Forgiveness – Try It
Delving into our archives and revisiting this 2023 post about the Power of Forgiveness, it begs the question: How often do you truly let go when someone wrongs you? Or are you the type who meticulously catalogues each slight, preserving it within your mental vault? When thoughts of your ex (or perhaps an old friend) invade your mind, are they tainted with memories of the unjust way you were treated? Do you replay hurtful words, cementing them further in your consciousness?
Have you ever staunchly declared someone’s actions or words as “unforgivable”? Dismissed the very idea of offering forgiveness? It’s high time to reconsider that stance
My Own Experience
Recently, my reflections have veered towards not just those who’ve left scars on my heart, but also to those friends and lovers I may have inadvertently wounded. It’s an undeniable truth: the cycle of hurt flows both ways. While we endure pain, we sometimes inadvertently inflict it on others.
In moments of introspection, if you dig deep, you’d recognise times when your actions or words caused anguish to another. I’ve been there. I’m not proud of it, and though I aim to be more mindful, there are instances when I falter.
It’s imperative that I forgive myself. While others may not offer their absolution, my own self-forgiveness is paramount for my personal growth.
Furthermore, I have chosen to forgive every individual who’s ever wronged me. I carry no grudges. This isn’t a way of validating or excusing past misdeeds but rather a conscious choice for my own mental and emotional well-being. Nursing feelings of anger, resentment, or hurt harms me more than it affects the ones responsible. So, for my own peace, I release it all
I Know, Forgiveness is Not Easy
I truly understand – forgiveness can be daunting, and for some, it’s a mountainous task, especially when the perceived slight comes from an ex-partner, a family member, or a once-close friend.
Processing forgiveness isn’t an overnight journey. It requires time to sift through the hurt and to genuinely let go. Among the heartrending sights on this site, witnessing individuals unable to forgive their ex, especially after many years, ranks high.
If you find forgiveness elusive, I urge you to ponder: “Who’s truly bearing the brunt of this non-forgiveness?” More often than not, it’s you. Harbouring resentment only binds you tighter to the very person you’re upset with, anchoring you in a desolate emotional landscape.
Stop Wasting Energy
Pouring energy into reliving a painful event, whether someone wronged you or you wronged another, is a futile exercise. If you’ve been betrayed or if someone chose not to continue a relationship with you, strive towards acceptance and personal growth over resentment.
Redirect your energy towards healing and self-care, aiming for the embrace of those who truly value and cherish you. Clinging to negative emotions for extended periods only perpetuates self-infliction.
Certainly, emotions require their time to unravel and heal, but reaching a state of forgiveness expedites your return to happiness.
17 Years of Anger
Here at SYBD, I recall the story of a woman from Kentucky, whom we’ll name “Sandy” (not her actual name). Seventeen years had passed since her relationship ended, and she was still grappling with those old emotions, turning to SYBD for solace.
Her ex had swiftly moved on with another woman post-split, which was now ancient history. Yet, Sandy was persistently intruding into the lives of her ex and his wife.
Seventeen years of harbouring such feelings? Talk about an energy drain! This was a conscious choice Sandy made. She remained ensnared by her past and nursed the bitterness, when she had every power to shift her attention to personal growth. Sandy could’ve honed in on aspects within her control, those which would’ve nurtured her well-being, joy, and contentment. She might’ve benefited immensely from therapy, journaling, or any form of self-exploration and healing.
Don’t let your story mirror Sandy’s
Our Stories Are Often Not Our Stories
We all harbour narratives and beliefs in our minds, predominantly in our subconscious. These scripts have been ingrained over time, predominantly from influences like our parents, family, educators, or even broader societal norms. Many of these narratives took root in our early years, and more often than not, we remain unaware of these automated thought processes chugging away in the background.
Our reactions to pain and distress are individualistic. Every instance of hurt, disappointment, or anger we confront serves as a catalyst, potentially evoking past traumas – whether we are cognizantly aware of them or not.
Unless we actively challenge and reflect on these deep-seated beliefs, our reactions run on a default mode, missing out on the transformative healing that forgiveness can bestow
Tuning into the Joy Test
“I’m forever interrogating my thoughts and actively shaping my reactions. Rather than coasting through life on autopilot, I’ve instituted my personal “joy test”. Whenever faced with feelings, people, situations, tasks, or anything, I pause to ask, “Does this bring me joy?” If it doesn’t, I promptly redirect my attention to things that resonate with positivity.
Now, it certainly requires practice. Making monumental shifts in our mindset overnight is challenging. Instead, we can approach it in smaller, manageable strides.
If you’re finding it tough to associate joy with memories of an ex or an erstwhile friend, channel your energy on those elements in life that genuinely make you smile. With each passing day, I find it easier to pivot towards these joyful moments. A heartwarming chat with a friend, binge-watching my favourite series, a leisurely walk on the beach, or simply sinking into a warm bath. It’s all about taking those incremental steps.
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.