This in archive post updated in 2021 on the Power of Forgiveness: Do you forgive the people who you feel have done you wrong? Or do you hold on every single perceived slight or misdemeanour – locking it away in your personal vault? When you think about your ex (or maybe a former friend), are you still holding on to how badly or unjustly you were treated? Perhaps you’re hanging on to things that were said, and playing them over and over in your mind?
Are you the kind of person that has ever uttered words and phrases about how “unforgivable” someone’s words or actions have been? Do you think forgiveness is not an option or consideration? I’d recommend you think again.
My Own Experience
Lately I’ve been thinking not only about the people who’ve hurt me in the past, but also those friends and romantic partners whom I have hurt too. The fact is – it goes both ways. We all get hurt and we too hurt others – sometimes it happens more intentionally than others.
If you are truly honest with yourself, you will admit you have, in fact, at some point in your life hurt people too. You may have done something or said something that caused another human being pain. I know I have. I am not proud of that fact, but it has happened and continues to happen, unfortunately.
Really I have to forgive myself. Others may choose not to forgive me but I need to choose to do so.
Plus I forgive everyone who’s ever hurt me. I hold on to nothing. I do it not to condone behaviour that I once deemed hurtful, but for my own health and well being. Holding on to anger, hurt, resentment etc – hurts me not the person who I feel caused it. So I let it go…
I Know, Forgiveness is Not Easy
Yes, I know, I get it… Forgiving is challenging, for some of us more than others. Especially when it comes to an ex parter, family member or former friend who we feel has hurt us deeply.
Forgiveness is not something that tends to happen straight away. It takes time to process the pain and let go. But, for me, one of the saddest sights on this site has been seeing those who haven’t forgiven their ex – particularly if it’s been years.
If you’re not the forgiving kind, then ask yourself “who is this really hurting?” – by refusing to forgive? More than likely it’s yourself. Negativity simples serves to tie you to the person. It keeps you stuck in a not-too-good-of-a-place.
Stop Wasting Energy
If someone has hurt you, or you have hurt someone else, there is no use in torturing yourself by replaying the situation over and over in your head. If a person’s betrayed you, or decided they didn’t want to be in a relationship with you, then work hard toward accepting it, and getting better not bitter.
Channel all your energy on healing, feeling good and moving to someone who does love and appreciate you. Holding on to our negative emotions and feelings, for any real length of time, only serves to hurt ourselves.
Yes it can take time to process the emotions, but the sooner you get to a point of forgiveness, the sooner you’ll feel happier again.
17 Years of Anger
There was once a woman here on SYBD who was from Kentucky. We’ll call “Sandy” (not her real name). Well Sandy, as I recall, was seventeen years out of her relationship and she still felt stuck and needed to log on to SYBD for support.
Her ex had moved on to a new woman soon after the split. We are talking years ago, and yet Sandy was still hassling both her ex and his wife.
Seventeen years? Now that was a waste of energy! That was a choice Sandy made. She chose to fixate on her past, to carry that resentment, when she could have consciously chose to change her focus to herself. She could have concentrated on what she could control and things that would bring her peace, joy and happiness. Sandy’s time could have been better spent in therapy, or writing, healing and growing…and moving on.
Don’t be a Sandy.
Our Stories Are Often Not Our Stories
We all have programs and stories which we are running in our minds, usually our subconscious mind. These stories were downloaded in our past, usually from our parents, our family, school or even society. They usually stem from early childhood. We are often not even aware of these programs which are running all day every day.
How we respond to hurt and pain varies from some person to person. Each time we experience pain, hurt, disappointment – even anger, it will trigger our past experiences. Again experiences that may be conscious or unconscious.
If we don’t stop to question our thoughts, we simply will play out our experiences on autopilot and we’ll never fully benefit from the healing that can come from forgiveness.
If You Can,…Choose Joy
I am constantly questioning my thoughts and consciously choosing my responses now. Instead of walking around on autopilot, I do the “joy test”. I ask “Does this feeling, person, situation, work, (or whatever) bring me joy?” If the answer is “no”, then I simply shift my thoughts to things that do.
Yes it takes practice. Often you have start with little things because it’s nearly impossible to do a 180 with our thoughts. But you can take incremental steps.
If you can’t feel love, joy or appreciation about your ex or ex friend yet, then focus your energy on what you do feel joy about. The more I do this, the easier it gets. I make a conscious effort to shift my feelings or vibrations to things that bring me joy. A conversation with a friend, watching my TV show, walking along a beach, a hot bath…Again baby steps.
It’s not always easy, as I say, but be honest, which would you rather feel? Bitterness and pain or love and joy? Only a sociopath would want the former. Most of us would want feel happiness, joy, and positivity, naturally, but you can’t if you’re holding on to the pain. Pain and joy can’t co-exist together so choose which one you want and then make that be your focus and intention.
Have You Forgiven Your Ex?
What do you think? Have you forgiven your ex? Or do you still feel like it’s never going to happen? I never say never. As soon as you do, the universe makes a liar out of you. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
If you need some help with forgiving – you may find this useful How to Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You on Dr Wayne Dyer’s site.