Sunday, May 12, 2013

What to Let Go

It's a cliche to say so, but family events are always a combination of joy and stress. My immediate family had a particularly wonderful weekend this one past; we were all together, and we enjoyed each others company every second we could wring from the two days we spent.

But there were other relatives who could not say the same. "I just have to cut her off," both women said separately about the other, her mother, her daughter. 

"There comes a time after so many years when you just can't take another disappointment," said one.

The other echoed her words but substituted "insult" for "disappointment."

And it has been many years, over 25. After all that time, or perhaps because of it, they are both so locked in their anger and pain that anyone near them can see that it would be a blessing if they actually could let them go. Unfortunately, it's equally clear that they haven't, for while they have cut each other out of their lives, refusing to interact despite being a few feet apart, the anger and pain remain.

As Buddha said, Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

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