I write so I can breathe. I am constantly evolving, mindless at times, frustrating even perhaps but heck, I wouldn't change the smell of freedom that comes with writing.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Give Up or Let Go?

(Acknowledgment - This post would not have been possible without the contribution of my friends Kanan KR, Priya Khanna, Priyank Gupta, Rohini Suri, Vicky Pope, Kandy Sir, Arundhati Das, Reshmi Chatterjee -Thank you all! You are cherished. You allow me to think, to express and everything in between!!!)

It all started off with a quote I read posted by Kanan. Yes, Kanan, your post about how people don’t leave because they stop caring but they do because they hurt too much. So, this post came to my Facebook status message as “People let go not because they stop caring. They let go because they are tired of being hurt.” I found this entire discussion worth a post because it allows us to look at the same picture with different perspectives, borne out of diverse experiences and perception.

While it started off with a lot of likes, the crux of what comes out depends on how it allows us to share our thoughts. Each comment was valuable and worth a thought. There are no right answers and there are no wrong answers to anything in life really. All a matter of relative perception and an attempt at understanding – yes, it also allows me to see friends who I have not seen for decades or who I have seen only virtually. Why else would it matter?

Priyank, when you said ‘I disagree’, I jumped at it because it makes the way for the light to filter through to areas that I have overlooked or not thought about. Thank you!!! It is okay to not agree. With friends or with anyone you share a relationship with; it is always healthy to agree to disagree. I find that a great way of opening up a vista of thoughts to be expressed without pushing opinions. I have no right answers and I love to allow thoughts to flow. I am pushy and opinionated but who isn’t…either ways…eventually we will take it the way we want to take it. But, this is not about me.

So, when I said you let go because you hurt too much, eventually you also stop caring, Rohini quite agreed, eventually yes. Vicky believed, That’s true for me. The trick is finding the strength to let go even while you still care..when the need to preserve your sanity exceeds the need to keep the object of your affection, the decision and action become possible.

Priyank’s respond to that was no you don’t stop caring. Parents don’t stop caring even when they let their children go. If you love someone it’s not for the fear or the tiredness of getting hurt that u will let go, you’ll let go because you want to let go, because your loved ones want to go. If you stop caring, you didn’t care enough from the beginning itself.

So, I thought…parents really do not fall into this category, do they? I wasn’t quite talking about parents. I was talking about one to one relationships. However, eventually, some relationships do have partners, who are parents as well; for example, a couple who have divorced but have a child together. Dwelling on divorce and the effect on the child is another topic altogether and we suppose, somewhere in the future, we will get to that. I am digressing here if I further look only into that. Yes, Priyank, you are right about that.

So, I looked at it from a wider angle to say it is not simply a question of parental love or care here. It is also about partners and relationships. We care definitely or you wouldn't be with the person. After a point the hurt far exceeds the care. How a person hurts you and emotionally destabilizes you can either destroy you or allow you to rise out of it and gather up your self esteem. I could care yes, as a human being thereafter, after letting go, but I would not go out of my way to make it an exceptional gesture. Time and life shows you different views out of the same window. Then, when your self-esteem hits rock bottom, you either gather yourself up and let go or you remain where you are feeling sorry for yourself and feeling claustrophobic and yet unwilling to live life fully...A lot of emotional guilt is thrown around. One eventually decides whether the baggage is worth the pain or not. These are really hazy lines. Bottom line, where our perception comes from is where our life's experiences have been.

Priya added, that it made sense to let go in negative circumstances.

Kandy Sir, you are such an affectionate soul!!! Thank you for caring! A question arose if I was sensitive about the topic at the moment. I paused to think about it. Was I? I felt happy to realize, it may be an emotional thing but I had made peace with it. Thank you! Sometimes a question can allow you to realize you have crossed over that realm of pain. It made me realize, I will always be alive because I am emotional about things. Not in a sentimental state of mind. I am just being straight about stuff people are too hesitant to talk about for fear of being labeled sensitive. Being alive is better, any day!

Kandy Sir pitched in that he is sensitive and emotional! “And I think that makes me what I am! Compassionate and kind!! Yes, it is true. We will be just who we are.

Arundhati, my adorable friend who I have not met for more than twenty-three years put in her two bit to this profound discussion and added it's all about surviving...so before the hurt drains away and exhausts all your will to live and love for life and trust in human goodness, 'tis always wise to let go and move on, give yourself a shot at life and ditto for the other person.

So, back and forth we went. Priyank added, If you are talking about letting go the past, letting go the hurt, letting go the disappointments, letting go the frustrations, letting go of all the times you don't want to remember; yes you may say that you don’t care about those times anymore. But if you are talking about letting go the people in a relationship, you might stop fettering them with your expectations but you will still always care the same way you did before. You can stop yourself from holding on to someone but u can’t stop yourself from loving them and caring about them. This truth shines bright even amongst those really hazy lines.
Yes it does…those cases are exceptional I would say, but yes, I know it does. Not for a long duration of time though I felt.

Reshmi approved of what Priyank said and said she too totally disagreed. She said, “If I love intensely no matter what, no matter what amount of hurt it might have caused or may cause, no matter how tired I am of getting hurt, how can I ever let go that special someone? All hurts are negligible compared to the amount of love we share. LOVE; this magic word is more than enough to live a lifetime.”

Finally, Kanan, the source of this entire topic appears to say the two points of view are balanced and right in their own way. Well, that is the magic of having a discussion as opposed to an argument. A thin line divides it. A similar thin line divides letting go and being indifferent. ‘Stop caring’ does not mean indifference. Not the way it is misunderstood. It simply means letting go without allowing what the other person does affect you. Darn! Am I making sense???

Relationships have the unique knack of squeezing every bit of you especially when you give it hundred percent. How well it turns out is entirely dependent on how much attention and importance two people together pay to it. Eventually, we need to look at a picture bigger than us. No person who cares about you should hurt you so much. If that is happening, well, it isn't right by any standard. If one wants to live a better today you have to let go eventually. One foot may be planted in the past (because that is what has made you what you are today) but you cannot cement it to the past. Better by far to let go and be happy than remember and cry. Life is far too immense a gift to cry over things and continue to hurt. It is too magical an adventure to pass by. The degree of care and hurt is at a precarious balance...when one outweighs the other the relationship defines itself. Some manage to gather the broken pieces and build it up but it’s futile to gather ashes. You can never gather ashes and put it together. You have to let it all blow away into the wind and count your blessing you have still survived and there is more to life until when the end arrives.

Priyank, you made this post really an insightful one. Yes, as you said, it’s all really hazy. But if you are getting hurt it’s your fault, not others; communication is a better option than letting go or moving on. If you have loved someone, you can't ever let go and be happy. A relationship never turns to ashes unless you burn it down. If people start taking responsibility for their own relationships, there won’t be any need to let them blow away into the wind.

Sigh! If only two people understood this together and not just one person. Point taken. I'd rather not dwell on who is to be blamed. The one who is bruised knows where the pain is. Never say never...it is such a restrictive word. Limits everything. Life.

Reshmi saw what I was getting at and agreed with me. Only the person who is bruised can feel it! And as Priyank said, if people take the responsibility but in that case both should take the responsibility and not just one. A relationship can only flourish when both care, when both love, when both feel, when both understand n when both share the responsibility!!! My point exactly.

To conclude I quote Priyank. Obviously! Relationships are a two-way street but I strongly believe that when two people are in love or in a relationship then the need to understand other person's expectations and limitations is greater than the need to be understood & loved yourself. If you begin to feel suffocated or suffer or be a sacrificial lamb, then I guess it’s high time to rethink about your relationship; it might be easier to let go than to stay together but even then I would maintain that you won’t care lesser. It’s much easily said than practiced but, tell u what! It makes Life a lot more to cherish.




  1. Sometimes it is a damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don't situation. Either way, I must say life's interesting. Because somethings are just meant to be. :-)

    I enjoyed my visit.

  2. Thanks Vidya! Yes, eventually, how you live what lies ahead matters! I think, all of life's experiences does allow us to see a wider perspective.

  3. If you stop caring, you didn’t care enough from the beginning itself.

    Love this line and it is so so true.

  4. Sandy, I put up status msgs on my gtalk, because I feel them deeply and I know somewhere they are true for many of us who have experienced love and pain. When I put this one, I never imagined that it would lead to this profound discussion. Every comment that has been given is a gem, and worth pondering up on. And as u rightly said there are no right or wrong answers, it is all abt our experiences and perceptions.

    How long u stay in a hurtful relationship is only a matter of time. Sooner or later the hurt gets to u, when ur emotions seem to freeze, when u stop feeling any pain on account of that person, when u stop holding onto that person or have any more hopes and expectations from them, because u know deep inside u, that the person really does not care about u, as much as u do. U dont feel VALUED. U dont feel LOVED enuf. What are relationships abt anyways? We get into a relationship because we want to get love, feel loved, feel valued, feel cared for. And when all this is missing, and there is only hurt, how long can we hold onto that person. No matter how much we love him or her, the hurt far exceeds that and sooner or later the need for preserving your sanity is uppermost.

  5. hmmm...What a wonderful discussion you and your friends had... it's quite interesting too...

    I think letting go comes after giving up... I agree it doesn't mean one cares less... but it's more of wanting the other person's happiness rather than your own because it isn't easy to set people free...

    Now, it could be a different answer to different cases and status of a relationship... but what I would like to point out perhaps is the lifegiving aspect of letting a person go...

    thank you for the coffee break Sandy :)