Sometimes that’s all we can do and, yet, it’s oddly one of the hardest things to do–letting go of anger, letting go of greed, pride, prejudice, and sometimes our loves. Letting go involves discipline and humility on our parts. We have to accept that we are not all-powerful and not as central to others as we imagine ourselves to be. Some things are just out of our control and other people are definitely out of our control.
Following my grandpa’s death, I learned three things. The first is that time is precious and even more precious when spent in love and with love. Cherish the moments you have together because, one day when you look back upon that point in time, it will have passed and the world will have changed. Hopefully, you’ve valued and strengthened your relationships enough that they may weather any future hardships. The second is that tragedy can shed light on your relationships; it can bring people together and reveal friends’ true personalities. When you find yourself beaten down, who reaches out to you and who walks away? Finally, the third is that letting go can be the greatest favor you can do for yourself and for another.
What do these three life lessons mean for me? They mean I need to let go of negative relationships and start focusing more on the positive ones. I need to let go of “friends” that take me for granted and who do not respect me or my family, so as to allow myself to be free to live happily and to love more generously those who really care for me and who will my well-being.
“Love is willing the good of the other…and then doing something concrete about it. It’s not an emotion, it’s not an attitude. It’s a move of the will. To want the good of the other, and do something about it. That’s love.” ~Fr. Robert Barron
Yes, I am sad that friendships have ended but I owe love and respect to myself as much as I do to other people. Any meaningful relationship is a mutual exchange, a give and take. When one party gives too much and the other is unresponsive, no good is being done; the generous person is being taken advantage of, while the uncommunicative person grows insensitive. As much as you may hope to inspire others to care, you must accept that it is ultimately their choice and their journey. Strive to be kind and to love all–will and act for the good of others (it doesn’t mean you have to like them), but know know what you owe to yourself and know when to let go. Don’t continue to waste your time, effort, and compassion on those who neither desire nor deserve them. Life is too short and there are too many good people out there who could gain a lot of good and do a lot of good from meeting and knowing the person that you are.