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Letting Go

Surely we've all heard that old cliche' about wisdom coming with age.  I'd never claim to be wise but life's certainly provided me with numerous opportunities to learn.

Some lessons were easily learned, others I've struggled with.  Forgiveness is one of those I've had to work on for years. 

I want to be clear though, I'm talking about those more ordinary types of situations we all go through.  I can certainly think of awful experiences some people have endured in life that I haven't.  I don't know how I'd handle that so I'd never try to tell anyone what they should do.  Some offenses may truly be unforgivable.   I'm only relating the lesson as I know it.

When I was younger I thought to forgive was to absolve the other person who had wronged me of any responsibility.  As if my own feelings, my own pain didn't matter.  I admit, I was one to hold grudges.  Over time, I did become bitter about certain things and some people in my life. 

The truth is by holding onto your pain so tightly, you hurt yourself far more than you could ever hurt the person you won't forgive.  The key word is "won't".   You can choose to forgive.

In Al-Anon I learned the phrase, "Let go and let God".  That was not an easy concept for me to grasp.  Perhaps because I didn't want to let go of anything.  I was quite the control freak.  As you go through life you learn lots of other lessons along the way.  If you pay attention, you begin to see what's really important.  Time slips away more quickly, you experience the loss of loved ones,  you may find yourself walking an unexpected path.  Then I finally understood what it meant  ... "Let go and let God.

Holding onto pain, grudges, anger ... I have no room for it in my life.  It was keeping me from filling my life with peace, hope, compassion and happiness.  I've heard depression described as anger turned inward.  I do believe that to be so true.  Holding onto anger can bring about nothing good.  People screw up, we all make mistakes, we all get hurt.  I try to treat people the same way I want them to act towards me.  If I don't forgive, how can I expect forgiveness?

Little things, often nothing more than misunderstandings, those are easy to forgive & forget.  The bigger ones, well those take more work and more time.  Definitely have to employ the  ... let go and leg God philosophy for those. 

I don't want to give anyone the impression I've mastered the art of forgiveness.  Or that I'm perfect in any way.  Still haven't completely gotten my quick temper in check or my emotions under control at all times.  Anyone who knows me well knows the truth about that .... lol.  I still struggle with depression sometimes.  What I have learned is I'd rather fill my soul with joy rather than anger.  It's impossible to enjoy life being cold and bitter so I won't live that way.  Letting it go is one of the best life lessons I've ever learned. 

 

SeriouslySappy SeriouslySappy 51-55, F 15 Responses Jan 16, 2010

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Thanks for your comment Maxtc. I do think we have to realize we are entitled to our emotions, we need to validate them. A mistake I made in the past is thinking there was something wrong with me because someone else told me I had no reason to be upset, depressed, angry ... whatever. A therapist once told me something I still keep in mind to this day. Feelings are not right or wrong. They just are.

I agree with your views in many respects however what I find equally interesting is that you acknowledge that everyone experiences anger, hurt, depression, etc. in their own particular manner, unique from every other individual. It is one of the ways I've attempted to convince myself I am entitled to my emotions regardless of the infinite number of horrible experiences dwarfing anything I can imagine humans experience daily. It helps me deal with society's and my own self-directed stigma. Thank you for your perspective.

Thanks for the suggestion Bushdoctor. I'll check it out.

Thank you for sharing this story with us. I agree with you that one must let go of anger and grudges as clinging on to them only hurts the bearer,think of carrying fire in your bossom. I also suggest you read Og Mandino's Waking Up which gives a very informative way to approach our anger and frustrations.

Kasey ... I've heard of Louise Hay but not read any of her books. Thanks for the suggestion! : )<br />
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Trriiss ... Depression and anxiety often go together. I think Jojewel's comment was right, if we <br />
repress our feelings, they'll manifest themselves in other ways.<br />
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Kissy .... Thanks so much for your kind comment. I didn't learn anything on my own. I had lots of help. : )

wat do u think gets turned inward and creates anxiety??

There is a good book called " You can heal your Life" by Lousie Hay that talks about this same thing.<br />
Forgiving and letting go Is the key to happiness. Forgiving not only others but yourself Is a choice YOU make for yourself . The book talks about diseases and how storing up anger and bitterness only hurts you in the end. I happen to find the book in a self help section and later looked more into the book. It sold 30 million copies and has been on the best seller list since the 80's. No wonder it made such an impression on me. For anyone that needs to let go and live I recommend this book.

Junie ... you see, that's exactly why I adore you so!<br />
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Reborn ... thank you! : )<br />
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Paradox ... you are absolutely correct about mistakes. I know because I've made plenty, some more than once. The blessings come from the learning.<br />
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Jo ... Oh, I'm not wise, I just like to write. : ) Your Dr was the wise one. Hopefully the younger generation learns from ours and children are raised just to be people, rather than meet the standards set by gender stereotyping.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Sappy! When I was going through depression my psychiatrist once told me that it was caused by repressed emotions that I had never worked through. I thought this made a lot of sense. Girls are taught never to show anger, even when it is justified, and boys are taught never to cry, even when it is justified.

"Letting it go is one of the best life lessons I've ever learned."<br />
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Making a Mistake is not Bad... not Learning from a Mistake is Bad!<br />
Peace & Blessings :D

Very nice. Very true. :)

It's a cliche but as it always proves to be, cliches are right. It's so much better to let things go and fill one's heart and life with the positive things.<br />
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It's not necessarily denial, it's actually the way to go. You go, Sappy!!!

Thank you Goahead. : )

well said

Thank you Sis ! Oh I know all about that inward anger myself you know. : )<br />
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Laurie, you're right. As I get older I am far more comfortable with myself and it's easier to relax with others.