessive clutter of things that will never be used or even noticed unless you are cleaning out your basement. If I stay attached to these things I put myself in a prison which stifles me from embracing the present and healthily going forward.

We love our new apartment. It is quiet with a big reflective porch and very warm and cozy. The grandchildren even like it though they were all sad that we moved. My wife and I are jubilant over this move which will probably be our last move. Sometimes a person never realizes what a prison they have been in until they have let go of things and journeyed toward something new. I realize the importance of taking a risk to go forward. We have paid off loans and bills and now have a freedom that we didn't have before. To get here we had to work very hard to get our home ready to sell. Moving was excruciating. I walked 18,000 steps the first day, 17,000 steps the second day and 19,000 steps the final day of the move. Yet, it was so worth it to do this. In this senior phase of our life there is now a simplicity, a peaceful quiet, and an emotional connection that is even deeper than before. Our new place simply is a reflective and happy atmosphere that promotes meditation, conversation and a going forward with such freedom and quiet reflection that both my wife and I feel peacefully inspired and energized.

Letting go and going forward is not an experience that has to wait until senior years which is where we are. It can and should happen throughout life. I am beginning to realize this more and more.

Maybe it is important for all of us to let go of negativity and go forward toward gratitude for everything. All of life is a gift and maybe it is important to realize this. Everything in life can be a gift of God but I must focus on seeing this. When I do, my heart opens up to positive feelings. My head begins to see things in a positive light. I need to let go of blocking the presence of hope, optimism and God in my life and go forward to realizing that there is much goodness throughout the world which I need to see and ponder. I need to let go of worrying about terrorism and nuclear weapons and go forward to affirmation, praise and kind acts toward everyone. I need to let go of focusing on the last terrorism attack and go forward to realizing that my chances of being killed by terrorism are very minimal and the more I bring love and hope to others by my kindness and generosity the more I give the world hope and positive feelings. I went out in our new location to get some breakfast for my wife and I smiled at everyone, opened the door for people and positively affirmed everyone. Lo and behold everyone I met did the same thing. On the same day I had to toot my horn at another car that I thought was going to hit me. I wasn't angry but this person seemed to be taking a right turn and I thought he didn't see me. I hate honking my horn because it can scare people and cause them to feel frightened and angry. Sure enough as I drove a quarter of a mile to make a left turn, this person came up behind me and honked their horn at me. It made me realize that when you make people frightened, you really make them angry at you and they will eventually want to get back at you. History has taught us this through many wars. Going forward means to let go of condemning others and going forward to loving others. Love doesn't frighten people. It brings people closer to you and allows their fears and mistrust to surface and be positively recognized and admitted.

I need to keep letting go of resentments and judgments of others and go forward to patience and kindness with others. I need to let go of looking for negativity and go forward to looking for goodness and kindness everywhere. I need to let go of hurting others with words and go forward with healing others with kind words and actions. I need to let go of keeping God at a distance and go forward to inviting God to come closer.

It is amazing how a transition in life can inspire me, and I hope all of us, to look at life in a more hopeful and positive manner. Let go of your own emotional and spiritual prison and go forward to a freedom of being positive, loving and profoundly spiritual in discovering a Loving God in your life. Gosh, I can't wait to get home and sit on my porch and experience so much peace and joy in life which is all around me. I must never forget this. It becomes important to surround myself with people, places and things that are positive, hopeful and loving. When I do, then I can embrace life when it is difficult and bring hope, love and a positive attitude to everyone and every situation. It is not hard. The hard part in life is deciding not to do this. I am through with making bad decisions. Hope, Love and surrender to a Loving and Positive God is always a good decision.


Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage & family therapist and psychotherapist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and Henry Ford Medical Center. He conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeastern Michigan he is also on staff at Capuchin Retreat Center in Washington, MI. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 248-362-3340. His e-mail address is: and his website is

Published: Tue, Jul 26, 2016