If you’ve been hurt by someone, it’s easy to be angry and upset because of their actions. Unfortunately, in these situations, it’s you who is hurting and replaying it over, and over again in your mind only makes it worse.
Fuelling the problem
Holding a grudge or wanting retaliation is like rocket fuel for anger and resentment. You become tethered to the situation and feeling like you’re being punished for someone else’s crime. The other person may have even moved on with their life, but you’re still stuck.
“Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Malachy McCourt
Holding onto this anger and resentment eats up a huge amount of your energy. It’s easy to get caught in a destructive spiral: anger fuels resentment, which fuels upset and even more anger, and around you go. It gets to a point where your life and energy gets overrun by the situation.
Forgive to move forward
Don’t think of forgiveness as weakness, or that someone has gotten away with hurting you. You may have the right to feel hurt, but forgiveness will give you back your power. Forgiveness is the key to setting yourself free to live your life from the restrictions of the situation.
Just because you forgive someone it doesn’t mean what they did was okay. It means you refuse to be chained to them, or their actions anymore.
Breaking this connection means you’re no longer willing to be controlled by the past or tied to resentment.
Forgiveness is freedom
When you are no longer bound by the chains of resentment, you will be free to feel happy, to feel confident and to get on with your own life. Your forgiveness is a sign of your strength and courage and this freedom is worth fighting for.
Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself, it’s about your compassion towards yourself.
It’s especially important if you find yourself questioning how you got in the position in the first place. This overthinking is helping to keep you immersed in the situation. Think about what you can learn from the experience and move on.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean you condone what they did, or that you will trust them again. It is about you and moving forward with your life.
Take time out to reflect on what you need to let go of. Find some time to quieten your mind, for me it’s a walk in the countryside or meditation. Do whatever suits you and recognise that this history doesn’t need to define your future.
Think about the stories you are telling yourself and hold a symbolic closing ceremony. Write it down and shred or burn it, or visualise it floating away into the sky, whatever works for you.
“You can’t reach what’s in front of you until you let go of what’s behind you.” Author unknown
Take your next step
Work out a plan of action to get you back flowing in a useful direction. Figure out what the first step is and take it now.