At some point everybody has experienced hurt or betrayal at a level so profound that it left wounds. We can allow those wounds to heal or we can let them form scars. When we hold on to the things that hurt us, we prevent ourselves from fully experiencing the present and limit our prospects for the future.
Holding on to painful memories can evoke emotions associated with anger, shame and regret. When we replay these memories we give them energy and allow these unpleasant emotions to repeatedly flood our bodies and mind. There are times when we are completely justified to feel and act out in anger because someone or something we believed in and trusted has left us feeling hurt, disrespected or disappointed. If we allow it to, holding on to these emotions can result in a state of bitterness and resentment.
In an attempt to control the situation, we “punish” the other person with our silence, anger or withdrawal of affection. When we react to a person or situation in this way we are far from being in control. Deciding to let go of past grievances does not mean that you condone the behaviour that caused you pain. Letting go means that you care more about yourself, your future and your own happiness. You are the one that decides whether or not you’re going to allow the actions of another control how you feel.
Forgiveness requires that you are prepared to let go of the past and the hold it has over you. Often we are resistant to forgiving because deep down inside we hold a stubborn attachment to the pain that was inflicted. We feel justified and, deep down inside, there is a need to be “right” since we were “wronged”. The truth is that you’re only hurting yourself when you hold on to a grudge and fight to be right.
Forgiveness is a decision you make for your own happiness and wellbeing. Forgiveness does not mean that you are condoning the actions of another. It shows that you would rather be happy than be “right”.
You can begin to free yourself from the hold of the hurt by consciously deciding to let go. You have to decide if you’re going to let something from your past prevent you from enjoying your present and your future. When you release your resistance from old hurts you allow yourself to experience life.
We have all experienced loss or hurt so profound that at some point we thought that we may never recover. If we let it, this wound has the potential to harden us or to break us open. When we let go of the things that were keeping us angry or hurt we leave room for love, joy and appreciation.
“Freedom is letting go of something that hurt you.” – Dr. Julie
Copyright Dr. Julie Doobay 2021