The path to happiness lies solely in you. One important step is learning to let go of past hurts. Learning to forgive.
You’re parents never gave you the support you needed.
You’re boyfriend/girlfriend didn’t love you the way they should.
The lady at the checkout counter over charged you for your purchase.
The asshole in front of you keeps riding his breaks.
She never said she was sorry.
They didn’t listen.
I was beaten.
I was harassed.
I was wronged.
Big or small…holding on to bad feelings only hurts you. Living in the past, focusing on the idea of what may have been or should have been, keeps you locked on to those feelings. It blocks you from the present moment, and any really good feelings you could be embracing right now
Forgiving those who have done you wrong is not in any way saying what they did was right. You are simply letting go of the hurt feelings that are associated with it. You can’t change what happened. They can’t change what they did and, most likely, they will never change the type of person that they are. That does not mean that you can’t change how you feel about it.
I used to be a very angry person. VERY angry. There is no denying I have been wronged…by many people in my life. There is also no denying that there were times I, myself, was the one doing wrong. I’ve said things that were hurtful. I’ve done things I’m not particularly proud of. I cannot change what I did. I can choose to do differently. I CAN choose to feel differently.
For years, I tried desperately to get my father to apologize for not being a part of my life. I fought hard to get him to see the pain it caused me. For years we would get into heated arguments over MY feelings. Not once did he acknowledge my feelings. Not once did he apologize. Then one day he said something about how his mother had not talked to him for years. He said he was sure it was because of some lie my mother had told her. He was very resentful. I knew at the time, that was not exactly what happened. I had talked with my grandmother. What he thought was true, wasn’t. At that moment, I realized, he too (even at his age) was holding on to his own painful feelings. I was able to see him as emotionally fucked up as I was. From that moment on, I gave up trying to make my point. I gave up trying to get his approval and his love…I just stopped holding on to those old feelings. Do I have a better relationship with my father? Yes. Is it a perfect loving relationship? No. Am I resentful? Not one bit. He is only doing the best HE knows how…
How on earth do you begin to forgive someone who has torn your life apart? How do you let go of the hurt you’ve most likely been holding onto for years? You start simply. They are human. They have their own pain…their own stories that tie them down. As much as you try, you cannot change them. You simply have to start to see them as fragile human beings. They have no real power over you. You are the one with that power. If you have not read Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, I highly recommend it. This book will help you see those people who have hurt you in a new light. He calls them “painbodies” . People walking around with constant pain and they use it to hurt those around them. Read it.
Forgiving someone will not make them a better person. It will not make them stop trying to hurt you. It will not make you immune to hurtful words or situations. It WILL make it better. It WILL make YOU better. Let go of the anger. Let go of the pain. Let go of the past. The only way it can hurt you now is if YOU let it! Don’t! Pay attention to your feelings.
Forgive just one person…Even if that person is YOU.