Friday, April 20, 2012

Experiment with "Letting it Go"

My youngest daughter, Emi, always has something going on in her life...she is busy.  She catches butterflies, picks grass to feed her imaginary rabbit family, has so many "collections" that I may have to call the TV show, Hoarders, pretty soon, but she is always learning something, teaching herself through experiences. I came to the conclusion that Emi was up to her one of her "experiments" when I saw several cups in the freezer with various levels of water in them; the cups were also at various stages of freezing.  Emi had been so excited when she made a drink with the top layer frozen solid yet she was still drinking cold liquid from a straw she put into the cup before she put it into the freezer.  Emi...always learning something...

I was in the living room sitting on the couch when I heard Emi's "oh, no!" from the kitchen.  I sat quietly as my middle daughter, Sophie, piped right in with some words of her own, "Oh my, Emi.  What have you done?"  My interest was definitely peaked at this moment.  Sophie, an aspiring police officer, practices her "justice" every chance she gets; she could make a nun feel guilty with just a sideways glance.  Sophie continued, "You should know better, Emi.  Glass cups cannot go into the freezer with water in it; everyone knows that makes them break.  Poor Mom, now her memories of her special anniversary trip with Daddy will be ruined.  This is her very special glass from their anniversary dinner.  Mom can't just go to the store and get another one; in fact, she will probably never get to go back to Hawaii ever again.  She will never have a chance to have her special glass, and even if she could go back to Hawaii and go to the same place and get another glass...Mom would know the new glass was not really from her special anniversary trip!  Poor Mom."  After that, I was thinking..."poor Emi." :)  

I jumped up and went into the kitchen just in time to see Emi's head hanging so low; she wouldn't even look at me when I spoke to her.  "Emi, what happened?"  Emi told me all about her grand, seemingly magical ideas about making "more water appear" in cups when she put them in the freezer.  Her reasoning was because the water level always rose higher in the cup after she put it in the freezer for a few hours.  She wanted to try my glass because it was big which would mean she could make even more water "grow" in the cup.  Well, even if her scientific conclusion was flawed, I was truly excited about her learning experience.  I told her it was okay that the glass broke and that I knew she didn't break it on purpose.  I also told her that I really liked my glass but that it was just a "thing."  I winked at Sophie who was fuming and shaking her head behind Emi; I was kind of proud of her rant too because she was being empathetic and putting herself in my shoes even if she didn't handle it properly.  

My kiddos are still learning.  I have to remember that!  I have to take time and talk to them about things that happen.  Admittedly, when it comes to my kids, it is easier to "forgive" the accidental hurts and broken things.  My co-workers...other adults, NOT so much.  Why?  Because they should "know better"?  

What about letting things go?  Instead of "trying to forgive" someone, why don't we train ourselves to do it.  Carrying around hurt or brokenness actually causes more harm to the person who has the original hurt, not the wrong-doer.  If we learned to "let go" of our broken "things" or feelings, we would free ourselves to LIVE!  Do I mean that someone doesn't have to ask for forgiveness to be forgiven?  Yes!  You can forgive anyone and let go of the pain and the hurt without them ever being sorry or admitting what has been done.  It is for you to be free more than anything else.  

Forgiving DOES NOT mean that you forget; this distinction is important.  I will remember that Emi broke my glass, but I will not dwell on it.  I will "set up boundaries" for my future special glasses, maybe put them in a shelf that Emi cannot reach.  Something terrible might have happened to you, but you can forgive and let it go.  You might not ever forget the wrong.  You will probably have to set up boundaries or fences in relationships, and you may not see or associate with someone who did the wrong to can let go of the pain, forgive, and set yourself free.      

This might take time, and that is okay.  Training yourself vs. trying to do something does take time.  If I decide tomorrow that I want to play hockey, I can try my very hardest to do won't be pretty!!!  If I started tomorrow and trained myself to play hockey, it might happen.  First, I would have to improve my ice skating abilities, then add carrying a stick while I ice skated, then practice moving the puck with the stick, and after several days, months, or maybe several years...I would start to resemble a hockey player.  Similarly, when my husband trained to run a marathon, he did not decide to do it and go out the next day and run 26.1 miles.  He started small and built up his resolve through training.  You will not be able to just go "poof...I forgive you" to someone; you'll have to train yourself.  

How many of God's special glasses have we broken? Plenty, yet He is quick to forgive us.  "O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help." Psalm 86:5  NLT  

Proverbs 17:9, "Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends."  NLT

Matthew 6:14-15, "If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.  But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins."  NLT

Mark 11:25, "But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too."  NLT

Experiment with "letting go" of hurts and brokenness.  Train yourself to forgive.  Give yourself TIME to train.  Forgiveness will free you to LIVE!!!  

If you need some other passages of scripture to look up, try these: 
Matthew 18:21-35...Luke 6:37-42...Hebrews 12:10-15...1 Timothy 4:7-9


  1. Ah, those second-born police officers...we have one of those, too! Another great post. Keep it up, girly!

  2. By the hubby said that a marathon is 26.2 miles, my bad! :)