As I am sitting in my rocking chair staring out the window, I notice it is a great day. A great day to be happy, to love, and most challenging, but best of all, a great day to finally let go and forgive. We have all been betrayed or hurt by someone we cared deeply for at some point in our lives and some of us are still holding on to the pain. Not only are we allowing the wound to continue bleed out and remain wide open, but we are also allowing it to change us into bitter human beings and turning our hearts to ice. Think: Do you really want to continue hurting while the person(s) who caused the damage already forgot about it or just doesn’t care and is living their best life worry-free? Its time to let it go.
Now, I understand forgiving is a lot easier said than done (Believe me, it took me years to understand this concept), but learning to let it go (As Elsa says) has helped my heart profoundly. I did a number of things to get me through the process and I am happy to announce that everyone that was on my sh*t list has been crossed off. Whether if we remained friends or I have cut ties with them, they were forgiven.
Let’s make one thing very clear, forgiving the person who hurt you does not make you weak. Forgiving is a characteristic of a strong and wise person. I am sure you all have heard this before and its absolutely true- “Forgiving others isn’t for them, but its for you”. It helps unclog that heart of yours from hate and bitterness and makes room for love, happiness, peace and calmness. That is when really living for yourself begins.
You see, when you hold onto that grudge, you aren’t living a very fulfilling life. You are living a life consumed by hatred and misery. You’re mad at them. You want to call them out on their behavior. You want so bad to get even. That is a lot of energy to spend on one person that hurt you. Even then, afterwards, you are still hurt. You spent nearly all day if not the whole day thinking of them and they could care less how you feel toward them.
What helped me realize that being angry at those who hurt me was making me ugly on the inside was that I would wake up with that heaviness in me. It was a burden that was causing me to think too much about those who really weren’t thinking of me. It was beginning to take a toll on my health: causing headaches, changing my appetite (some days I would over eat and some days I wasn’t feeling hungry at all), I would have mood swings, and a major one- it was depressing me. It really was like I was walking around with a ball and chain around my ankle.
Make a list
So, I began by making a list of those who wronged me at one point or another. For some, it may be your spouse or may be your very own family. Next to their names, I wrote what it was that they did that hurt me. I put that list away.
I then began my journey of Gratitude and Self Love journaling. Keeping a journal helped me by switching my focus from the negative to the positive. It helped me to be more thankful for friends who have always stood by my side. It taught me to have gratitude for my job. I began realizing that I am truly blessed – from the family I came from to the family I created. I even grew spiritually.
Self help books
Reading self help books such as, “The Book of Joy” by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams and “The 12 Week Year” by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington, to name a couple, was another step I took during this process.
Back to step one
By this point, I started noticing that the little things were making me smile as if I had forgotten that they existed. Flowers, butterflies, the sky…. I really was taking notice to these things again and they would leave me with a smile. That’s when I knew I was ready to get my list out and start making amends with the list – one name at a time. Really y’all, just like that I was able to let that sh*t go and live for me. I became a better version of myself not to mention a better mother!
I know you may think your pain is too deep to ever let go of, but you can, you have to! It may even be scary to dig up those feelings that you spent all of these years burying down. I am telling you, its worth it! You got this, you can do it. Don’t wait until tomorrow, you’re definitely worth it today. Take back your life. Be a happier you.