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Forgive, Forget, Let Go…

rp_Anxiety.gifForgive, forget, let go….   Taking things another step further….   If you feel that you have to forgive someone in order to let go, you might really never let go.  Could it be possible that there is nothing to forgive and the very act of forgiveness is standing in the way of getting on with your life?

I had a very nasty? teacher once.  He would rap your knuckles with a ruler if you did something that he thought deserved it.  Altogether it was a very frustrating experience and I cried many tears over our encounters.  I had just started grade school and he was a music director who got stuck teaching elementary school kids along with his other duties  as organist and choir director.  He was very temperamental as sometimes musicians and other artists are.  Teaching was probably very frustrating for him and it probably kept him from spending all his time doing what he really desired to do.  He made my life  miserable and my cousin who was also in the same class room said that he picked on me when he could have left me alone.  I admit I was a challenging child, a quick learner with a lot of creative ideas.  It was difficult to keep me busy and I questioned his authority frequently.

For a long time I could not see this situation from his point of view.  I had a very unhappy time while he was my teacher (He wasn’t the only teacher that I had that I had trouble with in elementary school.)  The point was that in my school we had almost all male teachers and I don’t think any of them thought that teaching elementary school children was their life’s work like it was for women at that time.  I had one good year i elementary school, the year I had a woman teacher.

Altogether it was an unfortunate experience and it did not help my self-esteem.  My parents were also very frustrated with me being called to the office so often and their having had to come to school to talk about my behavior with my teacher or the principal.

Altogether it was a very frustrating experience for everyone.  Now who should be forgiven, the teacher, my parents, myself?  Sometimes saying that something has to be forgiven suggests malice aforethought.  Weren’t we all doing the best we thought we could.  I no longer see myself as a “bad” disobedient child, misunderstood maybe, but not bad.  Did I have a “bad” teacher or did he do the best he could in the circumstances?

Was this teacher taking his anger out on the children in the class by expecting too much of them.  Was he angry because he was being forced to teach when he would rather have been only in charge of  music?  My parents at that time like many parents in that era worried more about what other people would think and felt that children should be taught to respect their elders no matter what they were like.rp_8619481133_df8a85fccf_m.jpg

Now that I can see more of the picture should I continue the anger and frustration by thinking that I have to forgive my elders for what they did to me when I was a child or should I let go with the understanding that they were only people that didn’t know better.  To me forgiveness can require a lot of time and energy and it has the flavor of  something that I must do for my own and others’  good.  Letting go does not suggest that what they and what I did were right but that there was a lot of misunderstanding and confusion involved.  Also to some extend, I was more concerned about what happened to my brother and cousin when they were in this teacher’s class with me.  It is always more frightening to see somebody else get hurt when you are not them and don’t know how badly they might be suffering when you already know how painful it has been for you in the situation.

Hatred, anger when attached to letting go makes it a greater burden than it has to be.  What might remain a burden for the “offender” to deal with no longer becomes one for you.  The biggest satisfaction an offender might have is not doing the dastardly deed but the fact that the victims have to deal and live with the consequences forever.  When it comes to this, the victim has to let go as the offender no longer has them in his or her grasp.  I realized a couple of years that after my divorce many years ago, that I was still cogitating over how my ex had treated me towards the end of our marriage and how unhappy I was. and that he may have gone on merrily without me and started his life over forgetting I ever existed.

If you come from the northern  part of this country, you may know about mosquitoes and how badly their bites itch and how you can create even bigger sores and create more irritation by scratching them,  People who get them often feel they are helpless and can’t leave them alone.  Often the next step is that you stop going outside in mosquito season and wound up being cooped up inside in the house during the hottest part of  summer without air conditioning.  Wouldn’t it been wonderful if you could have avoided that?  You can avoid something similar by letting go of old past hurts.

Don’t regurgitate, don’t do what cows do and chew your cud again and again.  Yes, learn from your past experiences but don’t let them monopolize the present or scar the future.  Sometimes you don’t have to forgive you just need to let go and take what the future brings an opportunity to do something different and new.

rp_Cult_and_Ritual_Abuse.jpgCAUTION;  A HISTORY OF SEVERE PHYSICAL AND SEXUAL ABUSE AND SOMETIMES EVEN SEVERE MENTAL ABUSE REQUIRES PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT AND SHOULD NOT BE HANDLED ON ONE’S OWN.  Abuse can also happen when you are an adult.  Also do not let the abuser dictate how you handle the abuse.

 

 

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