Thursday, April 24, 2008

Letting Go

I've been thinking a lot lately on the subject of 'letting go' People tell you to let go of the things that you obsess about, like chewing on an old bone and regurgitating it to re-chew it whenever you feel down (sorry for the image). I realized that I didn't even know what 'letting go' meant. Does it mean to forgive and forget and waltz down the primrose path without a thought in your mind? Open to betrayals and emotional scarring? I couldn't see doing that. Does it involve forgiveness? Because I sure as heck am not always in a forgiving place. The best answer that I was given was: Letting go involves separating the hurtful event from the emotions that occurred as a result of the event. Things that happened in the past, need to be learned from, and then left in the past where they can no longer hurt you.

Easy, right? Nuh-uh, that's a tall order. A humungous order. It does involve forgiveness, however, but the forgiveness is for the person who was hurt by the event. Forgiveness for being all too human and fragile. Forgiveness for staying in a situation where one should have left long ago. Forgiveness for the forgiver. A novel concept, at least for me.

If one is to separate the hurtful event from the emotion, then you have to look at the event objectively. And that means doing away with blaming yourself and whoever else was involved. Quite honestly, being resentful takes a lot of energy. A lot of energy wasted on being angry at yourself, angry at someone else, depressed, grumpy, a victim (poor me syndrome), maybe even suicidal, but the hurtful event is OVER. You only harm yourself when you keep recycling the past hurt to ruin what could be a great day. Your feeling bad is not hurting the person who hurt you--they might even feel great if you feel miserable. But they'll never know unless you tell them. Is that how I want to spend my life? Miserable? NO.

So, I pledge to myself now, that I will try to forgive myself for my failings and I will try to keep past hurts where they belong- -in the past. Geez, I hope this gets easier.

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