Letting Go

I recently was faced with a stressful situation in which fears and emotions that had been building up were brought to a head. I verbally lashed out at someone. And they, and their spouse, lashed out in return.

As I lay in bed that night, my head was spinning with all the details of the confrontation. I was sick with anger and resentment. I decided that I HAD to forgive them in order to move on and get some sleep. I've gotten good over the past few years of learning to forgive for my own peace of mind. However, I couldn't let it all go for some reason. Then I remembered something I learned in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (great book, btw, I highly recommend it). He emphasizes "seek first to understand and then to be understood". Even though I knew I would never reach the "be understood" part of this, I still thought I could apply the first part and maybe that would help me to forgive them. I was surprised to realize, upon "putting myself in their shoes," that I had dealt with my (very legitimate) emotions in completely the wrong way and I was wrong. I had to apologize. Now this was new territory for me. Here I was, angry at two people and I was considering apologizing to them.

This took a combination of swallowing my pride as well as my anger but I eventually was able to and I apologized knowing very well that, not only would my apology not be reciprocated but that it would not even be accepted. But I did it anyway. For myself.

The people I was dealing with were not bad people, they just saw things very differently than I did and I had to make peace with the fact that I would never be able to get them to see my side. Craving peace in my life is also something that is very new to me because I had spent a good portion of my adult life being very unhappy and angry. When you are unhappy you wrap yourself in anger whenever the opportunity arises because it gives you someone to project your unhappiness onto. I was so full of rage in my 20s. I would go off on people in traffic, family members, and really anyone who rubbed me the wrong way. And I would hold grudges for years. It was so unbelievably toxic and it didn't make me feel better, it most definitely made it worse.

It bothered me that they wouldn't forgive me. It bothered me that they couldn't see my side, and apologize in return. At one time in my life I would've lashed out again for their rejection of my apology. But I just wanted peace. And, damn it! I wanted my sleep! I recited to myself over and over again God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change. The strength to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference. I finally fell asleep.

I woke up the next morning feeling the peace that had eluded me the night before. I can not change that they won't forgive me, as much as I might want to. Likewise, I can not change that they will never understand why I was so upset when I lashed out. But I can change what I do and do not hold onto myself. And I will always be stronger for this experience because I've added to an already developing life lesson....

When you're wrong, say you're sorry, even if you are not forgiven, then forgive yourself and let go.
When someone has wronged you, forgive them, even if they are not sorry, then let go.
Either way....LET GO!

Peace is a precious gift. Do not allow anyone (including yourself) to steal it from you. Forgiveness is nothing more than your heart's way of letting go.


  1. I just came across your blog this evening. Your story is remarkable! You truly are an insperation!

    I was wondering - how often did you workout during your weight loss journey? Also, I noticed that you said you use self-tanner. Which brand do you use? You look great! We have a vacation coming up soon and I am hoping to slim down and also to get a 'tan' before our trip! Any tips would be great!

    1. Well, in the beginning, I didn't work out very much at all. And I didn't work out that hard either. Its been a slow progression. So slow, I can't really even tell you at what point I added what. But getting moving in general really helped me mentally in the beginning. Now I do an intense workout 6 days a week.

      As far as the self-tanner. I get a base tan with the tanning bed (yes, I know, not ideal but I just can't help myself sometimes!!). Then I use Jergens Natural Glow gradual tanner almost every morning. Also, I just ordered a self-tanner called Fake Bake that got good reviews and is a decent price. I'm gonna try it for the first time tonight actually.

      Have a great vacation!!

  2. You are awesome, and your right, that is a great book.