A lot of the work that I do with clients is around forgiveness and letting go.
Why? Because, the women I work with want to be happy and free – don’t we all, in some way? But so many of us are blocking ourselves from feeling that, because we are holding on to old grudges, old pain, old hurt. It’s not just what others have told us, said to us, ‘done’ to us – it’s also what we have said and done to ourselves. That can sometimes be just as hard to forgive and let go.
Why do we cling to these feelings? You know it, right? That tightness, tension, the negative ‘hold’ in your body when you think about such and such situation from years ago when you got hurt. You feel angry, you feel hurt, you feel murderous, perhaps you feel queasy and sick in your stomach thinking about it. Why would anyone want to hold on to those feelings?
Many of us believe that we need to hold on to it, to the story of it, in order to punish the other person. Or in order to remember what happened, because it is part of who we are and our life, and so we feel we need to hold on to it so as not to forget! But my love, forgiveness and letting go is not the same as forgetting. Forgiveness and letting go is not condoning the behaviour or allowing that same situation to happen again. Forgiveness and letting go, does not mean that you simply forget what happened!
Forgiveness and letting go is purely about you, your energy, your happiness. You don’t even need to have contact with the other person to forgive them! You never need to see them again! But thinking that they will be punished, by you holding on to the grudge, is not helpful. As some old saying goes; it’s like drinking poison and hoping that the other person dies. It just doesn’t work that way. The other person probably feels nothing. They may not even know what they have supposedly done to hurt you! And even if they do, they may have moved on long time ago. Why are you allowing yourself to still be stuck? Would it not be more wonderful to be fully free, happy, healed?
We can get so attached to our story of pain and hurt that we identify ourselves with that person. And we don’t want to let it go, because being that person – who got hurt and mistreated – has become who we are. It doesn’t have to be that way. That’s not who you are at your core. Deep down there is a happier, grounded, peaceful, glorious you who remembers her life and past but isn’t controlled by it and who knows what is right and wrong for her, but lives in the present because she chooses to be happy.
I don’t want to sound all preachy, but if I had to give just one advice, just one guidance, it would be to release yourself of all those negativities that you are holding on to. All that hurt, all that pain. Free yourself from it and be free.
Some hurts and pains can take a long time to heal, but the first step is wanting to be healed.
Many years ago I had a boyfriend. He was my first serious relationship. There was a lot of pain, hurt, drama, mistrust, miscommunication, fear and imbalance. As easy as it was to blame him back then, I have since accepted my own part in it. We were both equally responsible for what happened. Forgiving him for what he did, said, didn’t say and didn’t do etc has taken several years, because new layers kept coming up. And once I thought I had fully forgiven him, I realised that I had to forgive myself too, and that was almost harder! Forgiving myself for causing the drama and hurt that I caused. Forgiving myself for staying so long in an unhealthy relationship and allowing myself to be treated that way. Forgiving myself for holding on to that pain for sooo many years…
Part of me didn’t want to be healed. Part of me felt such a strong connection to this hurt, wounded young girl that I was back then that I didn’t want to let go. It was almost like a badge of honour that I kept for myself and almost proudly showed my wounds; yes, I was once hurt too. But did it make me happy? Absolutely not! It affected me on so many levels, even years later when I thought I had let it go. I felt nauseous being anywhere near where I knew I might bump into him, and it stressed me out so much that it affected what I did and where I went.
When I finally finally let go, forgave him and myself and the whole situation, it felt so good. I actually didn’t notice it straight away, but it became clear when I noticed that I was walking around in ‘his’ town and not feeling scared, sick or stressed out. I was able to be myself again and breathe freely. It doesn’t mean that I want him in my life or that I want to stop and chat with him if I see him, but it means that if I saw him, I could probably say ‘hi’ and move on. It means that I can talk about what happened back then, and remember most things, but that I no longer feel it deeply in my body and soul. It’s just a story from my past. It’s something that happened, but it’s no longer controlling me.
It doesn’t mean that I condone his behaviour or my own behaviour, or that I want to be in such a relationship ever again. I have learned from it. I know now that it was a part of my journey, and so it will always be a part of me and my story. But it no longer negatively impacts my actions today.
I have done a lot of forgiveness work in the last 2 years and, though it’s always something to work on and there’s always more stuff coming up to forgive and let go, I generally feel so much happier and much more free. It doesn’t mean that I don’t get hurt or upset – I do – but I don’t let it fester in the way that it used to. I speak up much sooner and I clear it from my energy and body.
Because I don’t want to be that hurt, angry, sad girl anymore…I want to be the healthy, happy woman that I am today.