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Letting Go: Danny Gokey American Idol

Posted Jun 02 2009 4:32pm

Author: Dr. Nicole Sundene

Last week on American Idol, many of us assumed it would be Danny vs Adam in the final showdown, until he was eliminated in a sudden and heart wrenching moment.

Tonight on American Idol we finally determine the Idol of season eight! Will it be Adam or will it be Kris?

I had been rooting for Danny since his very first audition, there was something undeniabably special about him….but it was a tough season.

Probably the best American Idol has ever had, and the Kindergarten Teacher inside of me wants to announce everyone as a winner!

I wasn’t just voting for youth pastor Danny because of his amazing voice, but because of his perseverance. His wife had died suddenly of congestive heart failure a month before the competition started; “Tragedy turned in to Triumph,” as Danny refers to it.

A friend passed along the information for the foundation created for Danny’s wife, Sophia’sHeart.org, and thought it would make for good kitchen table talk. She recommended reading his blog post telling how he was managing to cope with the severe depression brought on by the sudden death of his wife weeks before one of America’s biggest competitions.

“I felt like I had to put on a face for everybody to cover what was really going on inside. Deep down inside, I felt there was not hope for me and I really wanted to die. If I had not dealt with this, it probably could have somehow or someway took me out. So, I began pray and cry out to God for help and I believe I found the answer.

The answer I found was exactly this; “let go” or “cause yourself to let go”. I admit that answer was not appealing to me because I found no justice in it, and most of all it didn’t instantly remove any pain. But I knew that if I continued down this road it would have a price that I could never afford to pay.

You see, the cost of hanging on to the bitterness and anger was actually much greater than the cost of simply letting go. I was very reluctant to do it. At times it was hard and I literally had to cause myself (force myself) to let go. Letting go doesn’t mean forgetting about Sophia but does mean releasing the toxic emotions tied to the situation.”

I have a lot of admiration for someone who can pick themselves up and go on, anyone going through troubled times should take a few minutes to read the insightful blog post on his battle with depression and “letting go” of his wife’s unexpected death. So many of us hold on to everything….we carry around all this baggage from our past and our childhood.

I talk to patients that have been in counseling for years and they sit down and tell me everything that is wrong with them, they bring all these “labels” with them, they blame it all on their parents, or their molester, or their rapist, or their child hood bully, or their father’s death, or that they didn’t get enough attention as a child, they say, “I’m this way because someone else did ____________ to me,” and so forth.

They refuse to let it all go, instead they cling to their core hurts and core wounds, and as a doctor who believes in the mind/body/spirit of medicine….I know they will never be better until they forgive and let go.

Sometimes we have to forgive our abuser, sometimes we have to forgive our parents…. After all they are just human beings too, not demi-Gods…. I know BREAKING NEWS!!!

Let Danny Gokey be a remarkable example of “Letting Go” and trusting Life/God, however you choose to see it.

Even after his elimination he said, “What affirms me as an artist is… [my fans] because week after week they voted…and that shows me they believe in me and that they see something inside of me,” Danny said. “I want to tell them I love them, and I think that they’re the best out there.” Danny continues, “I was a nobody, and this show turned me into a somebody, and I’ll always be thankful for the roots that I came out of because I do believe that the best is yet to come for me, that this is not the end of the road. I’m just very grateful. I’m so thankful my life has turned around, and I can’t say it enough.” (Source)

Today’s Question: What in your life do you need to let go of? Anger, hatred, bitterness, guilt, shame, depression, anxiety, sadness? Are you tired of carrying around all that baggage? May is weight loss month and it is time for us to lose some weight. Let’s start with our own baggage.

Let’s be reminded by the strength of Danny Gokey that sometimes we just have to “let go.”

For more information on how Danny intends to use his gift for future fundraising endeavors visit: SophiasHeart.org.

If you are holding on to something and need to let go….find a rock and carry it around with you for a while, let the rock become the symbol of the thing that you need to let go of.

Squeeze the heat of your anger from your hands into it, cry your tears on it, let it rest on the place in your heart that hurts for a while, keep it in your pocket everywhere you go, or at least try to.

The attempt will remind you what a burden hanging on to this baggage from the past is.

Sleep with it under your pillow….and eventually realize that this rock is weighing you down….this rock needs to be let go. Then take some time down at a special place and throw that rock far into water.

Let go of the pain, let go of the past. Live in the present, don’t live in the past.

We cannot change the past, but we can change how the past affects us today.

Just don’t throw any suitcases in the ocean, or hit any birds or ducks on your therapeutic mission.

~Dr. Nicole


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