Monday, February 02, 2009

Letting Go

Letting Go, Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Germany, July 2004, Pentax Optio 555, Exposure 1/640 sec @ f7.5, ISO 64, no flash © Steven Crisp [Click on the photo to enlarge]

Step 8. Forgive One Person
{continuing the series, by Susan Skog}

"Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies." -- Nelson Mandela

This month, try to release one individual--it could be yourself--from your anger and judgment. If you can't change what happened, then change your thoughts about it. Let it go. Forgiveness isn't about forgetting, it's about being at peace in your own skin. It's about getting on with your life, says Arun Gandhi, who forgave the man who killed his grandfather. "Being obsessed with anger only destroys us."

Forgiveness should be so easy. We don't have to do anything. We need only to let go of things. Let go of our righteousness, our indignation, our judgmentalism, and our hurt and our pain.

It is important to realize that with our forgiveness, we are helping to heal two souls -- that of the forgiven, and our own. The pain that we carry around in terms of resentment, and perhaps that ever present undercurrent of a desire for revenge, will be lessened.

So try letting go. Forgive the last person who has slighted you -- simply within your own mind. Give yourself a chance to renew that relationship that might otherwise be extinguished. What do you fear? Of getting hurt again? That will be yet another opportunity to forgive. And in the process, you will both learn very valuable lessons.


Anonymous said...

Have not visited in a while. Looking back now at several of the posts...I wish there this was all laid out on huge pages in a coffee-table book which I would keep on the coffee table to amuse my guests, as they are waiting for me. Lots of exciting, profound, joyous meditations in this blog.

Steven Crisp said...


What a nice complement. I have toyed with the idea of trying to collect some of these reflections together. Perhaps some day I will do so (as well as continuing to add to them).

Alas, for the moment, that\s not happening. But everything springs from intention. So we will see.

Thanks again for your visit and your comment.

Honeybee said...

I have not visited your reflections in quite some time...glad I happened upon them today. You expound so well on similar thoughts I have had and it is wonderful to read.
Thank you...oh, and you are due for a new post. :)

Honeybee said...

I forgot to mention that I love the picture in this post. I have yet to visit Berlin and you have prompted me to look into it.

Steven Crisp said...

Hi Honeybee,

I'm glad you buzz'd on over to my flower today ;-)

And I'm glad we resonate to some of the same thoughts.

As for being past due for a new post -- you are so right. Not sure when I will get back into the groove. I hope someday soon.

Thanks again for visiting.

Anonymous said...

Forgiveness, letting go, resentment...all sounded so very depressing.Why not turned them into Accept, transcend and proceed. Afterall, as memories can't be erased, how could it be forgiven or letting go.Repressing the emotion would only degrade living further.It would be much better to accept the emotion, learn the lesson, then transcend it and proceed to live a more vibrant life. Even a bit of feeling of hate or revenge is very nice and energizing. They just add to the vibrancy of living.

Steven Crisp said...


I think you make an excellent point. Though I also don't think we are in conflict. Forgiveness and acceptance (of our transgressor or ourself) is really one in the same. And who is the key party here? It is our Self. Action we take; insight we glean.

Though I might quibble with you a bit that we should relish a feeling of hate or revenge. Yes, it may be "energizing" as you say; but I think it only helps to feed our ego, and continue us on our path of false separateness. It tends to reinforce precisely those instincts that, using your words (with which I agree) that we wish to transcend.

But this is probably splitting hairs, and I do wish to heartily agree with you that focusing on acceptance and transcendance is a very positive way of help us move forward.

Thanks very much for the comment.

Anonymous said...

Just beautiful...your comments.I hate you but i also love you.I don't keep in mind both hate and love.Just like kids do.Don't kids have some little ego, without which there will be no growth.Come on, lets not be old so fast! Lets keep growing till the end.
Your photos are just so very vibrant and active.

Jyotsna said...

such a thought provoking post.And its is an universal truth that letting go is the key to personal growth..
here after ages :)

Steven Crisp said...

Thanks for the comment Jyotsna,

It's funny, but there do seem to be some truths that transcend our histories and our cultures. But they often can only be uncovered from within -- while exploring and investigating our own lives, and the "scaleability" of our actions.

At first, "Letting Go" or forgiveness can seem to reflect a position of weakness; but as we know upon reflection, it actually takes great inner strength to quiet our own ego's desire for righteousness or revenge. And, one person at a time, walk away from the eye-for-an-eye mentality that our forefathers were taught.

And walk toward the personal growth and inner strength that enables us to model behavior for both our friends and our enemies.

BTW, Jyotsna, where is the photograph taken that you have as your Blogger image?