Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Learning to "let go"!

What is exactly the meaning of "let go"? If we go by the definition of a dictionary, it says "Release, as from one's grip" and another one says "Be relaxed". In the context that I'm writing this post, both these definitions go hand in hand.

I feel we have to learn to "let go" at every stage of life. Its much easier to "let go" till we are kids, a tad bit difficult to as we are in out late teens and a lot more difficult when we are adults and/or parents. And the toughest is when your kids are adults themselves.

For some it comes with no effort, for some with a bit of effort and for some lot of effort. And yeah, then there is this other category for whom the words "let go" don't even exist. Because they do not believe in such a concept. The last category of people who can never "let go" will be the subject matter of this post.

I've written once about my personal experience with a colleague in my previous company.

I think the worst situations that I have personally seen are with parents not letting go when their children are adults themselves and even when their kids have become parents too! Just because they have given birth to their child, it doesn't mean that they will 'OWN' them all their life.

And it can be really frustrating for the people to handle such parents who are just not willing to let go. Who want to keep the remote control of their children's lives in their own hands. Despite the fact that they are living in two separate cities. They are the parents who want that their children should consult them even if they are planing to buy something as simple as TV.

And then there are parents who expect that their children should respect them. Why do they get offended if their children eat their dinner by 9 PM and not wait for them till 12 AM when they are coming from a different city? It is taken as being disrespectful.

Why is it taken in the wrong sense if their children decide the menu of a party, without 'consulting' them, which their children are throwing for their friends, where they will not be even present?

I feel in such situations even close relationships start to feel like a burden. You can feel the strain in the relationship which is so very unhealthy. And I wonder is it really that hard to let go? I, as a parent, would never want to be like the parents I talked about above. I'm sure no one would like to be - intentionally or unintentionally.

We all should learn to become unrestrained and be relaxed about it too. Coz if we do not learn to relax after letting go, the whole purpose is defeated.

A while ago I read a post from Sunita where she has also written about this parent-child relationship and how the parents do not accept decisions taken by their own children. They take it as their children have disobeyed them.

I've read and heard of so many cases when parents do not let go of their angst against their children who have taken decisions of choosing their life partners without the consent of their parents. Not even after so many years when they see that the decision their child has taken was so right. And the only reason I can attribute to such behaviours is 'ego'.


  1. i know what you mean!! My MILs is just learning to let go and trust meits not easy on her as well as us!!

    we never did ask anyone before we bought anything or changed houses! M was even scared to tell her we bought beanbag because she woud scold for useless kharcha!

    ofcos we have a come a long way from there, but its still very difficult for people to accept that others can survive without them. by which it doesnt mean we dont want them, but we can amange on our own and they are welcome to just come n spend time whenever they choose!

    i guess in the beginning every parent's ego gets hurt when an important decision is taken wo "asking" them. but a good parent is one who appreciates when they know its a good decision and also keep their doors open always if it turns out to be a bad decision! :)

    letting go is indeed easier said than done i guess! till now i have been perfectly capable of forgive n forget and i hope that doesnt change ever!! :D

    sorry for the rambling comment!!

    loveky post!



  2. agree with what you have said... me too having some effects of it - and yeahg, having this actually strains the close relationships... hope it will get better by time...

    it is easy to say, but very difficult to bring into practice...

  3. Very true...the last part about the ego thing. I have an aunt who is still refusing to accept her daughter's marriage even after 10or so years.

  4. So true ~nm. I think a lot of the early marriage issues are because the parents are not ready to put down the reins on the son or daughter.

  5. In many cases it is true that parents have a problem letting go.
    Even in the case of someone who tries to be detached, it is tough at times to see yourself retired from motherhood all of a sudden.
    I might never show it to my son or his wife but the ache will certainly be there.
    Some of us handle it smartly but some are more transparent. That's all.

  6. Nicely written ~nm. Only time will tell how we will measure when our time comes. I hope and pray we never get caught into the "ego" trap. It serves no one.

  7. The other day me and Roop were discussing the same issue. Parents gotta trust, they gotta know that once their child has chosen a path, they have to express full faith in his/her choice as well as his/her capabilities too. An Open mind will beget open mindedness too.

  8. holding grudges can only lead to regret.
    my grandmom didn't speak to my dad after he married my mom. she didn't even attend my bro's or my wedding, for that matter.
    she was there for the last rites, though and i could see the regret in her eyes. i wanted to ask her if it was worth it... but didn't. probably her grief was much greater than mine...