Over the course of my life, things have happened to me, people have done things to me that have frightened me, angered me and broken my heart. I had legitimate hurt worthy of comfort and understanding.
Replaying the tapes of the wrongs that were done became my obsession.
Maybe you know something about that, too.
And when these lovely things happen to us there always seems to be a wise-cracking person in the crowd (with no trace of blood on their clothes) saying…
Just let it go.
We hear this phrase a lot. It has a nice ring to it. We think it’s probably a good idea— for other people. We tell ourselves that strategy won’t work in our situation. Our situation is different, more complicated, more drastic or sad or life-altering or special.
So we hold on to “it.” This seems like the best plan.
Anyway, to let “it”go would be just plain wrong, way too easy. It’s such a juvenile cliche. To just drop something of this magnitude would be downright irresponsible, would it not? People need to know what this wrong has done to us. Someone or something that caused us this much heartache can’t just walk away scot free.
That is not happening.
Someone’s got to pay for this.
So, we strengthen our grip. And we build a bigger fortress for our suffering.
Somehow, we imagine if we hold out longer our opponent, our tormentor, our adversary will finally get the full picture of what they’ve done.
Surely they will finally SEE what they have caused here. The catastrophic damage. The injustice of it all.
If we dismiss our case against them it would mean that all the pain or money or sleeplessness we’ve gone through would be for nothing. Nada. Nil.
We cannot have that.
Besides, everyone knows it’s the whole principle of the thing. And if you lose your principles, what do you have? Values must be upheld. If we “just let everything go” the entire world would go straight to pot. Pandemonium in the streets. We could never get it all back under control.
There must be standards, procedures, ways we treat people, you know, Roberts Rules of Order, The Bill of Rights, The Ten Commandments, that sort of thing.
Yet, we must admit it IS tempting, at times, to let go …a little. The energy required to stay enraged, outraged and engaged in this standoff is depleting our best resources.
Scientists tell us, by “holding on” we are literally changing the chemistry of our brain. In a bad way. It is a proven fact now. We are actually giving ourselves brain damage when we rehearse over and over a wrong that has been done to us.
Well, we snap back. We never asked to be brain damaged.
Hell no, we won’t let go.
Whoever said “just let it go” hasn’t lived our story, that’s for sure.
Jesus said ( with his hands and feet brutally nailed to a Roman cross)
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
“With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
“…if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them…”
“Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
So WHY should we let go of a wound?
- Letting go of a wound is the most compassionate thing we can do for ourselves.
- And It is the most Christ-like thing we will ever do for someone else.
It’s an understatement to say we get that.
While this is not simplistic, you need to start somewhere. So here’s a couple of things to get you started:
A. Give yourself permission to experience forgiveness as a process, not a one- time event.
B. Recall several important times you have been forgiven by God and/or others and let that be a mirror for the way you look at your offender.
C. What would your life be like right now and how would you feel, if you weren’t holding on to this pain or offense? Describe this to yourself.
This is the choice you get to make. Hang on to the pain, anger, frustration, resentment OR enjoy the peace, freedom, and a sense of well-being that is yours to possess right now if you want it. It’s still and always will be your choice.
What or Whom do you need to let go?
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