Letting Go of People

Sometimes the people who stand with you in the hard times are not the ones you would have expected to be there.

Letting go of people is really letting go of expectations about those people.

I became attached to my two loving midwives and had to let go of them after I gave birth. What I really did was let go of expecting them to be available for me all the time.

When I felt I needed to let go of family members whose political views were offensive to me, I only needed to let go of any expectation that they would be able to support my beliefs.

There came a time when Andy’s Parkinson’s was difficult to manage and his symptoms strained some friendships we had enjoyed for many years. At the time this happened, I felt betrayed that these friends wouldn’t stand with us and I felt like we had to let go of them. I felt protective of Andy and I didn’t want him to suffer more than he was already suffering because some “friends” couldn’t tolerate his condition.

Now I see that was an unnecessarily dramatic response.

What had been betrayed was only our expectation that these friends would be able to handle Andy getting sick with Parkinson’s Disease.

When I lifted my insight a bit higher, I could acknowledge that each of us has power within to free ourselves from hurt that is apparently caused by others. Every time a person’s actions towards Andy or myself felt hurtful I had to see what my dashed expectation had been. Then I could take responsibility for having that expectation in the first place. I could realize that it was misplaced without judging that person’s overall goodness.

I could move forward free from the expectation, allowing the friend a slightly more limited place in my world, without the drama  of letting them go.

I think it’s likely that the same effect would have occurred if we had consciously let them go, in that we wouldn’t spend as much time with that friend who hurt us, but the process is totally different.

The process I’m suggesting puts the onus for the change on Andy and I, instead of flirting with blame and negativity towards someone else, which can cause far reaching effects.

Loren Cruden, the Shaman healer says, “I used to think forgiveness was not my responsibility. ‘Let God forgive,’ I would mutter. Who am I to mess in such matters? I have since come to see forgiveness as a blessed aspect of the human job description; now it is judgment, grudge holding and hoarded suffering that I would just as soon not be occupied with. Forgiveness puts you in the now, accessible to well being.”

Letting go of my expectations towards a friend’s behavior, instead of letting go of my friend, is one empowering way of practicing forgiveness.

How do you practice forgiveness when you are hurt?

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2 thoughts on “Letting Go of People

  1. I try not to let go of anyone whose political differences are not the same as mine…I actually hate that we have all been so intentionally driven apart by that. Used to be lively discussions about politics were enjoyed, and nobody got into hating those who had different opinions. I’ve found the best way to deal with that sort of thing is just talk about the subjects we DO agree on. Of course, this is not the same as letting go of people who are making you and Andy uncomfortable because of Parkinson’s. It could be those friends just need a bit more reality so they would have more understanding of the disease. Peace and love to you both. – Merry

    1. Hi Merry!! Great to hear from you and I will write you a longer personal email but for now, your thoughts are welcome and powerful. We cannot doom ourselves to only know people who agree with us!
      My thoughts are that if friendships cause us pain then they are not truly friendships. Michelle

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