January 31

Today's quotation:

There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isnít the end of the world, itís the beginning of a new life.

unattributed

Today's Meditation:

The tendency that I learned while growing up was to hold on to things.  If you insulted me two days ago--or a week ago, even--I'd still be holding on to that insult, mulling it over in my mind, making myself go through alternate cycles of self-pity, anger, hurt, and all the other emotions that come with an insult.  I certainly would not let it go and go on with my life, and I'd be making myself miserable because of what you said or did.

Fortunately, I've learned to see the self-destructiveness inherent in that pattern.  I've learned about the art of letting go, of moving on to other things and accepting what happened for exactly what it was, but not letting a hurt continue to cause me pain.

If you hurt me, it's like you're immediately attaching a heavy ball and chain to my ankle, and the weight of them causes my mind constantly to return to the weight and the pain.  The most important thing that I've learned, though, is that I have the key to that chain, and I can reach down and unshackle myself any time I want.

Sometimes it takes effort to do so.  In extreme circumstances, I've had to let go of "friendships" with people who constantly caused me pain, and when I've been able to let go of what I saw as a friendship, my life has improved dramatically.

Most of the time when people hurt us, they do so because they're in pain themselves, and they don't know quite how to deal with that pain.  Hurtful actions and words are a result of their pain.  If we allow that hurt to affect our lives negatively, though, then we allow their hurt to become a part of our lives.  If we don't learn to let go of such things, we're damaging ourselves, and we're certainly not helping others.

Questions to consider:

What does it mean to you to "let go"?

Why and/or how do we learn to hold on to hurts that others have caused us?

Why is it sometimes more difficult to let go than it is to hold on?

For further thought:

Let go. Why do you cling to pain? There is nothing
you can do about the wrongs of yesterday. It is
not yours to judge. Why hold on to the very thing
which keeps you from hope and love?

Leo Buscaglia

  

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