Letting go

Posted by Doc
Feb 15 2009

Watching the movie “Taken”, I was struck by the tenaciousness of Liam Neeson’s character. I was also struck by the character’s attitude, which was both pesonal (“you/they took my DAUGHTER”) and impersonal.

It got me to thinking about carrying grudges, and the way we label and categorize each other.  Okay – I don’t know for sure that you do it too, I just know that I’ve done it and that your behavior leads me to think you do it too.

You always…

Do you find yourself saying that to someone you know? Do you find yourself behaving in a way that is based on what you expect them to do, rather than what they’re doing?

Perhaps you’ve labeled them. They’re afraid, insecure, rude, lax, mean, silly, absurd, too friendly, not friendly enough, too outgoing, too inhibited, careless, thoughtless, inattentive, self-absorbed,…

How will you know when they change?

If you hold onto the image you hold firmly in mind, you won’t.  Not only that, you will inhibit their ability to change.

If you won’t give me a chance, then who will?

I’ve certainly heard words like that – from my wife, and from my children. Even recently, as I’m on my endless journey towards evolution and perfection.

If I keep an image, an identity, a label in my mind as though that’s who you are, then I may be unable to recognize that you are no longer that person.

Forgiving is not forgetting

I’ve heard too many people say “I can’t forgive that.” I disagree.  You can, you just don’t choose to. You’re holding onto the pain, the anger, the hurt for some reason that seems to make sense. Why? What’s the value in hanging onto it.

Sure – I can learn from sticking my hand in a fire, and yet realize that the fire doesn’t care about me at all. Which is not to say that someone who does something that leads to you feeling hurt doesn’t care about you.  But if you believe, as I do, that their behavior is about them, then it’s possible to forgive, to let go, without letting go of the lesson. You can learn how someone has behaved and base a certain – hmm – caution on that.

But it’s not necessarily who they are.

Let go, let…

In the twelve step programs for families and friends (Al-Anon, Co-Anon, Nar-Anon), they teach “Let go, let God”.

Since I don’t know whether there is or is not a sublime, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient entity, here’s what it means to me:

It’s done. It’s not within the scope of my control. Perhaps I’ll be happier, or at least have more peace, if I just let it go and worry about me.

I’m responsible for me, for my behavior. Beyond that, I do the best I can for my family. Outside of that?

You’re up to you.

Let it go.

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