I tend to be one of the “grammar police” that really wants to jump on a thread on social media to correct you and, Yes, I spelled the title correctly, two o’s. Loo -s -ing not Loo -z -ing. And I realize it’s more often than not a misspelling rather than a word we use. But I find the contrast between loosing and losing an important one to understand. Not just because the meanings are different, but because of the mindset behind each word.
Let me explain
Here are the definitions, from Oxford languages, to start with.
suffering, resulting in, or relating to defeat in a game or contest. "the losing side"
gerund or present participle: losing
be deprived of or cease to have or retain (something). "I've lost my appetite"
Similar: be deprived of, suffer the loss of, no longer have, stop having
gerund or present participle: loosing
set free; release. "the hounds have been loosed"
Similar: free, set free, unloose, turn loose, set loose, let loose, let go, release, liberate, untie, unchain, unfetter, untether, unfasten. Unpen, unleash, unclick
Don’t you just feel differently when reading the definitions? They are in some ways complete opposite words. To Lose something is usually out of your control. In fact, the word is used in that phraseology very often - “she lost control”, “I don’t want to lose control.” And that right there is the importance I want us to notice. The mindfulness of loosing vs. losing.
Loosing is a choice - and did you see just how many freedom words are used as similar examples!
Let’s apply this first of all to that common phrase of losing control. When working through betrayal trauma one of the big hurdles is learning about control. What and who we have control over and the fact that one of the most common coping mechanisms is to attempt to control everything. As we work through and begin to heal, we learn that control over most things is actually an illusion and we must do exactly the opposite. Which is scary, because we think the opposite of being in control of it all is losing control.
I have good news! The opposite of being controlling, (or people pleasing, or fixing same thing), is to LOOSE control. Two o’s - the one that means freedom! We intentionally, thoughtfully, on purpose let go - let loose - of the attempts to control things that we can’t control anyway. We get to choose to let go of things, relationships, ideas, that are harmful to us.
One fear that still comes up at the thought of letting go of the grip we have on things is that even if we “do it right” and choose to let go, then that means the things we let go of now have the control. So, let’s dig deeper into what loosing looks like.
Since it is an intentional and thoughtful letting go of, and control is definitely going somewhere (because everything is controlled by something, right?) then we get to choose where the control goes too! As believers we need to remind ourselves that ultimately, God is in control of it all. Since we know that we cannot control other people’s thoughts, responses or choices, we choose to loose the grip we think we have and hand it back to God where it belongs. We recognize the control over the other person’s choices is theirs alone, yet under the sovereignty of God.
When working a tapestry, tension