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At the rate I’m going, this meme is going to drag out until February. I actually took a math class that (allegedly) taught me how to figure it out to the exact day I would finish these questions, but frankly, I’m not going to do that because I said I was NEVER GOING TO USE THAT in my life so if I did use it, then I’d have to track down the instructor and offer to eat my words. Sans salt. Which is so not happening. I love salt.

Day 10’s question is: Someone you need to let go or wish you didn’t know.

I don’t have a good answer to this, either. I can’t think of someone I wish I didn’t know. It sounds kind of pollyanna-ish but every person I encounter has something to show me. They probably aren’t even aware of it and sometimes I’m not aware of it until years after they’re gone. So in that respect, I really have no regrets.

As for people I need to let go, had I answered this meme in July, I would have said “Bridget.” But funny things happen with the passage of time. Vision gets clearer and perspective changes and grows. I tried to let “Bridget” go because I knew that’s what she wanted; but it wasn’t what I wanted and so I wasn’t able to let go completely.

Then a few things happened, including this stupid meme, that made me think a little more deeply about forgiveness. I wrote a little about it here, but my thoughts were muddled and I was still very hurt over the break-up with “Bridget.”

Forgiveness isn’t about forgiving – or even accepting – what the other person did (or didn’t do). It’s about taking control of my own life and not letting other people run me. If I’ve learned one thing in this life, it is that forgiveness is taking back power and that acceptance can’t really happen without forgiveness. Forgiveness does not make me weak and it doesn’t give the other person control. Instead, it brings me peace of mind and the clarity I need so that I can look within myself and apply the lesson I’ve just learned.ย  It’s about forgiving myself and accepting myself. It’s not up to me to punish the people who trample through my life – although I have to admit that sometimes I get a perverse satisfaction from it. I believe in karma, that what I put out there will come back to me. So forgiveness is a soul-cleansing exercise – it clears out the crap so that I can let light in.

“But wait, Cap, I thought the question was about letting go. I’m confused.”

Letting go is simply that – letting go of the pain, the sorrow, the confusion, the anger, the whatever. When I make a conscious decision to not let those feelings rule my day, they begin to fade just the tiniest little bit. I take away the power of those feelings and starve them to death.ย  Day by day, they get weaker and weaker. Feelings have only the power we give them. And that’s when forgiveness begins to seep in … and acceptance follows … and one day, I wake up and I no longer want to cry when I think about “Bridget,” but am able to wish her joy and love and peace and happiness and sincerely mean it. And I’m the one who benefits, if I am open enough to allow it.

That’s the power of letting go.