Open to New Experiences and Risk Being Vulnerable, or Stay Closed Down and Stop Living…
You’ve been hurt. Maybe it’s the first time. Or maybe the hurt you’re feeling now feels like the final straw that broke your back. While you can’t erase the experiences you’ve had in life, you can grow through, and even from, them.
Forgiveness Is Key
Once you forgive, you begin the process of healing.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
– Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha
Forgiveness is for you, and can happen in your heart. It doesn’t need to be met with response, unless you feel that is required. However, telling someone that you have forgiven them is often not met with relief or gratitude but with defensiveness and anger. So perhaps it is best for you to forgive within your heart, and let your forgiveness fill you.
There are many ways to work with forgiveness. One is to write a letter to the one you feel hurt by.
This letter will not be sent or given to the person, it will be for you. In the letter you can list all of the things that hurt you. And then you can forgive the one who hurt you as you see what the pains were caused by.
Learn to Trust Yourself Again
Even more important than forgiving another is the ability to forgive yourself. This may include a frank look at the actions that lead to you being hurt, because there is surely something there to learn.
Once you recognize the lesson you will be able to release judgment of your behavior, and begin rebuilding trust. Because if you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?
You can trust your loved ones. Allow them to help you clear the fog around the pain you feel. They may be able to help you see what happened in a new light.
At the same time, trust yourself above and beyond what your loved ones may have to say. If you gut says “That’s not right!” it probably isn’t.
Even if you’re not looking for feedback, you may want to ask friends to spend time with you doing fun things, or comforting things. You don’t need to weather your pain alone.
Love is the Answer
While it may feel like a stretch at the moment, love is the path to your healing. Heart your haters! Really, loving your enemies (or estranged loved ones) is the key to the heart of your well-being. We’re not talking about desiring; that will only lead to more pain. The love we’re addressing is dispassionate, compassionate, impersonal love.
This kind of love may be new to you. Luckily, you can practice love. Here’s an easy exercise:
1. Image someone that it’s easy for you to love standing in front of you. Feel how it feels when you love them. Allow yourself to really feel the love.
2. Imagine someone in front of you that it’s a little more challenging to feel total love for. And then will your self to feel the love anyway. If this is hard, remember what it felt like to love the first person you visualized, and carry that feeling over.
3. Now keep going, with as many degrees as you need to find your way to the one you feel harmed by.
Forgive, and love again. Healing toward trust is what happens in the process.
Lasara Firefox Allen, MPNLP, is a best-selling author, educator, activist, and coach. Wife to her True Love, and mother to two amazing young women, Lasara believes in living the life you want to create. Lasara is available for coaching and spiritual guidance.
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