It’s almost seems like a rite of passage doesn’t it? A relationship that ends badly. Teenage angst? Divorce? Someone taking advantage of your good nature? Vindictive abuse. Ultimate betrayal. Your heart breaking… And every other film or song tells us it’s not just happening to us. Whether you’re a celebrity or a shelf stacker, still in school or a seasoned campaigner. It’s an experience that really doesn’t discriminate. At some point in your life it’s likely that someone will deeply hurt your feelings.
Of course people react differently. Some with anger. Some sink into depression. Most of us experience something between the two. The one thing in common though is the hurt. It feels like your happiness is being strangled, taken from you. What’s more the whole world is looking in on you at this time of immense vulnerability. You’re in a goldfish bowl. You feel stupid, incompetent, naive. It’s then so easy to hold on to that pain, thinking it will protect you in the future.
So you set your mind. Perhaps goaded on by well meaning friends. You’ll never let this happen again. You’ll be strong. Much more suspicious. Nobody’s push over. You’ll show them… And before you know it – you’re back. Ready to enter the fray. And life goes on. New relationships form. A better future beckons. But this emotional baggage simply stops you from giving the best of who you are…
You sense betrayal behind every error. You don’t give your relationships the room they need to grow. Worst of all you can’t be wholehearted whilst you always have that one eye looking out for trouble. So you don’t give the love and trust that others need. Before you know it a perfectly good situation, ripe with possibility, is spoiled because of something that happened in your past. Does it really have to be this way? No, of course not. Why should the rest of your life be defined by one bad experience? Why can’t you return to being the person that you were before this all happened? Surely that’s what it really means to have healed? It may seem counter-intuitive but the innocence that you lost was precisely what you needed to make your life work. Without it you’re now unlikely to find fulfilment and you might even repeat the same destructive pattern over and over. That doesn’t sound too great does it?
So here’s how to forgive, move on and find happiness.
The key is to come back to who you were before you got hurt. Rediscover that innocence that was lost. Breakthrough the fear that you acquired. Recognise that it’s not helping you, only holding you back. All your hopes and dreams lie on the other side of that wall of concern. So restore the kindness in your heart and allow yourself to create the life you want…
Try to forgive them. Why? Because when you forgive it’s for you. In fact there’s no suggestion here that you need to share this forgiveness with your oppressor. After all their behaviour or attitudes might not have changed. No, this isn’t about trying to change what happened. It’s about putting down your emotional baggage and moving on. It won’t happen overnight. It takes time. All that really matters is that you have the will to keep going. Keep reflecting on bad experiences with compassion and gradually let them go.
There’s also one other benefit. When you forgive, you understand. You start seeing the person or people who hurt you as humans instead of monsters. You see that there is no great power in their actions – just likely a simple, sad human failing. And that’s when you realise that you never really needed fear or anger to see that. Just wisdom.
Let me know if this helped: