I am at a place in my life where I am learning the art of letting go. It has not been easy for me, as I have been very attached to the results of my decisions in life and now as my children are grown I was very attached to the results of their actions. I thought that if they made a non beneficial decision and suffered due to the consequences of their choices that is was somehow my fault. I am now learning that this is not true.
It has been a long and difficult journey. I understand that due to the very difficult circumstances of my marriages to abusive men, both my children and I have wounds from those years that we are each seeking healing for in our own ways. After leaving my abusive spouse, I felt so guilty for the abuse, and suffering my children had endured that even though I was abused too, I became a doormat parent, trying to make it up to them, in a never-ending cycle of guilt induced behaviors. I was trying to please them and do everything I could to make their lives better, at my own expense.
I do need to look back and reflect on the past events, and consider why did I make the choices I did, and see the results of those choices, in order to make better decisions going forward. I also need to forgive myself for the mistakes that I made. It does not benefit me or anyone else for me to mentally and emotionally beat myself for the mistakes I made. Nor does it benefit me or anyone else if I allow others to mistreat, manipulate or guilt me now for my past. I used to allow that kind of behavior, as deep down I believed I deserved it.
I have since learned that I did the best I could at the time, with what I knew. I am learning to love and forgive myself for all my mistakes in my journey to create a happier and healthier present life experience. We all deserve love, forgiveness and compassion. I have fully forgiven my own Parents for the mistakes they made raising me. I understand they did the best they could at the time, with what they knew and believed. I am deeply thankful that I have a very good relationship with them now.
One of the books I am reading to help with my healing is a beautiful book called “Love is Letting Go of Fear” by Gerald G Jampolsky, M.D. I am finding his book very healing and helpful. I also enjoy “Peace is Every Breath” by Thich Nhat Hanh, along with many wonderful books like the Bible and the Tao Te Ching and many others.
In “Love is Letting Go of Fear” by Gerald G Jampolsky, M.D. he gives 9 personal themes to live by. I will share 4 of them with you here, as I found these the most meaningful for me.
- “Peace of mind is our single goal.”
- “Forgiveness is our single function, and the way to achieve our goal of peace of mind.”
- Through forgiveness we can learn not to judge others and to see everyone, including ourselves as guiltless.”
- “We can let go of fear when we stop judging and stop projecting the past into the future, and live only in the now.”
This reminds me of a passage in Philippians 4:6-8 which reads:
“6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
To let go does not mean to abandon or stop caring for the people in your life. It means as stated by Master Thich Nhat Hanh “loving someone more than you have ever loved them before.” He also says, “Master Hanh states that to truly let go we must learn to love more completely. Non-attachment only happens when our love for another extends beyond our own personal expectations of gain, or our anticipation of a specific, desired outcome.”
“In other words, your detachment may come in accepting that certain things you would normally do to make another person feel loved and appreciated may not be what the person you are actively loving now, needs. Instead of forcing that behavior on another person, with an egoic intent to “please” them, you simply detach from that need in yourself, and truly observe what makes another person feel comfortable, safe, and happy.” (Source: A Zen Master Explains the Art of ‘Letting Go’, And It Isn’t What You Think By Christina Sarich | Source Waking Times)
I am deeply grateful to God for providing so many wonderful resources to help heal from emotional wounds. Many people have walked as Angels of healing in my life helping me find resources, books, therapy and classes which have helped me immensely. To the teachers who have deeply challenged me and helped me ask myself the hard questions, I need to consider in order to grow, I am especially grateful.
To each of you I wish healing, peace, forgiveness, loving-kindness, compassion and happiness in your lives. As I have learned, we cannot change others. We can only change ourselves, and that with great difficulty. It is painful, like childbirth even. Like childbirth you can bring forth new and beautiful changes into your life if you wish to do so. Create as you see will benefit you the most. As you climb your mountains, remember to enjoy the view. Life is an incredible journey. I wish you happiness all along your way.