Forgiveness vs. Letting Go...
Updated: Apr 5
For years after my mother passed, my mantra was "Let it Go." I was aware of my control issues and stubborn nature and convinced myself I had work to do in this arena.
This mantra was a tough one. In order to let go, you must first care deeply about what you are releasing. That was a doozy.
Time and time again, I would face a loss and a challenge to release: my mother, my fertility, a failed IVF, a failed adoption placement, a pet.
I got schooled.
I got through these years and felt stronger and wiser, like I had gone through war. I was proud. I felt I was letting go and easing my control.
It wasn't until the loss of a job and a paralyzing world pandemic that I realized I was an idiot.
Okay, maybe not an idiot. But I was shooting for the clouds instead of the stars. Letting go is challenging and essential, but I accomplished letting go because there is a level of disconnect that allows me to walk away and forget.
Let me elaborate...
A few weeks ago, I was sitting at the dining room table eating breakfast reading some devastating article about children and the psychological effects of the pandemic. I started thinking about how the adults of this world are damaging our youth, and the words,
"Forgive them, for they know not what they do," came into my head.
I immediately started crying.
Boss Baby blaring on the TV, Max pretending to get ready for school, and me full-blown, ugly crying into my morning muffin.
FUUUUUUUUCK! I don't know how to forgive.
Memories of my mother rushed into my head. All the times I was hurt or let down, I had let it go. I disconnected. It was as if it happened in a past life. I was so busy letting go of the incidences that occurred that I never forgave the human behind them. Sometimes that human was me.
Letting go of incidences that occur does not allow for communication or human connection. It is like forgiving a place in time.
Time doesn't give a shit.
Where is the connection? We are here to form relationships and grow together.
Forgiveness is a part of our human connection.
The phrase is forgive and forget, not just forget.
So how to forgive?
What do I know about forgiveness?
It is more about me than it is about them
You must let go of expectations
You must look at what has hurt you and why
You must look at what part you played in the pain
You must cut out excuses
You must renounce your anger and resentment
Accept you can not change the past
Find meaning in your suffering
Empathy and compassion go a long way
I know all this and I still struggle.
It's the anger for me. I consider myself a pretty easygoing person. I'm kind, patient, and empathetic, but I feel a slow boiling within me, like a pressure cooker. The anger is still there. Without forgiveness, the anger sits there waiting. It comes out whenever it wants, like a child that has been ignored.
I get angry at situations and strangers. I am snarky and opinionated. I feel that if I am unhappy with the actions or opinions of others, then it is not worth my energy or time.
But I want to be better. Deep down it doesn't feel good. I want to learn to forgive before I walk away, before I let it go. No one is a lost cause. It is all about timing. It may not be time for some people to wake up or be the best human they can be. Me included. We are doing our best with what we have at this moment in time. I must let go of my expectations.
I'll be honest, I ain't there yet.
Am I right?!?
But I am working on it.